Jennifer S. Wilkov Attends Legislative Public Forum on Prosecutorial Conduct Commission Bill
N.Y. State Legislators Hold a Joint Senate - Assembly Public Forum on the Prosecutorial Conduct Commission Bill | Testimony from Victims of Wrongful Convictions, the D.A. Association and All Interested Organizations to be Heard
When the bill for the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct passes, New York State will be the first state in the nation to establish such an oversight commission for state prosecutors and have an answer to the burning question, "Who is prosecuting the prosecutors?"
The joint Senate-Assembly public forum will be moderated by co-sponsor N.Y. State Senator John DeFrancisco and attended by co-sponsor Assemblyman Nick Perry, Chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus and a member of the Assembly Committee on Rules, Codes, and Ways and Means, among others; Senator Phil Boyle, a member of the Senate Committee on Rules, Judiciary and Finance, among others; Joseph R. Lentol, originator of the bill in the Assembly, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Codes and a member of the Assembly Committees on Rules and Ways and Means, among others; and Assemblywoman Helene E. Weinstein, the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and a member of the Assembly Committees on Rules, Codes, and Ways and Means, and the Legislative Women's Caucus.
Testimony to be offered by Barry Scheck from the Innocence Project, victims of wrongful convictions, Bennett Gershman - the leading expert on prosecutorial misconduct and a faculty member of Pace Law School, Steven W. Downs, draftsman of the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct bill and formerly of the Commission on Judicial Conduct, and members of the D.A. Association.
The proposed State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct will establish accountability and uniform best practices for the most powerful players in the criminal justice system.
Other licensed professionals in a variety of industries, including most elected officials -- judges and the legislators themselves -- as well as police, firefighters, Catholic bishops, athletic team owners and their coaches and players, teachers, social workers, doctors and nurses, airline pilots, train conductors, bus drivers, accountants, insurance agents, real estate agents, bankers, investment advisors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, engineers, chefs, and hairdressers, are subject to the enforcement of best practices and accountability. The only professionals and elected officials seemingly not subject to the enforcement of best practices and accountability are District Attorneys and Assistant District Attorneys.
The February 3, 2016 New York Times article entitled "Record Number of False Convictions Overturned in 2015" cited the recent report released by the National Registry of Exonerations, stating that 2015 set a record for exonerations in the U.S. and that the rate of exonerations has been increasing rapidly for several years. Moreover, the report states that a record number of cases involved official misconduct.
Bill Bastuk, the founder of It Could Happen to You, says, "The proposed Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct is modeled after the successful forty-year New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The sad news is that New York State is second in the nation in wrongful convictions, only to Texas. The good news is that more and more state legislators want to take action to make New York a leader in justice reform."
Ms. Wilkov 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, during her March 2009 interview on CNBC Squawk Box, during her February 15, 2016 interview on Bloomberg Business radio, in the HuffPost Business profile by Laura Emily Dunn in her Women In Business Q&A column, and in her March 3rd, 2016 interview on "So Money" with Farnoosh Torabi, among others. She has also spoken publicly about it during the Speak Up Women Conference held at the United Nations on March 5th, 2016, her TEDx Talk at the TEDxBroadStreetNY event held in New York City, at the It Could Happen to You 2015 and 2016 Summits, and in other venues upon request.
Endorsements for the bill to establish the State 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 Trial Lawyers Association, 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.
"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,"
"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 enforce best prosecutorial practices and provide accountability for this group of elected officials and professionals,"
Jennifer S. Wilkov is now the founder of Speak Up World, LLC, which produced the inaugural Speak Up Women Conference held at the United Nations on March 5, 2016, an event designed to support women with the understanding of the importance and impact speaking up has in our personal, professional and philanthropic lives.
For more information about the It Could Happen to You, please visit www.itcouldhappen2you.org.
About Jennifer S. Wilkov
Jennifer S. Wilkov's passion for communication has led to her being a #1 international best-selling award-winning author, a keynote speaker, an award-winning freelance writer, a successful book and business consultant, a #1 radio show host and executive producer on WomensRadio, 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!" She is an active board member of It Could Happen to You, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the falsely accused.
For more information, go to http://www.JenniferSWilkov.com and http://www.SpeakUpWomen.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
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