5 (and a Half) Questions with Jim Clemente
We're proud to call Jim Clemente a friend of CrimeCon. His enthusiasm, humor, and fierce devotion to victims and families have made him a force of nature in the criminal justice system. If last year was any indication, we're in for a treat as Jim and his team return to host CrimeCon 2018 in Nashville. Jim - nicest guy in the world - took some time to give me a glimpse into what we can look forward to this year, what's wrong in the justice system, and to follow up on an intriguing story we heard in Indianapolis.
CCI: What can we expect from you at CrimeCon?
JC: I’m excited to be back at the show again with my production company X-G Productions. Like last year, we’ll have a number of different speakers in the main keynotes and breakout sessions. We’ll be on Podcast Row and hosting a number of meet-and-greets again. It is great to get a chance in the meet-and-greets to talk to the fans face-to-face. We’ll also be doing a very special VIP event that’s still under wraps and conducting another large-scale immersive experience like last year’s Interrogation Experience.
CCI: I’ve heard you speak a couple of times about the flaws of the jury process and other “kinks” in the justice system. What do you think is the biggest failure in the justice system right now?
JC: Individual failures. It takes every single person along the line in the justice system to be moral, stand-up people, to do their jobs and do them right, and to make sure they don’t put blinders on and pre-judge a victim or determine the outcome without looking at the evidence. The biggest failure in the justice system is that it’s run by humans and we’re not always right. The worst consequence of that is when we wrongfully convict people. There are hundreds of people on death row that have been wrongfully convicted because of errors in human judgement or process, and that’s a travesty.
CCI: Happier topics now: How’d you get so funny?
JC: There’s a lot of need for humor when you’re focusing on a job where you’re dealing with the worst things that people do to each other.
CCI: What’s your weirdest/best fan encounter?
JC: I have one of each, and both were at CrimeCon 2017 in Indianapolis.
Weirdest: one of my colleagues overheard three women saying that their major goal was to sleep with me at CrimeCon.
CCI: Wow. That’s a pretty lofty goal.
JC: Yeah, not the reason I come to CrimeCon, but it was certainly interesting.
My best fan encounter was a young woman who said I inspired her to apply to the FBI and she had just started an internship at the FBI when I met her. It’s a good feeling to know we’re inspiring the next generation of leaders in justice.
CCI: What do you consider your biggest success?
JC: During my time with the FBI, my team and I saved a six-year-old boy who had been abducted. All odds were stacked against us, but he’s alive today because of the work my team did, and that’s a great feeling.
CCI: BONUS QUESTION. Something I’ve wondered since we heard about this at CrimeCon 2017: why did you kill a fox?
JC: He started it.