An Open Letter to Wendy Murphy

An Open letter to Wendy Murphy

horses ass

Yes, you guessed it. I’m a wee bit disappointed with her.

On May 28, 2013, an attorney named Wendy Murphy, who was appearing on CNN’s notorius HeadLine News Network HLN, Wrote an article called:

“PORN DEFENSE AND SEXIST MANIPULATION STRATEGY

WORKED FOR NOW, BUT JODI “HANNIBAL LECTER” ARIAS MIGHT NOT GET A SIMILARLY NAÏVE JURY THE NEXT TIME.”

http://wendymurphylaw.com/jodi-hannibal-lecter-arias/

wendy murphy 2This article kind of jumped out at me, and I just had to read and analyze it. Obviously, Wendy Murphy was just another in a long line of useless idiots riding the wave of the Jodi Arias trial. She is always trying to sell one book or another, like most people who came on HLN and walked all over Jodi Arias and the facts to hawk their latest book. She is some kind of a law professor at some or another college somewhere.

Wendy Murphy is supposed to be a Victim’s Rights Advocate. She is supposed to be a Civil Trial lawyer. You know, the ones who go after the deep pockets money and have a much lower burden of proof than in a criminal trial. According to her Website, she has recommendations from such celebrities as Geraldo Rivera (Who was the only one I know of to publicly condemn Nancy Grace for her twisted reporting on Arias and the trial),  Judge Andrew Napolitano, the jovial bloviator with the hair that seemingly grows out of his forehead, also put in a word for Wendy Murphy.

Geraldo-Rivera-Fox-news-OBama-e1339163421529

judge andrew napolitanoThese two people just happen to both appear on FOX News Network, where Wendy also appears from time to time. The next recommendation comes from Dominick Dunne, who congratulates her for her work on the 1996 Jon Benet Ramsey case. Wendy!  You must be older than I thought! A fourth “celebrity” who recommends Wendy Murphy is Rita Cosby, yet another FOX Friend, and possibly a drinking buddy of Ms. Murphy when she’s in town.

jonbenetdominick dunnerita cosby

Wendy Murphy is looking for Victims to represent in civil court.  Apparently this line of work is not enough to sustain her, so she writes books and appears on FOX NEWS or she tries to con her way onto CNN or MSNBC as they all do.

wendy murphy 4Apparently, she was too busy to reply to my letter which I E-mailed to her in early June. When I took exception to her “Porn Defense” article. I saw this as just a blatant attempt to garner Civil Trial clients and book deals by being the next opportunist to throw rocks at Jodi Arias.  Rita Cosby probably told her to never respond unless it’s a business opportunity.

Now, rape on Ivy League campuses is her next big thing. Maybe Wendy discovered where the real lucrative civil suits can be found. Wendy Murphy is happy to share her new-found expertise on campus rape, if you buy her new E-Book for $8.00. Of course, she’s plugging another in a long, long line of books entitled “……. the book they don’t want you to read” or “things……they don’t want you to know”. Oh, it’s the old reverse psychology, forbidden information, ploy.

wendy murphy 3Wendy is another in a long line of middle aged “personality wannabees”. She got herself a facelift, wrote a couple of books, and speaks out on a couple of different news outlets. Her latest article is “An Open Letter to Juan Martinez, where she decides she must warn Juan of Jodi’s dirty tricks and give advice to Juan Martinez about the finer points of law.

I believe what she did to Jodi Arias is reprehensible, and no different than what Geraldo condemned Nancy Grace for doing.

wendy murphy 6http://wendymurphylaw.com/

The following is my updated response to her article:

Dear Ms. Murphy,
In reference to the State of Arizona vs. Jodi Ann Arias, I understand your sentiments. I watched you on CNN’s HeadLine News (HLN) and I respect your position and your ideas. I read your article entitled “PORN DEFENSE AND SEXIST MANIPULATION STRATEGY…”
 I really have to tell you that I respectfully disagree with much of what you opined.
I believe that it more likely than not that Jodi Arias doesn’t remember the stabbings and that she was under extreme duress. I believe there is a real question as to the order of injuries, and that makes a huge difference in this case. It is abundantly clear to me that the gunshot was first, and that changes the death penalty calculus dramatically.
Your idea that she “shot him in the face for fun” is just not believable given all the facts of the case. For instance, the trajectory of the gunshot wound is nearly impossible to achieve if Travis was lying on the floor of the bathroom. Why would Travis Alexander, being under attack from Arias with a knife, be able to go to the bathroom mirror and turn his back on his attacker? It’s much more likely that Travis Alexander went to the mirror unchallenged because he was shot in the face and he needed to find out what had happened to him.
That there seems to be some malfeasance in the Medical Examiner’s report is a devious and real possibility which creates a genuine issue for appeal.
You expressed your shock and distress that Jodi Arias could go on the stand and “lie with a straight face about whether and why she stabbed a man 29 times, tried to slice off his head, and then shot him in the face for fun.”
There’s no legal basis for any of these claims. Alexander was stabbed 16 times according to the official autopsy report. He had 13 incised wounds for a total of 29 knife wounds which includes the throat wound. There is a scientific basis to claim that the “cluster of 9 stab wounds” to Alexander’s back are actually “chopping wounds” which are often defensive blows on the part of the assailant. “Chopping wounds” are defined as having the characteristics of both sharp force trauma and blunt force trauma. The official autopsy report states that among the “cluster of 9 wounds” only, “all wounds display “blunt and sharply incised ends”. These wounds could have been made by the assailant from beneath the victim defensively or face to face with the victim, defensively*. This means it is reasonable to infer that Alexander was stabbed 7 times.
None other than prosecutor Juan Martinez, using court reporter Mike Babicky as “the victim”, demonstrated at trial that the knife blows could have been delivered from a variety of positions. There is no basis for your claim that Jodi “tried to slice off his head”. Alexander’s throat was slit and the process of decomposition served to expand the size and depth of the wounds. In the famously shocking autopsy photo, Alexander’s head is tilted far backwards to fully expose and open the wound.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATravis was not stabbed 29 times. This is the media running wild with speculation as do you. This assumes facts not in evidence, Ms. Murphy. I believe that there are real questions about what happened that day and that the defense team demonstrated that there are multiple avenues for reasonable doubt.

I believe they showed that there are legitimate questions regarding the prosecution’s and the media’s narrative about what actually happened.

