As a criminal defense investigator for homicide cases, the following are the top ten actions you should take when assigned a case:
- Review the police reports and other documents related to the case: Start by gathering and reviewing all the documents related to the case, including police reports, witness statements, and forensic evidence reports. This will help you understand the facts of the case and identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
- Identify and locate witnesses: Conduct interviews with witnesses who were present at the scene of the crime or who have information that can be helpful in the defense. You should also attempt to locate and interview any witnesses identified by the prosecution.
- Conduct background investigations: Investigate the victim and any potential suspects in the case. This can include searching public records, social media profiles, and conducting interviews with family, friends, and acquaintances.
- Consult with experts: Consult with experts in fields such as DNA analysis, ballistics, or forensic psychology, to help you evaluate the prosecution’s evidence and build a stronger defense.
- Attend court proceedings: Attend all court proceedings to gain a better understanding of the prosecution’s case and any issues that may arise during the trial.
- Conduct surveillance: Conduct surveillance on the crime scene and the surrounding areas to identify any potential evidence or leads.
- Create a timeline: Develop a timeline of events leading up to the crime to help identify any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case.
- Evaluate physical evidence: Review and evaluate all physical evidence collected by law enforcement to determine its relevance to the case.
- Analyze police conduct: Review the conduct of the police during the investigation to ensure that proper procedures were followed, and to identify any potential misconduct that may have influenced the case.
- Develop a defense strategy: Based on your investigation and analysis of the case, develop a defense strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case and present a compelling argument to the jury.
These steps will help you conduct a thorough and effective investigation and develop a strong defense strategy for your homicide defendant. It is important to note that the specific actions taken by a criminal defense investigator may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case.