New York, NY (PRWEB) November 11, 2008
Fortress Global Investigations, a leading nationally-known private investigations firm, today announced through its CEO, former Manhattan prosecutor Robert Seiden, a partnership with well-known exoneree Martin Tankleff and renowned investigator Jay Salpeter to launch the Fortress Innocence Group ("FIG") -- the first high-quality national investigative company focused on working with lawyers to secure evidence to overturn wrongful conviction cases. New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Senator Eric Schneiderman, and exonerees, including and Dr. Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, attended the launch event today.
The Fortress Innocence Group's investigative team will be lead by Jay Salpeter and Robert Seiden, President of FIG and a licensed investigator. Jay Salpeter, a retired New York City homicide detective has been an investigator for more than three decades solving some of the most difficult cases in America. Salpeter's tireless efforts uncovered the pivotal new evidence which resulted in the recent overturning of Tankleff's conviction for the 1988 murder of his parents, Seymour and Arlene. Tankleff served 17 years in prison before he was finally exonerated and the indictment dismissed for a crime he did not commit.
"This is an unprecedented event in the history of the American criminal justice system. The assemblage of some of the most experienced and skilled U.S. private investigators who have the expertise, drive and sole mission to help those who have been wrongfully convicted, under one roof will undoubtedly have an impact on the lives of innocent people wrongly convicted and may well shed much needed light on some of the inherent flaws in the criminal justice system," said Robert Seiden, CEO of Fortress Global Investigations and President and co-founder of Fortress Innocence Group. "As evidenced by the recent increase in the number of exonorees publicized, the need for the services of the Fortress Innocence Group to help exonerate the unjustly convicted is long overdue."
Through a stringent vetting process, the Fortress Innocence Group will carefully select all new cases based on strict criteria that include the administering of a polygraph, a strenuous questionnaire, the existence of real evidence and a lawyer willing to take the case to court. The Fortress Innocence Group team includes hundreds of investigative experts, located throughout the United States. In addition, it will draw on the Fortress Global Investigations team, with forensic experts, along with former prosecutors and leaders of the FBI and various police departments. For more information on the Fortress Innocence Group, visit http://www.fortressinnocence.com, call 866-791-2061 or contact by mail at The Fortress Innocence Group, 98 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 410N, Great Neck, N.Y. 11021. According to Don Israel, Director of Marketing, "Many people have already donated time, money and services to Fortress Innocence as a further indication of the great need for these services."
"When innocent individuals are wrongly convicted of crimes that others have committed, the true perpetrators remain at large. This is a tragedy for the individual and society. There are thousands of wrongly convicted individuals now serving time in prisons nationwide who don't belong there and need the help of an experienced investigative team like ours," said Martin Tankleff. "These wrongful convictions profoundly impact individual's lives and entire communities."
According to a recent report by the Innocence Project, throughout New York State, 23 people (combined, they served 260 years in prison) have been exonerated through DNA testing, and many more through other means, after being convicted of crimes they didn't commit. "Each one was arrested, jailed and convicted and served time in prison, before the magical science of DNA or hard nosed field work proved their innocence," said Jay Salpeter.
About Martin Tankleff
Marty Tankleff had just turned 17 when he was arrested for allegedly killing his parents in their home on Long Island, NY. Despite Marty's protestations of innocence and the lack of reliable evidence, Marty was convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life. After 6,338 days in prison, based on the efforts of Salpeter's re-investigation and the hard work of several prominent lawyers, Marty's conviction was vacated by a unanimous panel of judges from the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, on December 2007. On July 22, 2008, a judge signed off on a motion by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to dismiss all charges against Marty. Marty's ordeal was recently featured on OPRAH on October 20, 2008.
About Jay Salpeter
Jay Salpeter is a long-time private investigator and retired New York City Police detective. He served in the street crimes unit in the 1970's and as a homicide detective in the 1980's. After breaking the Jason Radke baby killing case in 1990, Salpeter retired from the department at the age of 39 and became a private investigator focusing on wrongful convictions.
In addition to his tireless pro bono work on the Martin Tankleff case, Salpeter has worked with many other high profile clients, including author Dominick Dunne and Hairspray star Nikki Blonsky. Salpeter was a consultant on Millennium Films true crime film, Lonely Hearts, starring John Travolta and James Gandolfini. Salpeter has also appeared on OPRAH, 48 HOURS, FOX and COURT-TV.
About Robert Seiden
A former Manhattan homicide prosecutor for 11 years and CEO of Fortress Global Investigations, Seiden has managed thousands of private investigations and high profile cases. He has appeared on MSNBC and COURT TV, FOX, and widely quoted in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, NEW YORK TIMES and other publications as an investigative expert. Fortress Global has offices and investigators throughout the U.S.