The prosecution’s case which forms the entire basis of the case for first degree premeditated murder AND the reason why the death penalty is warranted amounts to this mathematical formula:
Circumstantial Evidence + Lies + Speculation + Autopsy Photos + Seasoned Manipulative Persuasion = Guilt.
In fact, there is proof of and justification for neither a first degree murder charge nor the death penalty in this case.
You wrote that “This case was always ONLY about the death penalty, as evidenced by the fact that Arias’ lawyers played their hand during trial as if the only thing they cared about was persuading a single male juror to resist voting for death.” Although the defense strategy always had the aim of avoiding the death penalty, the main thrust of the case was to present facts and evidence which all point towards reasonable doubt.
The defense team was not experienced with crime scene evidence, blood spatter, and forensic analysis. The prosecution offered little crime scene forensic evidence of its own. These factors, when analyzed, tell a much different tale than what was presented at trial.
According to you, Wendy Murphy, the Arias defense attorneys were not interested in preventing a 1st degree murder conviction or the finding of the single prong of the “Especially Heinous, Cruel, or Depraved” aggravator which opens the door to the death penalty in Arizona. Instead, you opine that Arias’ defense attorneys maintained a laser focus solely on the task of preventing a death sentence.
Their “Porn Defense”, in your words, targeted a few male jurors or even a single male juror by attempting to get a male so hot and bothered by a frank discussion of sex, that they could never put Jodi to death. I have no idea if all the 4 “life jurors” were male or were vulnerable to such a “Porn Defense”, and, frankly, neither do you.
Here’s an interesting death penalty case from Arizona:
stephen reeves 2May 17, 2011
“A Maricopa County Superior Court jury on Monday brought back a death sentence verdict against Stephen Reeves, who murdered a young woman working in a west Phoenix insurance office in 2007.
It was the second trial for Reeves, 56, who was caught on surveillance video on June 2, 2007, as he beat 18-year-old Norma Gabriella Contreras with a brick, then choked her with a stick and finally slit her throat with a box cutter. Reeves was later found covered in blood in Contreras’ car.
On Dec. 10, the first jury pronounced Reeves guilty of first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, and auto theft. A week later, the jury found aggravating factors that would qualify Reeves for the death penalty.
But despite the surveillance video, the jury could not reach agreement on life or death, forcing a retrial.”
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20110516phoenix-insurance-office-killing-verdict-brk16-ON.html
stephen reevesThis jury actually saw the crime on video. The video was so horrific that jurors were given trauma counseling referrals prior to viewing the video. There were 3 Aggravating Circumstances found to be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yet, these jurors were unable to present a unanimous verdict for a death sentence. Did these jurors have a “porn defense” to make them “forget” all about the brutal killing?
In furtherance of your theory, you state that the “phone sex tape” was the centerpiece of the “porn defense”. I would say that I am at least your age and probably older. What you call “porn”, I call rather pedestrian and basically common and normal behavior between consenting adults
That is except for the things that are not common and normal about their sex life or the sex tape:
  • Evidence that Travis Alexander preferred anal sex almost exclusively and used religious doctrine to justify this to Jodi Arias.
  • The dismissive and callous way Travis treated Jodi in that tape and the things he didn’t say on the tape that are normally said by a person who cares about his sex partner. It reveals something more like a John being serviced by a prostitute than a girl and a guy engaging in some playful sex talk.
  • The sex evidence is absolutely necessary to explain why this is a dominant / submissive relationship and why it was abusive to Arias. It gives us an insight into what this relationship and the victim were really all about.
  • Travis got what he wanted without having to give anything. Jodi wanted love. The incredible extremes people will endure simply to be loved know no bounds.
You stated that “guys like to protect girls in danger, especially when they dress up like 12 year-old librarians, even if that danger is an appropriate legal judgment of death by lethal injection”.
I don’t remember any “12 year-old librarian” at the Jodi Arias trial. If they were really going for sex appeal, why didn’t the defense dress Jodi up like a model for the trial? They could have made her up like a young Hannah Montana or an older Miley Cyrus. I never felt sexually attracted to Jodi Arias. I was more impressed by the sexual exploitation and the psychological and emotional abuse by Travis Alexander towards Jodi Arias which is objectively evident in all aspects of their relationship:

travis penis

Photos of Travis’ genitals he sent to Jodi Arias

jodi ass new

This is the photo Travis Alexander took of Jodi

travis shower

This is the photo Jodi Arias took of Travis

A cunning narcissist who demands compliments and needs to quell his anger with sex. A religious hypocrite who uses a passive and vulnerable woman for his wish-list of fantastical sex acts while simultaneously despising her, ridiculing her to his friends, blaming her for his own behaviors and withholding even a hint of love.
You wrote about all the supposed “red herrings” in the defense case. Yet I saw more red herrings on the prosecution side. No real blood spatter evidence or other crime scene evidence was introduced to buttress the prosecution’s theory of events. It was only proved that a killing had occurred and that Jodi Arias committed it. It was merely proven that Jodi Arias premeditated a road trip. We knew all this at the very start of the trial.
The ample evidence of abuse on the part of Alexander was glossed over by attacking the defense witnesses. Do you honestly believe that there is no room for reasonable doubt in all of Kurt Nurmi’s final argument? There is plenty of room beginning with the ridiculous motive proffered by the prosecution (murdered over a trip to Cancun!), to all sorts of questions about absence of blood evidence, crime scene evidence, medical and ballistic evidence that should reinforce the prosecution narrative of events, but  in reality contradicts it.
gall.death.rowIt is just as likely an explanation that Arias did in fact want the death penalty and did try to sabotage her mitigation case after the guilty verdict. Faced with a choice of life in an Arizona prison or death, who among us could say for certain that we would choose life?
This is, in fact, further proof of Jodi’s veracity. So you are saying that the whole case was about avoiding the death penalty, and yet the defense at the last minute took away the mitigation witnesses which were clearly her best shot at avoiding a death sentence? That is absurd on its face.
jodi allocutionYou stated that Arias’ allocution was “full of hokey acts of benevolence”. You wrote that Jodi had never engaged in benevolent acts before she was in jail. How would you know this? She was only 27 at the time. You are not as able to perform acts of benevolence when you are struggling economically, although you may always have planned on giving to others, and hoped to do it someday.
You stated that “Arias admitted in subsequent interviews that she intentionally came up with project ideas in order to manipulate jurors by appealing to their specific interests.”
That a man is hard of hearing in no way supposes that he knows or appreciates sign language. How could you name a list of planned benevolence without stating a common interest of any 12 people? Some people would say that Arias’ boldness in asserting that she was a “survivor” of domestic abuse was proof that her story is true. Who would dare do this in the face of death, when the cost of making that claim may well be death? This is the act of someone who is either psychotic OR someone who is telling the truth.
You stated “she blamed the prosecutor’s refusal to give her a sentence she did not deserve for why she smeared Travis Alexander’s reputation during trial”.
randy-brazeal-1Did you know that in Arizona, a man went to a 4th of July event where he spied the younger sister of a girl he knew camping overnight at the event. He lured this 13 year-old girl and her 13 year-old companion out into the desert with his accomplice. He savagely beat, choked and raped the girl on the hood of his car. He then strangled her to death and stomped on her body with all his weight. Then he threw her naked and lifeless body down a mine shaft and burned her clothes.
brazealIt was his plan, his DNA, his car, his foot impressions on the victim, and the victim’s impressions in the hood of his car.
This man was charged with 2nd degree murder in Arizona and is free today. He made a deal with the prosecutor. Is this the sentence that he “deserved”?
Jodi was willing to plead guilty to 2nd degree murder but was refused. It couldn’t be because Jodi lied, because both these defendants lied about what happened when they were caught.
Let’s look at what you had to say, Wendy Murphy:
“Arias doesn’t deserve a deal because a deal would only reward her bad behavior and manipulation strategies, and indulge all the shady antics of her lawyers who shamelessly hustled the male jurors by exploiting sex and other gender-biased irrelevancies for tactical gain.
 
