Encino, CA (PRWEB) October 22, 2008
In November, 2005, Maria Delosange Maldonado, a hospital technician, was charged with breaking into a San Fernando Valley cell phone store. (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. LA051264) Veteran criminal defense attorney, Bruce M. Kaufman of Kaufman Kaufman & Miller LLP, maintained his client's innocence and obtained dismissal of all charges against her after raising concerns regarding the accuracy of the LAPD's fingerprint analysis. Independent fingerprint evidence clearly confirmed that Mrs. Maldonado was wrongly identified as the individual who had allegedly committed the crime. The judge presiding over the matter ordered the District Attorney's Office to have the fingerprint evidence analyzed by the FBI. Before the District attorney's office could deliver the evidence to the FBI, the LAPD admitted, for the first time, that the fingerprint evidence in their possession was lost or misplaced. Consequently, the prosecution was unable to proceed, and Mr. Kaufman obtained a dismissal of all charges against Mrs. Maldonado. The conduct of the LAPD's representatives caused Ms. Maldonado to incur significant expenses for bail, legal fees and expert witness expenses, in addition to emotional upset.
As was brought to light last week by the Los Angeles Times, an internal report obtained by the Times recently highlighted Ms. Maldonado's case as an example in which charges were dropped after questions were raised regarding the accuracy of the fingerprint analysis performed by LAPD fingerprint experts. Ms. Maldonado's case, and one other, were used by investigators to illustrate broader problems with shoddy work and poor oversight that have plagued the Department's Latent Print Unit, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Contrary to reports issued by representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department, "No apology or admission of wrongdoing was ever issued by the LAPD or any if its representatives to Ms. Maldonado either directly to her or to her attorneys," said Bruce Kaufman, Ms. Maldonado's attorney. Additionally, no effort has been made to compensate Ms. Maldonado for all the expenses and damage she incurred a result of the LAPD representatives' conduct.
Bruce M. Kaufman, Senior Partner of Kaufman Kaufman & Miller LLP, located in Encino, California, has over 40 years experience defending persons charged with a wide range of crimes. Mr. Kaufman began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles City Attorney's office. Since 1969, Mr. Kaufman has been in private practice in the San Fernando Valley. He is a past President of the San Fernando Valley Criminal Bar Association and a past Director of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.