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Jennifer S. Wilkov Featured in “Images of Injustice” Exhibit in NY Legislative Office Building
Victim of the New York State Criminal Justice System’s & Ameriprise Financial's Erroneous Campaigns -- Jennifer S. Wilkov – Featured in “Images of Injustice” Exhibit In Support of Mission to Establish a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct
Ms. Wilkov, a board member of the It Could Happen to You organization, found herself at the center of a legal storm where she was incarcerated in Rikers Island for a crime the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ruled she did not commit three years after she had been railroaded into pleading guilty by the Assistant District Attorney and the judge in her case, who both engaged in questionable practices which caused the criminal justice system to fail to uphold her rights to fair prosecutorial practices and proper representation.
She has previously addressed this controversial case in her award-winning feature article that appeared in the April 2009 issue of Marie Claire and during her March 2009 interview on CNBC Squawk Box. She has also spoken publicly about it during her TEDx Talk at the TEDxBroadStreetNY event in June 2011 held in New York City.
Ms. Wilkov’s picture and story summary appears alongside those of other exonerees including Yusef Salaam of the Central Park 5, recent Brooklyn exoneree David McCallum who was freed in October 2014 after serving 29 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, William Bastuk, founder and chair of the It Could Happen to You organization, Jeffrey Deskovic of the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation, and others.
The It Could Happen to You “Images of Injustice” exhibit highlights the fact that New York State is second in the nation in wrongful convictions, second only to the State of Texas. There have been more than 130 wrongful convictions in New York State, totaling more than 2,000 years of incarceration for innocent victims of a criminal justice system that is long overdue for reform.
Strong support for the bill to establish a Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct is being put forward by both sides of the aisles in both the State Senate and the State Assembly, including from State Senator John DeFrancisco, the Commission bill sponsor in the Senate, Assemblyman Nick Perry, the Commission bill sponsor in the Assembly, Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, originator of the bill in the Assembly, State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a prominent long-time supporter of criminal justice reform in New York State, and many others.
Endorsements for the bill to establish the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct include the Huffington Post, the New York Daily News, the New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Catholic Conference, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, New York State Defenders Association, Legal Aid Society of New York, Brooklyn Defenders Association, New York State United Teachers, the Greater Genesee Valley Rochester AFL-CIO, and more.
“I’m delighted to have the unique opportunity to stand up and put forth my support to establish the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct in New York State,” says Jennifer S. Wilkov. “Going to jail as an innocent man or woman is a fear held by many across the United States, especially licensed professionals like I was in a regulated industry that requires proper supervision by licensed supervisors. Inadequate and inappropriate prosecutorial conduct is unnecessarily hurting our innocent citizens and professionals. The time is now to reform the criminal justice system and establish a supervisory authority to oversee the prosecutors who are charged with seeking fair and ethical prosecutions of those who are truly guilty.”
“New York State should be the national trailblazer in criminal justice reform. A critical element in the transformation of our state’s justice system is the enactment of rules to enhance fair prosecutorial practices. It Could Happen To You continues to build a diverse grass roots coalition to drive the establishment of a State Commission on Fair Prosecutorial Practices and Discovery reform,” says Bill Bastuk, Chair of It Could Happen to You Inc. “We're grateful to have Jennifer S. Wilkov, a former successful Certified Financial Planner, join us to bring her unique story to the “Images of Injustice” exhibit. She clearly defines how vulnerable successful business people are to false accusations involving white collar crimes.”
About Jennifer S. Wilkov
Jennifer S. Wilkov’s passion for communication has led to her being a # 1 radio show host and executive producer on WomensRadio, a #1 international best-selling award-winning author, a keynote speaker, an award-winning freelance writer, a successful book and business consultant, and an entrepreneurial mentor. She survived being incarcerated in one of New York’s and the nation’s most violent prisons, Rikers Island, after inappropriately being told to plead guilty to a crime she didn’t commit by an attorney who mishandled her case. Her Sixth Amendment right was then overlooked by the judge in her case when she was denied her request for an adjournment to seek new representation after her attorney was granted a withdrawal just prior to her sentencing hearing.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) denied in their entirety charges of fraud, withholding material facts, failure to disclose and breach of franchise agreement which were brought by Ameriprise Financial against Ms. Wilkov as a third party respondent during an arbitration held in May 2011. Ms. Wilkov is currently preparing her appeal in the New York State criminal justice system.
Jennifer continued to succeed as a best-selling author, media personality, entrepreneur and keynote speaker after enduring this devastating, unimaginable experience. She knows what it takes to live the life you love in the face of any challenge. She also knows the high cost of non-compliant compliance supervision for firms and their employees like Ameriprise Financial in the financial, insurance, accounting and legal industries. She is a board member of the It Could Happen to You organization and a prominent publishing industry and personal development professional.
As a keynote speaker, Jennifer fans the flames of the Human Spirit in each audience member and empowers them with her inspiring message: “You have the right to remain fabulous!”
For more information, go to http://www.JenniferSWilkov.com.
For interviews with Ms. Wilkov, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 727-8434.
For more information about It Could Happen to You Inc., please refer to http://www.itcouldhappen2you.org
Jennifer S. Wilkov