Friday, June 15, 2007

Local Victim Advocate Investigated

This story from the Star Tribune came out yesterday and there is a follow-up in today's paper. It is about a Hennepin County victim-witness advocate who is under investigation for allegedly giving defense attorneys information about witness and alleged victim contact information.

This seems bizarre to me. While I have heard of some circumstances where witness contact information is only available on a limited basis, isn't this stuff that the defense has to have in order to investigate and have some semblance of a fair process?

Quotes from the article that, to me, are particularly problematic:

"The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office received a tip recently from an informant that Kesha Green, 33, was willing to sell information such as names and addresses of victims and witnesses."

I have never had to buy information about where a witness lives. The state has to give that to me. If it's old information, I have a great investigator who can track down the new information.

"When told of the allegations, Minneapolis police Capt. Mike Martin said it would be 'a total breach of public trust.'"

Not exactly. The alleged victim and witness advocate is supposed to explain the court process and to present victim impact statements. They are not supposed to impede defense investigation of the case, although I have long suspected that certain av/w advocates do exactly that by telling people specifically to not speak to defense counsel, rather than simply leaving it up to the person.


"If the allegations against her prove true, longtime community activist Ron Edwards said, it would be devastating. He is co-chairman of Minneapolis' Police Community Relations Council, which often works with police to find and persuade witnesses to come forward.

'It's hard to make people believe there is a shield of safety and confidentiality when you talk to police,' he said. 'Families of a victim deserve to have the most unimpeded justice system a person can have.'"

Can someone help me out here? Where is the part about confrontation/investigation? I am very confused.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

New PD TV pilot filmed

According to, Janeane Garafalo is starring in a newly created TV series pilot called "Law Dogs" which is about public defenders. More details here.

Who knows if it will ever air? Or if it will be any good....