Indeed, allowing Arias to testify falsely under oath for eighteen days may have amounted to legal malpractice otherwise.  But they knew that having a cute female defendant talk about oral and anal sex for weeks, and describe how she “bent over” for Travis Alexander, followed by the playing of a recording of Arias engaging in phone sex with the guy until orgasm, would surely, um, stimulate the male jurors to think about all sorts of things OTHER than the near decapitation of an innocent murder victim.”
 
That’s quite a barrage of unsubstantiated allegations for an attorney such as you, Ms. Murphy. What makes you think anyone, under any circumstances, could possibly forget those horrible crime scene photos and shocking autopsy photos?
How do you suppose that a self-defense homicide case can go forward without bringing up negative evidence against the victim? It seems to me that this was an abusive and volatile relationship. Travis Alexander was more than happy to use the LDS Church for business contacts, for customers, for social contacts, and for a bevy of young women who would not tell about their sins.
travis 12Yet, though he was an ordained Church Elder who taught bible study and baptized children into the LDSChurch, he did not feel he needed to follow the sacred tenets of a very serious and strict, family oriented religion. In light of his religious upbringing, the way Alexander treated Jodi Arias is particularly sickening. To goad a woman into anal sex on the day of her baptism into the faith on the pretext that vaginal sex was a violation of their chastity vows?
jodi bobbyIt is obvious to me that Travis Alexander’s preference for anal sex had nothing to do with vows and plenty to do with his freely stated excitement about little girls and sex. It is also clear that his abusive childhood and absentee parents could easily have become a catalyst for abuse, both sexual and physical. This is no fault of the victim’s.
Did you see the disgustingly crude picture he took of her anus on June 4th? How can you honestly say that Travis was the innocent victim and that Jodi is a Psycho-demon? Hannibal Lecter, you called her. You liken Jodi Arias to a fictional serial killer who consumes the victims? Is that in any way fair-minded and rational?
r-DANIEL-FREEMAN-large570At the trial we heard objective evidence about Travis’ hot headed outbursts in front of two pious Mormon friends on relaxing vacations, no less.
At trial we were shown objective evidence by text messages of a 3 hour marathon of seething and violent anger from Travis Alexander. Do you honestly have doubts that Travis could have been sexually and physically abusive towards Jodi? Can you blame that all on Arias, or did Travis have to finally deal with the truth and the inevitable exposure of his lies and hypocrisy? Do you really have absolute certainty that Travis didn’t attack Jodi on June 4th?
You wrote that “Arias had “no mitigating factors” but then the defense attorney refused to call her family members to testify as mitigation witnesses, while helping her create a slideshow demonstrating all the “mitigating” things they could think of.”
Actually, Arias was telling the truth. She didn’t have any of the usual statutory mitigating factors, (extreme child abuse, abandonment, mental retardation, insanity, severe drug and alcohol abuse and child sexual abuse) and that as many of the miscellaneous mitigating factors as possible needed to be found and employed.
WendyMurphy-1How do you know that the slideshow wasn’t prepared long before as a review during her allocution after the proposed witnesses testified?
How do you know that Arias didn’t try to sabotage her own mitigation case? How do you know the mitigation specialist didn’t scramble to find a way to put her factors into a slideshow so that she could present them without her witnesses?
You stated that “Arias’ lawyers hedged their bets, knowing that even if Jodi’s entire family and all her childhood friends took the stand and begged for her life, the jury would still vote for death simply because no amount of mitigation evidence would make a dent in the mountain of reasons that justify imposition of the ultimate punishment”.
What is your mountain of reasons for justifying the death penalty? There is no one on death row in America today for a murder with extreme cruelty or any other murder without one of the following factors: (Murder with Prior violent convictions, murder for money. murder by conspiracy, murder with kidnapping, rape, or torture, multiple murders, murder of a uniformed law officer, murder of children).
Please let me know if you find one without at least one of these factors. Scott Peterson? He killed his helpless pregnant while she was 8 months pregnant with his own child. Unlike Arias, we have clear and convincing proof of his bad character and bad intentions prior to the murder.
jodi 2You wrote that “As judgment day on the ultimate issue grew closer, Arias’ lawyers were near frantic in their efforts to derail court proceedings, no doubt worried that the little mitigation evidence they had to offer was nowhere near substantial enough to justify life rather than death.”
  • No prior record is not substantial?
  • 4 relationships lasting years, not months, 3 of which ended against Arias’will and amicably are not substantial?
  • A history of mental illness is not substantial?
  • No history of violence or rage both years before meeting Alexander and years after the killing is not substantial?
  • Proven emotional and psychological abuse (which are the precursors to sexual and physical abuse) are not substantial?
  • A GED graduate who is more articulate and poised than many college graduates is not a reason to show leniency?
  • A prisoner with no prospects for happiness or freedom using her time and talents to reach out to victims of abuse is not a reason to show mercy?
jodi-arias-300A major part of the strategy seemed to be to put Arias on the stand, not for sexual stimulation, but to bond with the jury in either an empathetic way or in a Stockholm Syndrome type of way. Your Victorian views on sex and your outdated views on the priorities and the lack of a capacity for empathy in males cannot change the wisdom of such a strategy.
Since that effect can hardly be achieved in the second penalty phase, why do you think “the defense is at an advantage the second time around”? Why does Arias and the defense have an advantage the longer the distance is between the 1st and 2nd penalty phase? The same review of the facts has to take place. The same aggravating and mitigating factors have to be presented. The same media and social media hounds will rise up again. So, where’s the advantage of time? Arias must spend more time behind bars because she must wait to file most of her appeals until after the inevitable sentencing.
You wrote about how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is reversing death penalty convictions based on “ineffective assistance of counsel” because the defense attorneys refused to present mitigation witnesses.
Since you are an attorney, would you care to cite some cases in support of your position? Did you notice that in Arizona, Capital defendants are required to have a mitigation specialist? Defense attorneys have no justification for failure to present mitigation evidence or witnesses in Arizona. That is unless they are threatened and intimidated into not testifying as seen in State v. Jodi Ann Arias.
patty womackThe way you put it, Arias’ defense “ploy” to not present mitigation witnesses would only work if Arias were in fact sentenced to death. You can’t appeal a death sentence in the 9th Circuit if you don’t get sentenced to death. So then, why were Jennifer Willmott’s final arguments so visceral, heartfelt and heroic? Why was Kirk Nurmi’s closing argument so full of valid and substantial reasons to be doubtful of the prosecution’s theory?
3EBB5B3F-F5E1-4C2E-9E6EFC266421528BThe defense can’t refuse to call mitigation witnesses the next time and you have already stated that no amount of mitigation could help Arias. So how is your imaginary strategy supposed to work? Did you forget that Arias presented no mitigation witnesses, yet there was no unanimous decision for a death sentence?
I believe your analysis is full of holes, full of speculation, and full of …. contradictions. It flies in the face of all we know about Arias’ life years before the incident all the way up the month and day of the tragic event on June 4th, 2008.
Also, there are the 5 years since that day, where Arias has been a model, compliant prisoner. It flies in the face of what you must concede we know about Travis Alexander, the lying, the manipulation and the abuse. The idea that she has “no conscience” is easily debatable. I feel that she has shown remorse all through this trial. It is really asking a little much for a mentally ill woman to show contrition to Travis Alexander’s estranged family and Mormon community as they fervently seek revenge and will stop at nothing short of execution. This woman is clearly mentally ill and clearly unable or unwilling to show emotions in the way that we would like.
arias sandyYou say her slideshow was “offensive”. Given her situation, what would you expect her to present? I found it pitiable. I found her allocution a singular exercise in bravery and sincerity.
What is she supposed to say and do? I think the subject of remorse is also a red herring. What could she possibly do to show remorse in the face of this killing while fighting for her life? Your answer is that she should confess to what “really happened” that day in the bathroom. As an attorney, you should know how stressful a trial like this is and how stressful 18 days on the stand can be, even given the best conditions.
Many people have very good reason to believe that this is not as it seems and that Arias did tell the truth to the best of her ability. Even though she has lied in the past, there is reason to believe that the objective and physical evidence can prove that the prosecution’s narrative is false.
s c justicesEven if we take all the verdicts to be absolutely correct, it should still be abundantly clear to thinking and feeling human beings that the facts of this case do not merit the death penalty and Arias herself does not warrant execution.
us supreme courtInstead, I believe that this case will be successfully appealed and a new and fair trial may yield vastly different results. Then perhaps the family of crime victims will learn to their benefit that such things as “closure” and “forgiveness” should not and do not depend on the actions or the fate of the accused or the convicted.
justice swordThank-You for your time.
Sincerely,
Rob Roman
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Spotlight on Juan Martinez

