Horn, Corn, and a Truckload of Porn

Horn, Corn, and a Truck Load of Porn: Update on the Arias Penalty Retrial (Dec. 20)

Fact-based reporting

by Rob Roman

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Bringing you up to date on the epic battle … the interminable saga … the perpetually stalling Arias penalty retrial. If you’re anything like me, you have been sidetracked, distracted, busy, bored or befuddled by what’s going on in the Jodi Arias penalty phase re-trial, but you want to know what’s gone down and what’s likely to happen next. There’s been plenty of talk about this being a nightmare, a perpetual trial, and an interminable saga. So far, the trial is actually right on schedule and, as we predicted, it would last 3 months AND we said it would go into 2015.

The penalty phase retrial has gone 25 days so far, that’s 9 days for the prosecution and 16 days for the defense … so far. The retrial began on October 21st, and there’s no end in sight, as there are multiple issues to deal with and the defense has 14 potential witnesses.

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Prosecutor Juan Martinez, ever the sit-in-the–front-row teacher’s favorite student, presented his case for why Jodi Arias should be executed with cold efficiency in just 9 days, schnip – schnap. First up was Mesa Detective Michael Melendez, the guy with the New Yawk accent who discovered the deleted photos in Travis Alexander’s camera (a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9).

All the recovered photos were shown, and Detective Melendez explained how Jodi Arias needed to use 5 steps to delete each photo. The implication there being that Arias was not in an altered state of mind and was not in a fog with her memory seriously impaired. She calmly and coolly took hundreds of steps to delete all the photos. What was not explained is that just 5 steps can delete ALL the photos taken that day, according to the instruction manual, something an experienced photographer like Arias could do in her sleep.

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“Deleting images

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1 Press (Playback) button.
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See page 45-46
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Melendez, not to be confused with Mendes, you racist you, showed the jury the naked and racy photos of Arias and Alexander, the shower photos, the foot photo with a bloody Alexander, and the mystery final photo.

Next up was Detective Esteban “Steve” Flores, who inexplicably is no longer doing active investigations, but has now become a “Media Relations Officer for the Mesa Police Department”. Detective Flores was the main conduit of all the testimony related to the day Travis’ body was found, the crime scene descriptions, and the investigation of the crime up to and including the interrogation of Jodi Arias. The bloody and gruesome crime scene photos were shown to the jury.

Dr. Horn a.k.a. "super-crepy Rob Lowe"

Dr. Kevin Horn a.k.a. "Super Creepy Rob Lowe"
Dr. Kevin Horn a.k.a. “Super Creepy Rob Lowe”

Dr. Kevin Horn was the next witness up. Horn went over the autopsy findings, describing all the wounds, with many autopsy photos being shown. Dr. Horn again stated his opinion that the gunshot was last and probably post-mortem, in direct contradiction to Arias’ explanation of events. At one point on re-direct, prosecutor Juan Martinez suddenly approached Horn and feigned stabbing him with his pen, stating “that didn’t take long, did it?”. Apparently he wanted to demonstrate that all the stabbings could have happened in seconds. We agree.

After that was Nathan Mendes – the Former Detective, from the Siskiyou County California Sheriff’s Office, who set up surveillance on Arias in Yreka and arrested her, and he was present when the famous mug shot was taken. Detective Mendes testified that Arias asked him how her hair looked before being photographed.

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You will recall that Arias asked if she could take her make-up with her when she was arrested in Yreka at her Grandparent’s home where she was living. She could not. Also she had a rental car packed for travel with 2 knives in her luggage and a 9 mm gun taped to the bottom of the seat that was not found until much later. Mendes also testified that he found receipts in the home from the California to Arizona to Utah trip. None of the receipts were from Arizona and none were from June 4th.

On cross exam, the Defense attacked both Doctor Horn and ex-Detective Flores about the change in the order of injuries as Flores was claiming the gunshot was first early on to numerous media outlets and in pre-trial hearings. Flores also stated that it was Dr. Horn who provided that information to him, but Dr. Horn denied any knowledge of having told that to Detective Flores. Nurmi also suggested it was possible that this murder was not especially cruel, the factor that opened the door to the death penalty in the first place.

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The State then called Kevin Friedman, a former Yreka police officer who investigated the theft of the gun and other items taken from Arias’ grandparent’s home on May 28th, just 7 days before the killing. Walmart loss prevention specialist Amanda Webb then made her way back on the stand to testify that Arias had purchased a 5 galllon blue kerosene gas can, but there were no records found that one had been returned, as Arias claimed.

