Fact-based reporting by
Amanda Chen & Rob Roman
Spotlight On Law – The Jodi Arias Murder Case, the OTHER side of the story.
We offer a variety of interesting and well crafted articles on the Jodi Arias case and others:
Most people are probably aware that Simon Johansson, the entrepreneur of ill-repute, exiled from the UK, was behind the posting of the full names of the 11 jurors on his website JodiArisIsInnocent.com.
This may have been in retaliation for those on Twitter who posted the name, the address and even a map to the home of the one juror who held out for Life. This was tweeted by quite a few on Twitter the same day as the non-verdict. People are wondering how in the heck SJ, living in Switzerland, ever got a hold of those names. Suspicion, of course, falls upon a combination of Jodi Arias and/or her Mitigation Specialist, Maria De La Rosa, and Sj or one of his minions. So, what purpose did it serve other than to tend to incriminate, fairly or not, all of these people?
My sources informed me that Jodi’s mother and her Aunt Sue Allen-Halterman contacted SJ and asked him to take down the list of the 11 jurors names, to no avail. As of today, they were still there.
Many may have seen that move as heroically fighting fire with fire, as “SJ” has done throughout this case. But SJ far overstepped the bounds of decency as well as attacking each and every American and our U.S. Constitution. He cannot be allowed to get a pass on that, especially with everything else he’s done.
The individual, moral choice of the single holdout juror was not a violation of any kind, broke no laws or ethical codes, and her decision was entirely within her rights as a juror to make, for reasons I’ll explain in the next article.
This whole situation with the juror and the leak of the jurors’ names can and should be thoroughly investigated. If there was any wrongdoing by any party, there should be severe consequences. Barring that, the juror was within her rights and her decision was hers to make, keep, and hold fast to without any explanation owed to any of the other eleven. That’s the law for a Life or Death deliberation and verdict, in case you were not aware. More about that in the next article.
Out of all the schemes SJ has pulled, this one is by far the worst, in my opinion, because to threaten jurors and to publish names he obviously had prior to the verdict, strikes a blow to the very heart of our democracy and our Constitution. It’s beyond the pale. Here’s why:
“One of the primary concerns of the founding fathers was preventing the United States of America from developing an oppressive government. Much of the Bill of Rights was born out of that concern, including its prohibitions on unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against self-incrimination, and of course, the right to a trial by jury. The right to a jury trial plays a central role in the justice system and it is important to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and function of the jury in a criminal matter.”
“A primary strength of the jury trial is that it acts as a check to unfettered prosecutorial power. Prosecutors have a tremendous amount of power when deciding whether to charge a defendant with a crime, as well as what charges to bring. However, they must make this charging decision understanding that a group of individuals, entirely unknown to them, will be deciding their case after they present the evidence. Prosecutors typically do not want to waste time and resources on unreasonable charges in front of a jury evaluating their case.”
“Another strength of juries is that, if judges decided every case, it could raise a number of concerns about fairness in the judicial process. For example, appointed judges might be beholden to politics and the people who appointed them. Additionally, elected judges could be swayed by public opinion in a given case. Jurors, on the other hand, are not appointed and instead serve on a jury as part of their civic duties. In cases where public opinion weighs heavily on one side, they can also be sequestered to minimize the amount of influence exerted by the public or media on a given matter.”
“On the other hand, jurors are laypeople who are sometimes asked to understand complicated legal concepts and apply those concepts to the case at hand, without letting emotion clog their decision-making. It’s not an easy task, and can be very time consuming, especially in cases involving serious offenses. Because of both the time and complexity of some matters, it is not surprising to hear stories about jurors falling asleep or failing to pay attention throughout a trial.”
“It’s easy to forget how important the jury really is to America. “The right to be a juror is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all eligible citizens. The right to trial by jury helped spark the American Revolution, was quickly adopted at the Constitutional Convention, and is the only right that appears in both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But for most of us, a jury summons is an unwelcome inconvenience. Who has time for jury duty? We have things to do.
In Why Jury Duty Matters, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson reminds us that whether we like it or not, we are all constitutional actors. Jury duty provides an opportunity to reflect on that constitutional responsibility. Combining American history, constitutional law, and personal experience, the book engages citizens in the deeper meaning of jury service. Interweaving constitutional principles into the actual jury experience, this book is a handbook for those Americans who want to enrich the jury experience. It seeks to reconnect ordinary citizens to the constitutional character of a nation by focusing on the important, and largely ignored, democratic lessons of the jury.
Jury duty is a shared American tradition. It connects people across class and race, creates habits of focus and purpose, and teaches values of participation, equality, and deliberation. We know that juries are important for courts, but we don’t know that jury service is important for democracy. This book inspires us to re-examine the jury experience and act on the constitutional principles that guide our country before, during, and after jury service.”
This is why, when some vile foreigner punk named Simon Johansson, threatens our Constitutional rights, all Americans and all peoples should be alarmed and disgusted, not only at his latest antic of naming and posting the 11 jurors in the Jodi Arias trial, but all the other mean-spirited and revolting stunts he’s pulled throughout the Jodi Arias case.
SJ pissed all over that tradition, using the social media as a weapon to threaten and intimidate the Arias jurors, and future jurors. Jurors are serving our country and should be thanked and applauded for that service. What will we do if citizens are afraid to step up to serve on juries? They should be treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality. The decisions of jurors should be accepted and only questioned under very rare and unusual circumstances, such as the guilt phase of the Jodi Arias case.
In America, it’s vitally important to our Constitution and our criminal justice system that the rule is HANDS-OFF ALL JURORS, WITNESSES, VICTIMS, FAMILY MEMBERS AND PRINCIPLES IN A TRIAL.