The Jodi Arias Trial

Shining a spotlight on the Prosecutor Juan Martinezjuan in 2002

Fact based reporting

By Rob Roman

“Mr. Martinez, you keep trying to make this a rational scenario, and it isn’t rational.” – Expert defense witness

For Juan Martinez, there are no “irrational” scenarios about a murder. Murder is against the laws of God and man. There is a victim here. A human being is dead in an unnatural way. The defendant is the accused. Many hours of police work and investigation have been rendered. The defendant has been brought to trial. Juan Martinez is going to trial to put them in a cage. A conviction will slam the door shut. When the conviction survives appeals, the door will be locked. That is the only rational response to murder.

Juan Martinez doesn’t want to hear about any exceptions to the rule. He doesn’t want to hear “this is not what it seems”. The defense always seems to have an excuse, a rationalization, explanations, and alternate scenarios. The prosecution must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. All the defense must show is any doubt, any doubt at all. The prosecution needs a unanimous jury to convict. The defense only needs one juror on their side to jam the wheels of justice. If you get a conviction, an appeal can change a sentence, send the case back to trial, or even free the defendant.

jm youngSeeing this from Juan’s perspective, one can see why he may feel like the system is against the victims of crime.  To Juan it’s truly an “adversarial system” and he will fight to win. When the death penalty is involved, the two sides tend to go too far and we might be losing a search for the truth. Winning the conviction becomes more important than the truth. Juan’s black and white way of viewing crime works well most of the time. But sometimes there will be someone in the defendant’s chair who is innocent of the crime charged. Sometimes this person gets stuck in the wheels of justice. Many innocent defendants have been convicted and jailed and some have been executed. So we must always be sure a trial is a search for the truth, even if sometimes the guilty person is set free. The prosecution and the defense both play vital roles in this process. The rights of victims must be carefully balanced with the rights of the accused.juan early yrs

During the final arguments in the guilt phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial, lead Defense attorney Lawrence Kirk Nurmi talked about shining a spotlight on the actions of the prosecution, specifically detective and co-counsel Esteban “Steve” Flores and the sole prosecuting attorney, Juan Martinez. The implication was that Mr. Martinez had acted improperly during the trial. I believe Detective Flores to be an honest man who only followed Dr. Horne’s opinion and he tried to help Jodi at the interrogation.

Of the enthusiastic trial watchers in the Jodi Arias case, there is also a spotlight on Juan Martinez. Prosecution supporters (Justice4Travis), see him as a “bulldog” a hero who tenaciously pursues the defendant until he can wrest a guilty verdict. Defendant supporters (Team Jodi) see him as over the top, going too far, and using a combination of emotionally charged persuasion, some direct evidence and some speculation to sway juries to render a guilty verdict.

There are many ways a prosecutor can win a case. There is hard work, attention to detail, experience, excellent direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and preparation. There is also a fierce devotion to the job of bringing a dangerous criminal to justice. Finally you will need a good grasp of the evidence, and know how to explain and persuade a jury that your evidence is sound. Juan Martinez is all of this and more.

juan 1He is passionate, dedicated, and I believe he sees the defense as having too many advantages in the system. I believe he employs methods normally used by defense attorneys to persuade the jurors to see things his way. Juan Martinez is known for using wild speculation and “facts” not supported by the evidence in his closing arguments.

Maybe the truth is not in the extremes but somewhere in the middle. We can shine the spotlight on past and present cases to try to determine what is motivating the prosecutor with the impressive 19-1 record, Juan Martinez.

Here is what his admirers in cyber space say about Juan:

-Respectfully I’d like to thank Mr. Martinez for giving me the realization there’s someone fighting for victims. My father was brutally murdered in 1990, very similar to what happened to Travis Alexander.

It was very brutal I lost my faith in the judicial system after what my family went thru and watching the way these murderers have all the rights yet the victims do not. Mr. Martinez, as I see it, represents a man who I wish there were more of. He is God’s light and I wish him all the best in this world where sometimes I think our society’s become blind to so many things…

And if anything at all, perhaps some could look at this man and appreciate what he does for so many. He is truly an asset to the state. As for Ms. Arias, I hope for the victims’ family…Justice.

-Juan Martinez is the best. So sick of the trash that is going around surrounding this case. Who is on trial here?

-I think he is the best. If I ever need a lawyer he’s it. No BS with him. Why waste time with guilty killers?