A notable feature of the cross examinations by defense lead Kirk Nurmi, besides all the weight he’s lost and his now full head of hair, is that he has been said to be imitiating Juan Martinez. Nurmi was reported to have slammed down a binder of Walmart records during the cross of Webb, and to have asked Detective Flores if he had any memory problems. We have previously reported that this is not imitation, that sincerest form of flattery, but this is tactics. This is Nurmi using different tactics because the penalty trial is a different situation, calling for a different approach.

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There were 5 days of Flores on the stand altogether, going over the now famous interrogation tapes and the sex tape was played in its entirety. Topping off the prosecution case were the allocutions of Travis’ younger brother Steven Alexander, and his younger sister, Tanisha Sorenson. These were heartfelt pleas to the jury and first-person memorials about the life of Travis Alexander.

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“Steven Alexander described nightmares, ulcers and constant trauma from losing his brother, including locking the doors when he showers. Tanisha Sorenson called it a “living hell.”

“When I lay down at night, all I can think about is my brother’s murder,” Steven Alexander said as other family members could be heard crying in the gallery.”

http://ktar.com/22/1778950/Travis-Alexanders-siblings-give-emotional-statements-at-Jodi-Arias-penalty-retrial

The trial ended on the 18th of December and this was the date scheduled to have been the very end of the trial. The trial is now on hold for the Holidays until January 5th. The trial began to get messy even before the defense took the helm, and it has only gotten messier.

Mess number one – The jury

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After the prosecution’s concise presentation, things got messy quick.  Messy, messy, messy. First of all, one juror was dismissed on the opening day of the trial for a family emergency. A second juror was dismissed on the 2nd day of trial after she sought out legal reporter Beth Karas and asked her if she was Nancy Grace. Actually, the Judge should have left her in if she couldn’t tell the difference between Beth and Nancy.

“The first was let go Tuesday because of family problems. The second was dismissed Wednesday after she asked a freelance TV journalist if she was CNN superstar Nancy Grace, who has been a vocal crusader against Arias.”

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/10/01/prospective-jurors-vent-arias/16570903/

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A third juror was dismissed the day after Thanksgiving, as she was stopped for DUI, then it was discovered that there was a warrant on her for passing bad checks. This leaves only 3 alternate jurors to go before the threat of a mistrial if they end up with under the statutory number of 12. Yes, the lady with the multi-colored hair and a few other jurors from the guilt phase volunteered to comeback and serve (just kidding) – although she and others have been spotted in the courtroom.

Mess number two – The family Flores and the Mitigation Specialist

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Media Representative Flores’ wife and daughter have been significantly involved in the Justice 4 Travis campaign. Daughter Angela is on Youtube singing a memorial song for Travis (She has a very nice voice, too) and Mrs. Corinna Flores is said to have been on Twitter under the handle “I’m boss that way” tweeting about the case and reportedly leaking confidential information from closed meetings in the Judges’ chambers. This had been disputed. None of these things would be seen as unseemly if the trial were concluded, but as we know, the trial has not nearly concluded.

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“I’m Boss that way”

Mitigation Specialist Maria De La Rosa, whom I like and have communicated with, is reported to also have gotten too personally involved in the case. She has been tweeting about the case under the Twitter handle of “Cougarluscious”, and has been getting involved with Arias supporters. This is a little harder to discern on the basis of wrongdoing, because part of her job as mitigation specialist IS to ferret out any and all evidence in support of sparing Ms. Arias’ life and this would seemingly include communicating with supporters.

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“CougarLuscious”

Ms. De La Rosa was also stopped at the Estrella jail, and an envelope full of legal documents Arias gave her was searched, revealing an Arias art drawing, now identified as “The Pinwheel”. Stupidly, the County Sheriff’s office, or MSCO, tried to ban Maria from the jail, which would have certainly caused an appeal issue – not allowing the mitigation specialist access to the defendant / convict. They soon thought better of that, though. This lead to our speculation that the County wants to fire Ms. De La Rosa, but must wait until the end of the trial in order to not cause an appeal issue – leaving the Defendant / convict without a mitigation specialist would be in violation of Arizona statutes for a capital trial.

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The famous Pinwheel. Maria De La Rosa got searched, Jodi Arias got a write-up

Mess number three – Sheriff Joe and the false Arias motion

You may remember that between the guilt phase and the penalty retrial, a motion was made by Jodi Arias asking for a restraining order to be placed on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and crime entertainer Nancy Grace. The idea was that Sheriff Joe was supplying Grace with information about Arias’ leaking breast implant and her hepatitis C condition.

This information and the motion were found to be hoaxes filed by a convict from New Jersey. The trouble was that Sheriff Joe had a press conference where he slammed Arias for her motion, even though it was easy to see that the signature was obviously not hers and the motion was made with materials that Arias obviously had no access to. The defense brought up the fact that anything said about Arias, no matter how pernicious, will be believed because the public is so poisoned against her by the media and this does not allow for a fair trial.

