Julie Rea, M.S. Ed Counseling, M.S. Ed Psych has a doctoral level education in the field of educational psychology. She specialized in semiotics, and learning and cognition. She has some of the tools that will best help a defense team and a client to prepare for the trial ahead while simultaneously preparing materials for the sentencing phase should that be needed.
She has worked as a therapist, qualitative researcher, studied and published on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and has extensive personal experience regarding the inner process of how a defense team and investigation works.
As well she uses a variety of techniques to teach others to prepare themselves to present well when in a situation where such presentation is critical. Using resources such as advance schematic organizers, video stimulated recall, and psychodrama she can take a client through the process of being in a courtroom rehearsal so that the impact of being present and testifying will become less mysterious and intimidating - completely changing his/her countenance and preparedness.
These techniques are used with the goal of enabling your client to be able to simply put the truth into the hands of the jury in a way that enables them to feel and see and hear your client as the innocent individual he/she actually is and was, as well as prepare your client to face the prosecutor without being mis-understood or misrepresented by that interaction.
Jurors watch your client and listen to your client throughout the trial. And will make their decision based in part on what meaning they make from your client's subtleties as well as overt behavior during that time. If your client is feeling fear the juror may misunderstand this feeling as another negative signal. But most certainly feelings send off signals and those signals will be read by the jurors.
Likewise, most often not hearing from a client the jury perceive as a lack of willingness to share - or worse - as guilt. This is not supposed to be the case, but we all know that, in fact, there is a consequence to being silent. It is at best - doubt. Advance preparation so that your client is sending off the right signals and portraying his/her confidence - rather than his/her fear - which is reasonable in the circumstance, but not helpful - can impact the message the jury gets and be a powerful asset in your overall defense preparation and presentation.
Julie knows all of this well because she lived the trauma herself of being wrongly prosecuted, convicted, tried twice before being exonerated. She now holds a certificate of innocence. Because of this, she has an instant believability and awareness which translates into rapport with your client. This can add volumes in the way of connecting with them and understanding where they are coming from and forming a functional bond while working together, making her a unique team member.
Her story in a nutshell:
Going to sleep in your own home isn't a crime, is it?
Well, for Julie it turned in to not only the worst nightmare one could imagine, but also a ten year battle with the legal system in Illinois. She would eventually be charged, tried and convicted of the unthinkable. And the unexplainable. Even though the prosecutors would not be able to offer the jurors a feasible timeline or hypothesis for how the crime occurred as they argued she had committed it, and even though the investigators admitted there was absolutely no evidence to support an argument that she was anything but a loving mother, she would have to fight thru two trials and spend three of a sixty-five year sentence in prison before gaining her freedom from the wrongful conviction for the unthinkable crime: murdering her son.
Not only did she not commit this crime, she was also a victim that night. She had injuries that were evidential and relevant to the investigation that police ignored. They also blatantly dismissed testimony from various citizens in the community whom identified a man matching her description of the person she said she struggled with. And in their investigation of the crime scene they not only didn't fingerprint it, they actually threw aside and permanently discarded what would likely have been exculpatory evidence.
She tried to work with investigators until they told her point blank they refused to consider anyone other than her as a suspect. Then she took two polygraphs to show that she had nothing to do with the crime. They ignored these also, even though they'd asked her for them earlier. With only a public defender at the first trial things did not go well, and the worst happened. Even the jurors were quoted as saying they "waited for her attorney to pull the rabbit out of the hat". What a blatant example of how the system fails to actually consider a defendant innocent until proven guilty. Indeed, at the second trial her innocence was proven over and over again.
The evidence that a third party had been present was definitive. The prosecution could neither deny that, nor explain away their many compromises to the ethical standards of the process all along the way. As well, the man who many, Julie included, believe to have committed the crime, had confessed from his prison cell in TX. He knew the date of the crime, location, detailed the struggle and type of interaction he and Julie had had following his killing Joel. He had had no exposure to the televised episode of the 20/20 about Julie's conviction despite her claim to innocence. He had been on death row throughout that time period with no access to television. He even referenced the crime according to its relationship of a murder that occurred two days later only miles away. And one of the people who had gone to the police hours after Joel was killed had in fact seen and sold a bus ticket to a man who was headed to a tiny - rarely heard of - town that Tommy Lynn Sells frequents, Winnemucca Nevada.
© 2011 Julie Rea