Juan is the second youngest of a family of nine. He came to America at age 6 when his family immigrated and settled in California. He vowed to learn English well and be a success. He participated in many activities, such as running long distance track in high school. He finished college and attended ArizonaStateUniversity where he earned his law degree. Juan did some volunteer legal work and some work defending clients. Then, in 1988, he joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

What is in Juan Martinez’ heart and mind? We can try to have a better understanding of him by knowing his feeling. In this world and surely in Arizona, there is crime and there are criminals. There are vicious and violent senseless crimes and uncaring evil and cruel criminals. Juan is very aware of this. Let’s take a look at the A B C’s of the convicts now on Arizona’s Death Row.

Atwood, Frank.

\Kidnapped and raped an 8 year-old boy. Kidnapped, raped and Killed an 8 year-old girl and left her in the desert.

Bearup, Patrick.

With three accomplices, beat a man half to death with a baseball bat, threw him in the trunk of his car, cut off his finger, shot him with a shotgun and threw him off a cliff.

Burns, Jonathan.

Kidnapped and raped a woman and shot her twice in the head.

Chappell, Derek.

Choked his girlfriend’s 2 1/2 year-old son nearly to death then later drowned him in a swimming pool.

Cota, Benjamin.

Beat an older man to death with a hammer, then bound his wife and struck her in the head repeatedly with a hatchet. He wrapped them up in plastic, hid in their home, then stole everything they had of value including their car.

Djerf, Richard.

Raped a 17 year-old girl, then shot, stabbed and beat to death the girl, her father and mother and her 5 year-old brother.

Ellison, Charles.

With an accomplice, broke into a couple’s home, bound them with telephone cord and masking tape, then suffocated the husband with a pillow and choked the wife to death.

So, it’s easy to see why Juan grew up believing in law and order, right and wrong, good and bad. He believes that if you intentionally caused a person’s death, you should pay by being removed from society and in many cases, sentenced to death. It’s just so simple. It’s not difficult to see where his sentiments come from.

doug fayleneIt was 1997, ten years after Juan Martinez joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s office. Late at night in an upscale neighborhood in MaricopaCounty, Greg Koons heard screams coming from his neighbor’s back yard. He went outside and peered over the fence. He saw his neighbor, casually pushing his wife into his in-ground swimming pool and holding her head under the water. He sprinted inside and called the police.

Soon after, the neighbor, Scott Falater, opened his door to the police. Confused and not understanding what the fuss was all about, the police went into his backyard and found his wife Yarmilla floating dead in the pool. She had been stabbed 44 times. Scott Falater was a High Councilor in the Mormon Church, and a husband and father of two. He was a successful design engineer and very active in the church. He was a mild-mannered man, had seldom become angry, and had no motive to kill his wife whom he loved dearly.

Juan Martinez went to court to exact justice. It seemed like an open and shut case. There was an eye witness, a direct identification of the perpetrator, and a viciously stabbed and drowned wife. The man was arrested within minutes of the crime. The courtroom was nearly empty. Next door in a crowded courtroom was a high profile case. Teen members of a Crips gang were on trial for a brutal, three hour sexual assault of a fifteen year-old mentally handicapped girl.

Juan Martinez was shocked to find out that the man’s high paid attorneys were claiming their client, Scott Falater, was innocent by reason of sleepwalking! Like the Jodi Arias case, the focus was not on who did the killing, but why. The defense claimed that Scott Falater had no incentive, motive or reason to kill his wife of 20 years. There had to be another explanation for why this would occur. For Juan, there is no why. She’s dead and he killed her and justice will be done. For Juan, you are either a good or bad person. If you do something like this, you are a bad person and the “why” shouldn’t matter at all. Still he needed to give the jury a viable motive.

This is the template case for the Jodi Arias case. Both involved horrific killings where the defendants admitted to horrific acts but claimed no knowledge of the killings or any intent of murder. Both defenses relied on crucial expert testimony. Juan struggled to find a motive for this senseless killing during the trial. He offered many scenarios to the jury. His wife refused to have more children. His wife was moving his family away from the Mormon Church.

scott falaterSure, he was mild mannered, but he took his anger from work home to his wife. Juan argued with the defendant and declared that Falater didn’t even know his wife’s birthday. He told a shocked Falater he had the year wrong. Juan was mistaken due to an incorrect report. He even argued that Falater killed his wife because he thought she was fat and dumpy. Falater made the statement to police that “a terrible sin has been committed”. Falater was referring to the killing. Juan suggested to the jury that Scott Falater killed his wife because SHE committed a terrible sin.

By the end of the trial, State v. Falater starring Juan Martinez had become the new high profile trial in Arizona. The sleepwalking defense became famous around the country. Juan attacked the defense experts. He claimed that the expert’s conclusions were invalid because the expert was not provided with all the details. The defendant recognized his dog but not his wife, and he cleaned up the scene and the evidence.

In closing the defense attorney reminded the jury that Juan Martinez mischaracterized the evidence and made comments not supported by the evidence. The defense attorney implied that the prosecuter violated his duty to see that truth and justice is done. The defense reminded the jury that Scott Falater was a passive and non-violent man, and that the prosecution could not come up with a valid reason or motive for the killing.

The defense attorney tried to explain to the jury that sometimes there are cases were things are not as they seem. There are exceptions when things happen which are difficult to explain. At one point the defense expert witness addressed the prosecutor:

“Mr. Martinez, you keep trying to make this a rational scenario, and it isn’t rational.” At some point in the closing, Martinez slammed the door on all this talk about sleepwalking.

“Do you think that she deserved to die?” he asked. “Look at her. We’ve placed so much attention on him, everything’s about him. Look at her!”

abc_sleep_story1_100421_wmainJuan Martinez then threw a photo up of the victim on the autopsy table. He loudly implored the jury to look at her, to look at the indignity of the victim.  The defense attorney talks about reasons, REASONS? Scott Falater “had 44 reasons to KILL his wife”, Martinez screamed. He was referring to the 44 knife wounds. Only one member of this Arizona jury had a college degree.

He appealed to the nuts and bolts sense of the jury. He had a sound argument for the jury:

“This guy here killed his wife ….. and he’s guilty of first-degree murder.”

Scott Falater was found guilty and sentenced by the judge to life without parole.

Even 15 years before the Jodi Arias case, Juan Martinez was already honing his craft. He was becoming an expert at arguing the details with expert witnesses, discrediting witnesses, questioning the memory of the defendant and defense witnesses, and calling them out as liars. He was becoming better than defense attorneys at weaving speculation into the facts of the case while at the same time, calling defense evidence fictions and  “fantasy”.

He ridiculed defense theories, calling them such things as “The man of La Mancha defense”. Fifteen years before the Arias trial, Juan was already in the habit of yelling at witnesses, including a priest, and ridiculing witnesses. Even in the Falater trial, he questioned the children of the victim and the defendant in a voice laced with irony and sarcasm. Yarmilla Falater In Juan’s view, he had delivered justice for Yarmilla

doug and fayLater, Juan had another case of obvious 1st degree murder. Two divorced Mormons had married. Doug Grant was a very successful in the health products business. He owned a multi-million dollar company. His clients included famous professional athletes and NBA teams. Doug cheated on his wife with his receptionishilary falatert. His wife, Faylene, found out and complained to the church. Here we see the dangerous nexus between the LDSChurch, social life and business. It seems that if Doug Grant did not return to his wife, the church would get involved and this would impact his business. It’s important to understand this dynamic of the Mormon Church in the Jodi Arias trial.