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Mess number four – the unsequestered jury

Famous trial lawyer, appellate attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has already sounded the alarm about how it is just about impossible for a very high profile defendant to get a fair trial with an unsequestered jury. This is because the atmosphere is just permeated with strong feelings one way or the other.  Juan Martinez’ boss, District Attorney Thomas Horne, is already on record worrying that the unsequestered jury will be an appeal issue. Nevertheless, Arizona Judge Sherry Stephens did not sequester the jury because ‘we have always not sequestered the jury in the past in Arizona’. Well, Arizona bars were always equipped with spittoons, too. Why aren’t they now? Did times change?

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Mess number five – The secret witness

The defense, after taking the reigns, stated that they had 3 witnesses who would refuse to testify unless the courtroom was closed to the media and the public. Judge Stephens heard the motion and affirmed it. The court was cleared and the secret witness testified. Rumors abounded that the secret witness was Jodi Arias herself. The media balked and appealed the decision to the Arizona Court of Appeals. It’s insane that the Judge would affirm a motion to have a witness who had never been shy of the media, both before, during, and after the trial to suddenly now be requesting to have the public and media cleared for her testimony. Why on earth would Judge Stephens allow such a motion?

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Even so, no one on the prosecution supporter side would give the Judge credit for possibly having some compelling reason for her ruling. Was it because Jodi Arias mentioned the other secret witnesses in her testimony? Wasn’t there some kind of accommodation the court could make without altogether clearing the courtroom? Prosecution supporters also do not want to blame the reason for this special  request on the people who harassed, intimidated, and attacked Arias’ witnesses during the guilt phase. These are the people threatening our system.

The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with the media that the public has a 1st Amendment right to know what is going on, especially in a capital trial. The Court stayed the Judge’s ruling, and the defense will appeal that ruling, probably on January 5th. Will the other three witnesses, reportedly a long term boyfriend of Arias – Darryl Brewer, A co-worker of Arias’ – unknown, and a former friend of Travis Alexander’s – possibly New Zealander Marc McGee, formerly of Riverside, California, still expect to testify in secret?

Will they refuse to testify? Also under contention is the media’s request to have the transcripts of Arias’ testimony released. Will that be granted, even though the transcripts of all the other witnesses have not been released? Also, was the secret witness actually Jodi Arias? Most people close to the case are saying so. Maybe this matter was confused, because the Judge will refer to the defense as “Arias” in motions. But, people seem to be sure it was Jodi Arias herself who testified in secret.

Mess number six – The Porn

The defense vowed to fight the stay, but continued the trial by calling up Bryan Neumeister, the private computer, audio and video expert who often testifies for the prosecution. You may remember Neumeister as the guy in the guilt phase who testified that he enlarged the reflection in Travis’ left iris from the “Calvin Klein” shower photo and found it was Jodi Arias, with no weapon. Martinez seems to have a distaste for “science-types”.

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Neumeister resisted Juan Martinez’ combativeness, and he stated several times that he couldn’t understand the prosecutors’ questions because Juan had a very limited knowledge about computers. He also accused the prosecutor of lying. But the big thing is that Neumeister made a startling discovery. He said that when he checked the “clone” copy of Travis’ hard drive, he found thousands upon thousands of deleted porn files, supposedly including searches based on the word ”teens” and “tweens”. “Tween” is a word for children on the cusp of being teenagers. They aren’t quite teens, but they are no longer children in the strictest sense. They’re in be-tween. This is exactly the definition of a 12 year-old.

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Neumeister also intimated that child porn was among the deleted files. This was a bombshell in the case, because Detective Melendez testified in the guilt phase that not one shred of porn was found on Travis Alexander’s computer. Juan Martinez, as he has done in other cases, immediately began blaming Neumseister for somehow contaminating the hard drive copy with porn. Alternatively, he blamed 2 former Arias defense attorneys for turning on the original computer and thereby allowing built-in antivirus programs to eliminate all the porn on the computer.

This could not be possible, because the defense attorneys were always under the watchful eye of the police when they inspected the original computer. Detective Flores was in charge of the computer. It was also reported that an anti-virus program found on Alexander’s hard drive was a program that did not exist in 2008. The implication was that the Mesa Police had tried to remove all traces of porn found on Travis’ computer. Many prosecution supporters responded by saying ‘So what, that’s normal all guys have porn on their computer’.

That’s not the point. The point is that IF someone from the police removed the porn from Alexander’s computer, what else did they remove? What other evidence, possibly exculpatory, could they have hidden? Since former Detective Flores was close to the evidence, it was suggested that Flores was the one who removed the porn. In any case, this is another issue for appeal, and it’s a serious one.