We found the verdicts to be fair and just verdicts, were it a fair trial. But we believe it was an unfair trial and the jurors did seem to be confused about a few things, from listening to their statements. We believe the original jury followed the prosecutor, rather than the facts and the law.
When a juror voluntarily releases his or her name to the public, then and only then should their name become “fair game” for reporting.
One seen as a heroic fortress and refuge against a blizzard of vengeance seekers in this case, JodiAriasIsInnocent.com has far overstepped its bounds, out-lived its purpose and should be shunned and abandoned by any and every true supporter of Jodi Arias.
Jodi Arias continues to cling to SJ and his foreign website, registered in Pakistan, run by a fugitive from the UK, and utilizing outdated, pirated software. These were the people who made her art and book sites possible, who set up a fundraising site for her appeals, and who delivered important information to supporters they could find almost nowhere else. Heroic efforts to be sure. JAII gave a voice to Jodi Arias and her supporters and fought valiantly against a giant and overwhelming opposing force of dedicated and highly motivated pro-prosecution supporters.
But the talented people who fulfilled all these tasks in support of Jodi Arias and the dedicated regulars and commenters on the JAII website are not welded to that website. They aren’t married to it. It’s just one punk and just one website. They can go off on their own, blog on their own, create their own websites, join other decent and civil support groups, communicate with Jodi on their own, and help her in any way they wish. They do not need SJ or JAII any longer.
JodiArias will follow her support and her supporters, not SJ and JAII. SJ is of no use to Arias any longer. He can not gain new, fair-minded supporters to her cause, he cannot help raise money for her appeals, and he cannot help her legally. SJ cannot rally supporters to her aid, because true supporters want nothing to do with him, his sleazy posts and comments, and his unethical schemes.
SJ damages Jodi’s cause with his checkered past, his rotten reputation and his inability to see or care how he is chasing hordes of current and potential new supporters away. Ever since the famous “Body bag” post where SJ posted a photo of Travis Alexander in a body bag on his bathroom floor with the caption “Justice Has Been Served” and “It’s In The Bag”, SJ has been losing a steady stream of supporters. Now, with his 2 dozen or so regulars, it’s really more of a trickle.
Two separate sources told me that on the eve of the 2nd penalty verdict, SJ again raised his body bag pirate flag, but then lowered it before the night was through.
My sources have related to me numerous stories of defections after that photo post, initially, but even more so since then and the end of this trial. SJ has built himself a Leper Colony, and the hopelessly infected are the only ones who will remain. People need to make a conscious effort to stop bringing hits to that site, as that is what SJ lives for.
Another source wanted to make sure I knew, after our Jodiland Wars article, that Ben Ernst, reputed to be very close to Jodi Arias, was not a part of JAII and did not comment there. No one wants to be associated with that offensive site or its Captain any longer.
During the Jodiland Wars, I tried to remain somewhat neutral between SJ and JAII and other groups of supporters who wanted Jodi Arias to divest herself from the ill-repute of JAII. But CNN’s HeadLine News does not own the Jodi Arias case and neither does SJ. There are many, much better alternatives, for supporters as well as for Arias and her family.
SJ’s crude foul language drives away 1/3 of his audience. His anti-American and anti-Constitutional stance and combative posture drives away another 1/3, and his mean-spiritedness and stunning lack of ethics drives away another 1/3. How many does that leave? Hmmmm. You do the math.
SJ has refused to join forces or share fundraising duties with any other blog, group, or website. How foolish is that? He’s an extremely jealous and competitive man, so much so that JAII will soon be a table for one. Some of his fellow pirates may stay with him, as his warship slowly sinks into the shoals, and no one’s complaining about that.
The only reason SJ and JAII is still afloat, though, is Jodi Arias. My sources tell me her family does not want to be associated with JAII and SJ, but Jodi Arias is demanding they stick with him. Jodi Arias has refused help from Jason Weber, Lisa Schilling. George Barwood, and others. Unlike the 2 dozen or so supporters at JAII, each of these people have hundreds and hundreds of supporters behind them and new supporters arriving every week. Jodi isn’t budging now, but she will, she will.
Maybe when Jodi Arias realizes that SJ has only manged to raise a few hundred dollars in many months, she will finally see the light.
Maybe there’s some kind of benefit in dealing with a foreign website that has no accountability and is immune from all law. But who needs that particular website? No one at all. If anything, SJ and JAII have prevented Jodi Arias from gaining a solid support base and raising funds for her appeals, only because SJ wants to be the sole voice and arm of Jodi Arias. Well, he’s not.
SJ is the emperor with no clothes. SJ is the little tiny man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. He’s a blowhard with emphysema.
If he truly wanted to help Jodi Arias’ cause, rather than generate website hits, which he can’t do either, SJ and JAII would take the high road.
That means hands off the victim, the victim’s family and the jurors. That means fighting ignorance, misunderstandings and hatred with patience, intelligence, humaneness, and integrity. Stick to logic and the facts of the case. That’s how to generate a following that can actually assist Jodi Arias and her family.
SJ is a warrior, but the war is over now, he should just fade away like MacArthur. This is a time to heal and to build, for everyone involved on all sides of this case. SJ thinks he has Jodi in his back pocket. But even she will eventually abandon him and follow her rational and humane base of supporters.
SJ is a supporter-repellant plain and simple. The jury had an important individual moral choice to make. Now, most fair-minded supporters have made their choice to abandon SJ and JAII. Now Jodi Arias herself has an important moral choice to make. You are known by the company you keep, and there’s no getting away from that. SJ can go gear up for his next Constitution bashing, mean-spirited fight with a new, hopefully foreign, defendant.