Doug told Faylene he ended it with his girlfriend Hilary, and he wanted to remarry Faylene in Las Vegas. They went for an impromptu  2nd Honeymoon at TimpanogosCaveNational Monument where his wife suddenly and mysteriously fell into trees down a sixty foot cliff.

ht_doug_faylene_090331_msShe survived and they returned home. Faylene took some pain killers and a bath heal from her injuries. She was found dead in the bathtub by Doug Grant in September, 2001. Three weeks after Faylene’s death, Doug Grant married his receptionist, Hilary Dewitt, and they soon became a family aftter Hilary adopted Faylene’s two sons.doug and hil

Another high priced attorney and in Juan’s mind, more excuses, fancy explanations, technicalities, more sure signs of guilt that the court would not admit into evidence.

Imagine Juan’s shock and disbelief when he could not convince the jury of the 1st degree murder he believed was so obvious. The jury was clearly divided and Juan was forced to give instructions for lesser included offenses. Murder one and the death penalty was off the table for Doug Grant. He got away with a 5 year sentence for manslaughter. I can imagine that Juan was devastated, and thought justice had not been done. He had failed to get justice for Faylene. He contemplated his lessons and moved on.

The Grant family still believes Doug is innocent. They list a number of accusations of prosecutorial misconduct in State v. Grant. This includes

-“Losing” key evidence, “throwing away reports”, and failure to turn over key evidence to the defense in a timely manner.

-Convincing the judge to not allow into evidence testimony that the medical examiner was pressured to change his opinion about the cause of death on the victim’s autopsy report from “accident” to “undetermined”.

-Convincing the judge to rule possible exculpatory evidence as inadmissible

-Convincing the judge not to allow into evidence testimony and records showing that investigators were removed from the case when they told their superiors they could not find evidence of foul play.

-Objecting over fifty times during the defense opening statements.

-Preventing defense witness from trying to explain their answers by cutting off their answers and forcing them to answer either yes, or no.

-When these same witnesses were being questioned by the defense, Juan Martinez objected “over 200 times per day”.

-The prosecution case took three and one half months, but the judge ordered the defense to complete their case in two weeks in order to “stay on schedule”.

-Intimidating defense witnesses by accusing them of violating the law without evidence or any record of a law having been broken. The accusation that they broke the law is used to discredit their testimony and truthfulness.

-Accusing defense witnesses of lying but using arguing tactics and word tricks rather than evidence to support it.

-Using the normal and common variations in a witness’ statements and memory to attack their memory of an event, and then to suggest that the memory varies because the witness is lying.

-Also in this trial, jury members who were not a part of the final jury admitted that they had been influenced by the media and they had made up their minds the defendant was guilty before the trial began.

The jury did not believe the prosecution’s theory and did not like the tactics. Do any of these tactics foster a “search for the truth”? Do you recognize any of these tactics from the Jodi Arias trial? Doug’s family feels that truth and justice were not found in State v. Grant. These two quotes appear on their website:

 

“Anybody who understands the justice system knows innocent people are convicted every day.” –Florida Supreme Court Justice, Gerald Kogun (Ret.)

 

“In this country the presumption of innocence is dead, dead, dead.” –John Grisham

Not long after, Juan found himself on the losing side of a case. A man had been found shot dead in the forest. The defendant was David Wayne Carr. The evidence was thin. Juan started fighting back in his own way. With less than two weeks before the trial, Martinez did not give the defense a list of his witnesses and other materials. The defense was angry. They could not properly prepare their defense. They filed a complaint to the judge. This offense was punishable by up to six months in jail. The judge was very upset that his court was delayed.

The County attorney hired a high powered attorney to defend Juan. He fought back against the charge. Juan accused the defense of not giving a list of possible defenses to him until 2 weeks before the trial. He ended up forced to write a letter of apology to the court. The case was delayed and later, the jury found David Carr not guilty.

This is the only case Martinez lost. Strangely, a mysterious friend of Jodi Arias appeared in the courtroom during her trial. He called himself “Bryan Carr”. He claimed to talk to Jodi daily and he had confidential information. He claimed Jodi was telling the truth about the two masked people that were responsible for the murder. The claim was that Travis Alexander’s murder was actually an old Mormon atonement ritual called “blood atonement”. A Mormon who had committed grave sins could still go to heaven if he paid for his sins through this death ritual. Arias claimed she did not know Carr and she did not listen to him. Then, “Bryan Carr” disappeared from the courtroom and the media as quickly as he had appeared.

wendi andrMartinez recovered with the murder trial of Wendi Andriano. Wendi’s Husband was terminally ill. There were changes in his life insurance policy. He was going to win a large lawsuit. The bleach blonde Wendi was neglecting and cheating on her husband and always out drinking. She was never home. There was a question about whether her husband would leave her. Maybe he would cut her out of his will.

az_andriano_wOn October 8, 2000, Wendi tried to poison her husband. She called an ambulance, then she sent the ambulance away. Later she hit him 23 times in the head with a barstool. She stabbed him multiple times leaving the knife in his throat.

Juan cross examined Wendi Andriano ferociously. Wendi claimed that the poisoning was a planned assisted suicide, that her husband accepted her cheating, and that he attacked her and she defended herself.wendi On the stand she said “If I am convicted, it is because of my own bad choices”. Interestingly, Jodi Arias actually mimicked some of the mannerisms of Wendi Andriano and quoted her while on the stand. Wendi’s hair also returned to its natural brown color and she dressed down and wore glasses at her death penalty trial.  But the victim,  xxxx Andriano would win the day. The jury didn’t believe her story and they sentenced her to death only a few days before Christmas, 2004.

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Empowered from his victory, Juan must have felt invincible. Things were going well for Juan, and his record was impressive. Then he ran into a legal buzz saw named Shawn P. Lynch. 206125This may have really hardened him about the justice system.  Lynch and a friend had killed a man and then went on a spending spree with his credit card. There was plenty of evidence and little doubt about who committed the crime. The confusion came from who did what. The jury convicted Lynch of murder but they could not agree on premeditation.

Next Juan would learn about the aggravation of the aggravators. The jury agreed on murder for a money motive, but they disagreed on heinous cruel or depraved. A second mitigation and penalty phase was ordered. During the second phases, Juan instructed the jury that there were four aggravating circumstances: Pecuniary gain (money), heinous, cruel, and depraved. In 2006, the jury found all four aggravators and sentenced Lynch to death. Juan thought he had justice for xxxxx, but the case was far from over.