Is this a Beta cassette of Porn?
Is this a Beta cassette of Porn?

Martinez, by blaming the former defense counsel and Neumeister, was conceding that there was in fact porn on the computer, and that it was somehow ‘disappeared’.

That there was porn on Travis’ computer should surprise no one, given his references to porn and his sexual vocabulary in the sex tape, etc. which could only have come from a person exposed to porn. This issue, like many others in this case, is still awaiting further clarification and resolution, because most of the conversation about this matter was held in chambers and is not yet available to the public.

Mess number seven – Court reporters and Legal Experts

Yihun Jeong fron The Arizona Republic
Yihyun Jeong fron The Arizona Republic

As a substitute fro HLN broadcasting the trial live and endlessly giving slanted, biased, jesting and mean-spirited views, we now have reports, blogs, “spree-casts”, and Tweets from reporters and Legal commentators inside the courtroom.  Some of them, like Beth Karas, Michael Kiefer / Yihyun Jeong, and Monica Lindstrom, are reporters and/or legal experts with ethics, integrity, and a sense of objectivity. They realize this is a capital case, a serious affair where a defendant / convict may have her life taken by the State. Others, like Jeff Gold, Jen from the Trial Diaries, and Wild about Trial (a division of HLN), are playing to popularity and the lowest common denominator with little thought about ethics or fairness.

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We do note that Jeff Gold stated that this case should not have been a Death Penalty case. He must have taken some heat among his listeners for that.

“The first jury hung (no not that kind of hanging although I know many of you wish so.) Many states end it there. But AZ allows a second bite of the apple.
Moreover, the DP is usually reserved for murdering kids, cops, multiple persons, a particularly heinous murder (chop body up and eat it) or murderers with long records. This is just not a clear case for DP. “

Jeffrey Evan Gold – Court Chatter TV Legal Analyst

http://www.courtchatter.com/2014/09/jeff-gold-weighs-in-on-jodi-arias-on.html

Since then, we’ve heard only a few astute legal observations and almost nothing in any way positive said about the Defense or Arias. Often, his Tweets are rude comments, super-biased comments, comments with sexual innuendos, dumb jokes or self-promoting comments.

Gold often tweeted about “Hodi-Jodi”, with zero evidence that Arias was in any way a “Ho”. He knows his audience is 95% pro-prosecution and constantly plays to that audience with tweets about ‘how dare the defense put up a defense when their client is a sadistic, manipulative, maniacal murderer’? He also enjoys making a big joke out of the whole trial. Wild about Trial seems to be full of high school or college interns, a giggly gaggle constantly spewing corny jokes, many of them laced with 5th grade bathroom humor.

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Wild about Trial talking heads
Wild about Trial talking heads

Jen, from The Trial Diaries who reportedly had or is having an affair with the prosecutor, Juan Martinez, has acted basically as a cheerleader and sounding board for prosecution supporters. Jen couldn’t be counted on to give even a sliver of objective news about the defense or Arias. Nancy Grace and former HLN talking head Vinnie Politan also tried to get in on the act inviting brownie points from trial fanatics for throwing stones at Arias and her defense.

With this bunch of block-heads, it’s really hard to get an objective picture of what exactly is going on in that courtroom. Thankfully, a few of them do have integrity.

Mess number eight – The Death Penalty on the table.

Even some prosecution supporters are wondering if it would not be better if the State goes over Judge Stephens and Juan Martinez’ head and takes the Death Penalty off the table. This would effectively end the Arias trial, and the Judge would only decide on Life in prison with no chance of parole, or twenty five years to life in prison with an almost non-existent infinitesimal chance of parole.

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Along with a number of other motions to remove the death penalty awaiting a decision by the Judge, Nurmi and Willmott earlier filed their most epic motion yet, a 59 page motion to dismiss the death penalty. In it, they review all their charges of misconduct against the prosecution from the entire history of the case, in addition to new allegations from the post guilt trial and the penalty re-trial.

The motion to dismss the charges and the case also includes an alternate plea in the alternative, to remove the death penalty from the table. Here, court reporter and legal expert Monica Lindstrom explains why the death penalty realistically could be taken off the table possibly due to being under pressure from higher-ups and the people of Arizona:

http://ktar.com/305/1787926/Legally-Speaking-Dismissing-death-for-Jodi-Arias-could-be-a-reality

Non-secret Defense Witnesses

In place of Alyce LaViolette and Dr. Richard Samuels, Forensic Psychologist Dr. L.C. Miccio-Fonseca, and Psychologist Dr. Robert Geffner were called to the stand by the defense to interpret the relationship between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias and Jodi Arias’ state of mind prior to, during, and after the killing. The defense stated earlier that there was good reason to believe that Alexander was shot by Arias in the shower, as it agrees with the evidence, whereas the prosecution’s assertion that he was stabbed first and then shot does not. Nurmi possibly said this because he was not allowed to bring up Arias’ claim of self-defense, since the jury rejected that theory in the guilt phase.

