Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I am nearing the end of the most incredible adventure and exciting experiences of my life. I arrived here at the end of March, and have been working in New Orleans since April. 
Within my time here, I have been able to work on projects that I simply would not have access to within the British criminal justice system. The vast majority of my work has been working with investigators to obtain vital records in relation to a capital punishment case. The case and investigation has been exceptionally complex and has only further highlighted the vast differences in both of the criminal justice systems within the United Kingdom and the United States. 
I have been fortunate enough to use my educational background to review the forensic elements of the case including statements, forensic reports and crime scene analysis and although the content of this case is distressing, it really reinforces the need for complete commitment and dedication to the investigation - which I see each and every day for those who commit their time working on these cases.
I have been able to visit the Louisiana Supreme Court on two occasions in order to conduct research for the attorneys here in the office, as well as visiting a female prison to collect inmate records. My most poignant contribution however was being able to facilitate a family visit to Angola by driving a family to visit a family member who has been incarcerated. The drive to Angola is three hours long and the family members had been unable to visit for over a year. To be able to do something as simple as providing transport to enable the visit to go ahead was a reminder as to why being able to volunteer on the internships is so important.
Furthermore, I have been exceptionally fortunate to be here when a client was exonerated from death row and be able to share in the positive outcome of the hard work I witness each and every day.
For anyone who is decided whether to apply for the internships offered by Amicus, all I can say is do it. You will experience an adventure you won’t experience anywhere else in the world. It’s an opportunity you will definitely not forget.