The Legal Investigator Winter 2014 : Page 2

criminal focus by Janiece J. Lee, CLI Criminal Defense Investigator’s Role in Indigent Clients’ Rights “ 4 Criminal defense investigators, while undoubtedly necessary assets to the defense team, are drastically underutilized in the fight for justice and the protection of rights of those accused. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” — Benjamin Franklin In a society that values prosecution and incarceration above education, housing, mental health treatment and parks, 1 the need for strong advocates of justice grows increasingly more important. The statistics are shocking for a nation built on principles of freedom and liberty: • The United States incarcerates its citizens at a rate of four times the world’s average. 2 • With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has more than 23 percent of the world’s incarcerated people. 3 • Indigent and impoverished clients make up 60-90 percent of all criminal defendants in the United States, depending on the location and level of offense. 4 • African Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than whites. 5 • In 2005, 67 percent of incarcerated adult men had not completed high school. 6 the legal investigator

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