Dr. Fonseca examined the sexual relationship between Alexander and Arias and the dynamics of that relationship, coming up with the same basic conclusions as Alyce LaViolette. She even stated she believes Alexander did watch child porn. On cross examination, Juan Martinez tried to discredit Dr, Fonseca and her testimony.

Dr. Geffner, who was pilloried by trial watchers in the guilt phase, for having a coughing fit, burping loudly, and spilling a large container of water, was next on the stand. His job was to interpret psychological tests and diagnoses of Arias, and to explain other aspects such as Arias’ temperament, propensities toward violence or lack thereof, and her state of mind. Juan Martinez had begun his cross of Doctor Geffner, when the trial ended for the year.

More details of what was in the text and e-mail exchanges between Arias and Alexander were revealed. One interesting detail is that Jodi Arias claimed to own a stun gun in early 2008, and she apparently offered it to Alexander as protection from the person who was slashing his tires.

Reportedly, there were no spills, no mess.

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Nothing much can or will be done about the Corn going on regularly in this trial. The so-called legal reporters will continue their pandering and catering to the prosecution supporters, and acting like the entire trial is one big joke and an opportunity to try their hands at low-brow comedy and over-dramatic tweeting.

Maybe something can be done about Horn, in that he continues to be adamant that once Alexander was shot in the face, he would not be able to move or defend himself. This seems to be more and more unlikely and more and more contradictory to the evidence.

But something really needs to be done about the Porn, because police and/or prosecutors removing, hiding, or disappearing any evidence should never be tolerated by a court of law. Some remedy for this seeming violation should be offered. Appeal issues are piling up, leading me to make a remark on social media that this case has become a literal Chia Pet of ever-sprouting possible appeal issues. This holds true no matter what you believe about the verdict in the guilt phase of the trial.

More than this, the new claims of removing evidence seem to give even more credence to earlier claims about the 1st degree felony murder charge and the possible switcheroo of the order of injuries by former Detective Flores and Dr. Kevin Horn.

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This may have also included prosecutor Juan Martinez, who is well known for his win-at-all-cost attitude, which then would become collusion or conspiracy. This would be very difficult to prove, but especially if Arias is sentenced to death, all these little allegations could possibly add up to one big and powerful allegation which could change the course of this seemingly never-ending case.

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Heroes, Zeros, and Geniuses in the Jodi Arias Case (Nov 10)

November Update:

Heroes, Zeros, and Geniuses in the Jodi Arias Case

Fact-based Reporting by

Amanda Chan and Rob Roman

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In anticipation of the upcoming Jodi Arias Murder Trial, 2nd Penalty Phase, we have started a new regular report called Heroes, Zeros, and Geniuses.

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 Here we mention some current updates and commentary about anything related to the case in the media and on social media.

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Hero #1

Michael Kieffer
A reporter at the Arizona newspaper, the Arizona Republic, Mr.Kieffer wrote a series of articles on prosecutorial misconduct in Arizona. Kieffer attended the Arias trial daily. One article was specifically about Juan Martinez.
“Martinez helped send seven other killers to death row since he was hired at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in 1988.
He was accused by defense attorneys of prosecutorial misconduct in all but one of those cases; the Arizona Supreme Court characterized his actions as constituting misconduct in one of them, and cited numerous instances of “improper” behavior in another, but neither rose to the level where the justices felt they needed to overturn the cases.
Allegations of misconduct by Martinez in the second case and at least two others are pending in state and federal courts.
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Justice Michael Ryan then stepped into the discussion.
“Well, this prosecutor I recollect from several cases,” Ryan said. “This same prosecutor has been accused of fairly serious misconduct, but ultimately we decided it did not rise to the level of requiring a reversal,”
Ryan said. “There’s something about this prosecutor, Mr. Martinez.”
There had been multiple allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against Martinez in Gallardo’s appeal. Ultimately, in its written opinion, the court determined that Martinez had repeatedly made improper statements about the defendant.
During the oral argument before the Supreme Court, the justices fixed on a question that Martinez asked three times, even though the trial judge in the case had sustained a defense attorney’s objections to the question.
But in the end, the justices ruled that Martinez’s behavior still did not “suggest pervasive prosecutorial misconduct that deprived (the defendant) of a fair trial.”
And, as the justices noted, it was not the first time that Martinez had walked away unscathed.”
  http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20131028jodi-arias-juan-martinez-conduct-day3.html
 Attention is finally being raised about not only the highly questionable practices in Maricopa County and Arizona State, but also the specific bad acts of the Maricopa prosecutor, Juan Martinez.
Here are the other 3 articles in the series:
http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20131027milke-krone-prosecutors-conduct-day1.html
http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20131027wintory-prosecutor-conduct-day-2.html
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/20131029prosecutor-conduct-can-system-curb-abuses-day4.html