Shawn Lynch appealed with a barrage of issues, including prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Juan Martinez. The higher court rejected most of the claims. Technically, heinous, cruel and depraved are not three aggravators. They are three “prongs” of a single aggravator. The court stated that since the jury was instructed there were four aggravators instead of two, this was prejudicial to the client. So this crime from 2001 and death penalty sentence from 2006, has yet go back to trial a third time for another sentencing phase. More than 12 years later, there is not a final sentence. There has been no closure for xxxx. I think this experience aggravated Juan and made him feel that the justice needs a little push since the system and appeals process are all on the defendant’s side.

dean glickJuan had better success with State v. Glick. Dean Glick, 41, was a vile and degenerate person by any standards. He lived with his 82 year old mother. He abused her and stole her money. He hired a prostitute and promised her a huge bonus. His mother protested when he tried to use her credit card to pay. The prostitute left with her driver when the argument became heated. They quickly called the police. Dean Glick then beat his 82 year-old mother to death with a plastic flashlight. When the police arrived, Glick had barricaded the front door. There was plenty of evidence and two eye witnesses who saw the beginning of the fight just minutes before the murder.

Imagine Juan’s attitude towards defense attorneys when Glick’s attorneys told the jury that Dean was caring and responsible. He loved his mom way too much to kill her. They simply had an argument. The argument got out of control and the beating was not so bad. Glick broke his mom’s ribs and sternum not while beating her but while trying to perform CPR on her fragile body! It is not difficult to understand Juan’s disdain for the defense. Dean Glick was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Martinez had further success with a high profile serial killer case. Cory Morris was accused of killing his girlfriend and four other women and burying them next to his trailer. From 2002 to 2003 he had lured the women into his home with promises of money. Then the victims were subjected to beatings, rape, murder and then necrophilia.cory and victims Imagine the disdain on his face when the defense counsel addressed the jury. The defense said that although his client committed 5 murders, he had not premeditated any of them.corry morris Therefore, Corey Morris should get five counts of 2nd degree murder and not the death penalty. The jury did not accept the argument. Morris was sentenced to death in July, 2005.

In 2005, Juan Martinez was the prosecutor in the case of an ArizonaStateUniversity athlete who shot a teammate to death in a parking lot. Juan was not moved by the idea of the popular Arizona Sun Devils running back making some bad decisions and a terrible mistake. In 2007, Loren Wade was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Juan had another win under his belt. Most likely Juan doesn’t remember Loren Wade’s name, but he certainly remembers xxxx, the less well known football player who’s life was cut so short.

Then there was State v. Miller. William Craig Miller, 34, was a business owner who committed arson, burning down his own home for insurance moneyarticle-2031633-0DA0CDD700000578-398_233x368. He talked his employee Steven Duffy into helping him. When Duffy and his girlfriend, Tammy Lovell, offered to help the police prosecute him, Miller retaliated. He killed Duffy, his eighteen year old brother, Lovell, and her two children ages 15 and 10. Imagine the ire in the conscience of Juan Martinez when the defense attorney implored the jury to “keep an open mind” and to remember that “things are not always as they seem”.

1234216_GThe defense attorney told the jury that life in prison is punishment enough and showed smiling baby photos of Miller. They said to remember that there was a human being inside the monster and that Miller suffered from bipolar disorder. Juan pounced on this sickening plea. What about xxxxx? Where is their mercy? The jury convicted him of five counts of 1st degree murder and sentenced him to death in 2011.

For Juan Martinez, he will grudgingly provide a “why”. If the jury needs a “why”, he will find one to give them. But for Juan, there is no why. You took a life. We know you did it, and now it is time to pay for your sin. Many murders are straightforward. Juan Martinez doesn’t see that there are rare exceptions and sometimes there are possible explanations for something that seems like a horrible and vicious murder.

jodi juanIn 2013, in the Arias trial, Juan finds himself once again accused of prosecutorial misconduct.  Withholding from the defense text messages, Instant messages, and e-mails recovered from the cell phone of Travis Alexander in time for trial.  Thousands and thousands of messages were recovered and turned over in 2011 shortly before the anticipated beginning of the trial. The trial was delayed many times. Other incidents of misconduct throughout the trial have been alleged by the defense, including suborning perjury in the testimony of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Kevin Horn.

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Juan Martinez was in his usual element,juan 1 berating defense witnesses, attempting to insult and humiliate the defendant and expert defense witnesses. Appealing to the emotions rather than the reason and logic of the jury, trying to shape the testimony of defense witnesses, cutting them off  before they can explain their answers, and questioning witnesses with cynical and aggressive questioning, even screaming, barking and snapping at witnesses in bulldog fashion.juan 3

Nurmi attempted to shine a “spotlight” on the actions of the prosecutor by making accusations of misconduct throughout the trial, an attempt to deceive the jury by making their unlikely order of injuries a scientific certainty which would highly benefit the prosecution’s case. Finally, adding the nonsensical charge of 1st degree felony murder for fear that the jury would not believe the thin and mostly speculative evidence of premeditation. Whatever it took, Juan vowed to deliver justice for Travis Alexander and his shattered family.

Many trial watchers praised Juan Martinez as a hero. In the media and also in social media, victim’s rights were enshrined and Juan’s devices were duplicated. Witnesses were threatened and intimidated by mostly anonymous Facebook and Twitter avengers. Only one side of the story was presented. Anyone who said anything in support of the defendant, her attorneys and witnesses was castigated. Speculations were presented in the media and social media as fact. Exculpatory evidence was not allowed into the public domain. Any opinion in any way favorable to the defendant or the defense was ridiculed, blocked, and deleted. Posters were driven away by swarms of avengers and Facebook pages supporting Jodi Arias were deleted due to false complaints of “pornography”.

Currently, Juan has completed the Chrisman trial where a former Phoenix police officer is charged with 2nd degree murder, assault, and cruelty to animals after shooting a man and his dog in his home during a complaint of violence. Juan had an eye witness and some evidence, but there was a problem with missing evidence from outside the home favoring Chrisman.

chrismanJuan responded in a clever fashion. He suggested to the jury during closing arguments that Chrisman’s fellow officers may have hidden and destroyed evidence as well as altering the crime scene. No evidence was introduced in support of the accusation. The judge gave the jury instructions that what is said in closing arguments is not evidence and that lack of evidence should be seen as favorable to Chrisman. Even so, jury members were influenced by the contention that his fellow officers helped Chrisman by removing and destroying evidence.

Chrisman claimed that he shot the victim because he picked up a bicycle and threatened to assault the officer. Juan told the jury that “no gun residue was found on the bicycle”, proving that Chrisman was lying. In fact, no tests were conducted on the bicycle for gun residue. Juan Martinez had used a defense-style tactic to influence the jury.

chrisman trial 2Chrisman’s defense attorneys have complained that the Grand Jury was not given the evidence it needed to make a sound decision about whether the case should be brought to trial or what proper charges were to be brought.

“Chrisman’s lawyers filed a motion claiming the prosecutors in the case, Juan Martinez and Ted Duffy, omitted certain facts and ignored questions from the grand jury that indicted him”.