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Hero #2

CPI (Center for Prosecutor Integrity)
In response to Kieffer’s article and other information, the Center for Prosecutor Integrity is asking Prosecutors nationwide to hold each other accountable for ethical conduct.
“WASHINGTON / November 6, 2013 – Following revelations that 22% of death sentence cases in Arizona involve judicial findings of impropriety, the Center for Prosecutor Integrity is calling on prosecutors nationwide to take a proactive approach to hold unethical prosecutors accountable and restore public confidence in the criminal justice system.
cptThe finding of widespread prosecutor misbehavior is based on a review of all death sentence convictions in Arizona in the past decade. These sentences are routinely seen by the state Supreme Court. Since 2002, there have been 82 death sentence cases reviewed by the state high court. In 18 of the cases – 22% of the total — the Supreme Court made a finding of impropriety.
Examples of unethical practice include presenting false testimony, resorting to emotional appeals in closing arguments, referring to mitigating evidence as “excuses “, and removing a jacket worn by a victim from a plastic evidence bag for the jury’s “smelling pleasure.””
http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/media/cpi-calls-on-prosecutors-to-root-out-misconduct-after-az-report-of-widespread-unethical-practices/
http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/EpidemicofProsecutorMisconduct.pdf
The article also specifically mentioned the conduct of Maricopa prosecutor Juan Martinez in State v. Morris (2005).
Genius that he is, Juan responded colorfully to allegations that there was no proof in State v. Morris (2005) that the serial killer, Cory Morris, engaged in necrophilia with the 5 women he murdered and buried near his trailer.
In open court, he broke open a sealed bag containing a jacket worn by one of the victims and invited the jury to take a good whiff.
Hey Juan, the odor of decomposition on the clothes taken off a corpse yields no evidence whatever of whether or not the defendant engaged in necrophilia (had sex with a dead human body). This is typical of Juan Martinez’ conduct in death penalty trials.
This is the list that CPI offers as the most typical types of prosecutorial misconduct:
 Types of Misconduct
 Prosecutor misconduct can assume many forms, including:

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  • Charging a suspect with more offenses than is warranted
  • Withholding or delaying the release of exculpatory evidence (State v. Arias – alleged)
  • Deliberately mishandling, mistreating, or destroying evidence (State v. Arias – alleged)
  • Allowing witnesses they know or should know are not truthful to testify (State v. Arias – Dr. Kevin Horn – alleged)
  •  Pressuring defense witnesses not to testify (State v. Arias – Patti Womack – alleged)
  • Relying on fraudulent forensic experts (State v. Arias – Dr. Kevin Horn – alleged)
  • During plea negotiations, overstating the strength of the evidence
  • Making statements to the media that are designed to arouse public indignation
  • Making improper or misleading statements to the jury (State v. Arias – alleged)
  •  Failing to report prosecutor misconduct when it is discovered
http://www.prosecutorintegrity.org/

Alan-Dershowitz-

 Hero #3

Alan Dershowitz
Famous Appellate Attorney, Law Professor at Harvard, and Constitutional Scholar.
heroes 4On FOX News, while selling his latest book, this famous legal expert said that we need to realize the truth. The pervasive media coverage of crimes makes it a reality that “the public is the 13th juror”. He said that not only the jury feel the pressure of public opinion, but even judges are influenced by this intense pressure.
He went on to say that juries should be sequestered in high profile crimes, Dershowitz said that TV shows, such as HLN, should not be allowed to televise trials, infuse it with thir own opinions, and use them to attract ratings. Dershowitz feels that court cases, including the Supreme Court, should be televised on free public access without comment. He admitted it would be “boring”, but it’s necessary to ensure fair trials.
 Now we introduce our zeroes in the case:

alan-dershowitz

Zero #1

Alan Dershowitz
Famous Appellate Attorney, Law Professor at Harvard, and Constitutional Scholar.
Alan Dershowitz said that Jodi Arias “will not have a successful appeal because she’s guilty”. Dershowitz made this remark this past summer. First of all, a famous constitutional scholar should know that guilt or innocence plays no part in whether a trial was fair and whether an appeal is upheld and a conviction is reversed and remanded back to the court for a new trial.
Is Dershowitz actually saying that he doesn’t see any error that could change the outcome of the trial? If so, I cannot believe he watched the trial. If Dershowitz stated that he DID in fact see legitimate appealable issues in the Jodi Arias trial, how would that affect his popularity, his welcome at FOX News and his ability to sell his books?
gigiMaybe the judge and the jury were not the only ones feeling the pressure. Commentators, other lawyers and potential witnesses feel the heat, too.
Alan Dershowitz learned his lesson well after taking an unpopular stance when he supported OJ Simpson in the 1990’s. He managed to mitigate his support for OJ by splitting the difference and saying that he was right to support OJ because “The police framed a guilty man”.
Want to know how? Buy his new book.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dershowitz is nothing but a Smershowitz.

bill montgomery

Zero #2

Bill Montgomery
The elected District Attorney for Maricopa County, Arizona
What’s Not Important, Bill?
zreos 2The Jodi Arias case in general and the settlement conference in particular:
“In his regular news conference Wednesday, Montgomery explained that he did not attend the settlement conference as he had intended because the “case is no different than any other case,” he said.
“I don’t see it as an important enough case to where I have to be personally involved to where I can’t have the prosecutor who’s responsible for the case take care of it himself,” he said.”
http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2013-11-07/news/bill-montgomery-is-prosecuting-a-medical-pot-patient-for-one-piece-of-thc-infused-candy/
What IS Important, Bill?
A single piece of marijuana candy.
A man was pulled over for driving erratically. In his center console was a pot pipe and a single piece of marijuana candy. Due to his medical marijuana license, the pipe was acceptable. However, the single piece of candy may be a Felony according to Bill.
candy 4“Medical-marijuana users were warned. And now Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is carrying out his plan to harass qualified medical users for resin-infused edibles.
candy 2Montgomery repeatedly has refused to say whether he is prosecuting patients for possession of marijuana concentrates who otherwise are acting within the boundaries of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
candy 1New Times has learned that his office is moving forward with at least one such case, a felony prosecution of a medical-marijuana patient for possession of a single piece of infused candy.”
No, the Jodi Arias case is not important to you, Bill. It’s just like any other case, Bill. Would you care to say that under oath, Bill?
candy 3
Way to get “tough on crime”, Bill.

facebook 2

Zero #3

Various and sundry Pro-prosecution Facebook commentors
Judge Stephens recently denied Jodi Arias’ motion to fire her lead attorney, Kirk Nurmi.
No way was Judge Stephens ever going to grant that motion and delay the 2nd penalty phase by 6 months to one year. Judge Stephens could then kiss her job goodbye. Jodi knows this.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/24/jodi-arias-files-motions-to-fire-attorney/3183327/
facebook 1Arias believes that the client – attorney relationship with Kirk Nurmi is hurting her case. Jodi Arias is properly preserving this issue for appeal by filing for the second time to have Nurmi dismissed.
Many Facebook commenters smugly suggested that Jodi was purposely trying to prolong the trial in order to do one or more of the following
1) She likes being in Estrella County Jail and wants to stay there. She does not want to go to Perryville Prison.
 2) She is trying to hurt the Alexander family by making them wait and prolonging their suffering.
 3) She is trying to hold up the proceedings out of spite.
zeros 7 None of these “reasons” have any factual basis.
1) Many prisoners in Arizona prefer the Prison to the CountyJail. One County jail prisoner who was sentenced but not yet transferred to prison, complained to Sheriff Joe Arpaio that he wanted to be transferred to prison, where there were better conditions and food. Juan Martinez replied: “We are not a taxi service”.
Here is what the people who know have to say about this:
“Interviewer: What’s the difference between jail and prison? Can you talk about the specific jails in your area?
Acacia Law: Whether you’re in prison or whether you’re in jail you’re entitled in visitation. In Maricopa County, the most populated county jails include the lower BuckEye Jail, Durango Facility, and Estrella, which include the tents.
heroesThere is also a Durango Juvenile Facility. There is also The Towers. Each one of them has their own pluses and minuses, in the viewpoint of someone who is incarcerated.
Interviewer: Isn’t there The Fourth Avenue Jail, and then TentCity as well? Are they crowded?
Acacia Law: In terms of your question as to whether people prefer the county jails to prison they much prefer prison. The Department of Corrections is actually much easier time. Many of my clients who are repeat offenders much prefer going to prison than spending a year in county as a term condition of probation.
That might give you an idea of how bad the jails are here. They are notoriously bad throughout the state at the county level.
Pima County in Tuscon has bad facilities as well. Penal County used to have one of the worst facilities in the state. I don’t know if they still do or not since they made the new jail about eight years ago.”
http://www.acacialawgroup.com/is-there-a-difference-between-jail-and-prison
2) Jodi Arias wants to Harm the Alexander family and prolong their suffering
In her motion to dismiss Kirk Nurmi, Arias claims that it was her desire, as well as the prosecution’s desire to clear the courtroom before playing the “sex tape”conversations between her and Travis Alexander. Kirk Nurmi fought Jodi Arias on this. Nurmi wanted the sex tape played in public. Arias stated that she didn’t want this to be played in public as it would cause pain to her and the Alexander family.
3) Jodi Arias wants to delay the proceedings out of spite
Jodi Arias has no reason to delay her sentencing because this would only delay her appeals, which cannot be filed until after she is sentenced.
As far as public outcry, more time before the second penalty phase will not help Arias. The media and public fury will begin again and will rage just as before as soon as the trial resumes.
Hopefully, Nurmi and Arias will mend fences and join forces for the 2nd penalty phase.