“Chrisman’s lawyers say prosecutors never told the grand jury about the victim’s alleged drug use or comments made by Chrisman to the first officer on the scene.”

In the past, these actions were deemed as misconduct by Arizona judges. Now the exact same behaviors are not viewed as misconduct. Here is the response to such behavior in Arizona in a 2006 murder case:

“Mr. Duffy  (the prosecutor) did a lot of things during the trial that in my opinion were just outrageous,” said Raynak (the defense attorney).”

“Raynak says Duffy’s misconduct included introducing evidence after he was told not to, and making statements about evidence that simply weren’t true. Judge Arthur Anderson agreed, and after notifying the bar, Duffy was suspended for 30 days and given probation for a year”. In the Chrisman case, Martinez and Duffy had teamed up to deliver Justice for xxxx Rodriguez and his mother who had called the police to begin with.

Although it seems that ex-officer Chrisman was very wrong in his actions, the jury should be given the sound evidence and be able to make a fair decision based on the evidence and testimony presented. The jury should not be unduly influenced by tricks and tactics designed to influence the jury outside of the facts of the case.

The prosecutors should not mislead the Grand Jury, try to keep out exculpatory evidence, and make arguments to the jury which mischaracterizes evidence. Expert witnesses can be discredited or have their opinions questioned, but character assassination, taunting and ridicule of qualified experts should not be allowed. The prosecution should turn over witness lists and evidence to the defense on time.

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2010/11/richard_chrisman_phoenix_pds_k.php

redondoIn his upcoming case, State v. Christopher Redondo, Juan has been sparring with the judge. Redondo has already been convicted for the unrelated murder of Ernie Singh on June 24, 2009.  For this, Redondo was sentenced to life in prison. Now, Redondo is accused of shooting to death Gilbert Police Lt. Eric Shuhandler in January 2010.eric shuhandler

Redondo was reportedly despondent in his cell and refusing to talk to defense counsel. Judge Barton requested that Juan Martinez attempt a plea bargain to life in prison and has ordered a competency hearing. Juan Martinez became incensed and convinced that the judge is trying to stop him from getting Redondo the death penalty.  Juan also feels Judge Barton is “sympathetic” to the defendant and should not be allowed to preside in the competency hearing. I would say she believes the Death penaty should be used judiciously.

He wants a stricter judge to find him competent to stand trial and to be eligible for execution. Juan knows Redondo is already serving life in prison for the killing of Singh. If he is found guilty, this means he will get no extra punishment for the killing of Officer Shuhandler in 2010. So, Juan feels that Redondo should stop playing mentally sick and should just face execution. In his motion, “Martinez accused Barton of being hostile toward the death penalty in three other cases”.

This can be directly traced back to State v. Millermiller victims. The judge in that case was Judge Barton. Miller was the man who killed 5 people as retaliation for testifying against him in an arson case. Even though there were multiple aggravators such as multiple murders, prior felonies, witness elimination, and the murder of two children. Juan still insisted in motions with the judge that the especially cruel, heinous or depraved aggravator be allowed to be used. The judge replied that there were plenty of other aggravators, and that the five were shot in rapid succession, making it difficult to prove significant mental suffering took place.

“Based upon the evidence presented, the state has not shown that any significant period of time elapsed between the killings and that any victim did not die instantly from the gunshot wounds,” Barton responded. “Rather, it appears that the victims were killed in rapid succession and none of them had significant time to contemplate their fate,” the judge said.

Why does Juan Martinez fight so hard to get an aggravator he doesn’t need to get the death penalty? The answer is precedent. If this particular crime is seen as supporting the heinous, cruel, or depraved aggravator, then many more cases can claim this aggravator due to the precedent that can be created in State v. Miller. This allows the prosecutors in Arizona to use the threat of the death penalty more often to force a plea in selected cases. This also widens rather than narrows the number of homicides that can be found eligible for the death penalty. Judge Barton has presided over other death penalty cases where the sentence was death. Judge Barton has also refused to block death sentences from being carried out. So maybe Juan Martinez is being too tenacious in attacking Judge Barton for being reasonable and judicious in the application of the death penalty.

alyce juanIt’s wonderful when you have a tough prosecutor who will fight hard for the rights of victims and victim’s families. It’s a blessing to have a tenacious prosecutor to protect society from serial killers, cop killers, rogue cops, mass murderers, and outlaw murderers with drug habits. The problem comes when you have people such as Scott Falater and Jodi Arias.

These are passive people with no criminal history or history of violence who are claiming that something irrational or not easily explainable happened resulting in a murder. These are cases where the jury really needs to decide on the facts and the evidence without the undue influence from emotional arguments, speculation, and deceptive tactics.

The code of ethics for prosecutors states:

(a) The office of prosecutor is charged with responsibility for prosecutions in its jurisdiction.

(b) The prosecutor is an administrator of justice, an advocate, and an officer of the court; the prosecutor must exercise sound discretion in the performance of his or her functions.

(c) The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.

So to try to discredit an expert Psychological witness with 30 years experience because he made a math mistake, or to try to discredit a domestic violence expert with 30 years experience because of the title she chose for a speaking engagement, seems a little over the top. To withhold evidence and witness lists from the defense in order to put them at a disadvantage in a case where their client faces possible execution also seems over the top.

To try to convince the jury with argument based on speculation and emotion also seems to fall outside the bounds of the ethics of a prosecutor who is supposed to seek justice. To express the sentiment that the defendant is a liar and by extension, all defense witnesses are liars also, falls outside these bounds. To accuse defense witnesses of crimes without evidence and to use these accusations to try and prevent a witness from testifying is a violation of law. For Judges to tolerate these tactics is wrong on its face. Excessive screaming, sarcasm, taunting, and contempt violate the decorum of a capital case.

nurmi juanDo you want to defend a mass murderer? Neither do I. Do you want to defend a child rapist and killer or an outlaw drug induced spree killer? Neither do I. How far over the line would you go to prosecute the bad guy? If you go too far, the scales are tipped, and you st become part of the problem. But if you are falsely accused of such a thing, you would want a prosecutor with ethics. You would not want a Grand Jury to indict you on false, misleading, or missing information. You would not want charges to be brought against you without probable cause. You would not want to be overcharged in the crime.

You would not want a prosecutor withholding evidence that could set you free, manufacturing, destroying or mischaracterizing evidence, influencing the jury with speculation, or shopping for a hanging judge. Deciding whether a person lives or dies should be based on their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. People who think Juan Martinez is a hero like to ask “What if Travis Alexander was your son, your brother, or your friend? But you also need to ask “What if Jodi Arias was your daughter, your friend, or your sister?”

juan katie wickThere is no “Justice for Yarmilla”, “Justice for Faylene” or “Justice for Travis”. There is only Justice for all. The balance between victim’s rights and the rights of the accused must be carefully maintained. Otherwise, we are only seeking a conviction. We have left Justice far behind.juan cross