Zero #2

dave hall 5
Dave Hall
dave hall 2Friend of Travis Alexander
Frequent guest on HLN during the trial
Phony Mormon
Slanderer of potential defense mitigation witness Patti Womack
Desecrator of ancient archeological formation
Former Boy Scout Leader
Dave Hall, a close friend of the victim, Travis Alexander, laughed and sang “Wiggle it – Just a little bit” as he filmed his friend, Glenn Taylor pushing over a world-famous, million years old ancient rock formation in a State Park in Utah.
dave hallHis friend, Glenn Taylor, who grunted and groaned like Atlas on camera as he struggled to man handle the boulder, was suing for injuries he incurred in an automobile accident from which he claimed he was severely physically disabled.
This incident caused immediate and vast world-wide outrage.
SALT LAKE CITY –  Two Utah men already facing possible charges for purposely toppling an ancient rock formation in a state park have now been removed from their posts as Boy Scout leaders.
dave hall 2A northern Utah Boy Scouts council announced Monday that Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall will no longer be allowed to lead scouting troops due to what happened Oct. 11 at Goblin Valley State Park, which they filmed and posted on Facebook.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22/boy-scouts-remove-2-men-who-toppled-ancient-rock/
In typical fake-Mormon dishonesty, Dave Hall said they did it “to protect innocent children”.
dave hall 7
Rock-on, Dave!

Watch the YouTube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYFD18BwmJ4

And now, we move on to the Geniuses of the Jodi Arias case.

Genius #1

“Michelle”
Commenter on Facebook
This person gave a rant recently on an a pro-prosecution Facebook page:
facebook 3“Now that I am not looking at or listening to Jodi everyday, as if that were her fault, I can think about the trial with less passion. Before she ever took the stand and started the 17 day marathon of lies, I had some sympathy for her in the sense that she is a girl who probably could have made something of herself and she threw it all away in a jealous rage.
She left home at 17, which is indicative of our troubled youth these days. The I want it all now and I am entitled attitude. Something went terribly wrong in her psyche when she met Travis. His interest in her must have sent her into a fantasyland.
zeros 6Here is this guy who looked and acted very successful, was liked and admired by hundreds of people, owns a 5 bedroom house, drives a Beemer, travels all over…someone with her background must have thought she had landed in Nirvana and then it all fell down!
What a crushing blow to her. THEN THE REAL JODI SHOWED UP FOR ALL TO SEE AND HEAR! End of story for me. She is where she belongs, keeping other male prey safe!”
I will now reply to her rant:
zeros 9Leaving home at 17 is indicative of nothing. Family dynamics run the gamut and there is nothing to be derived as far as murderous tendencies in having left home at the age of 17.
In fact, a female who leaves home at 17, is much more likely to be used and abused than to be an abuser or a murderer.
Travis’ phoniness and shallow interest in Jodi must have sent her into a fantasyland. Shallow Hal and his fake Mormon, Pre-Paid Legal, religious goon friends turned an honest hard worker into a champagne wisher and a caviar dreamer.
More due to his parent’s actions than his own, something was terribly wrong in Shallow Hal’s psyche from the start.
Here was a phony salesman, never honest with Arias or anyone else. His roommates’ rent paid the mortgage, everything else was financed. Arias said that her Infiniti was nicer than his beat BMW.
The trips were tax-deductible “business expenses” = free. He was going to write a book about himself, buy a Prius and thereby save the world.
Instead, he should have sought help from his church or a licensed therapist and saved himself. The PPL legal insurance racket and it’s promises of vast wealth negatively impacted both Jodi and Travis. Someone with his background, who never finished High School, must have thought he landed in Mormon Nirvana, but then it all fell down.
Typical fake Mormon, he blamed it all on the girl.
Who knows what he was capable of doing when he was finally going to have to face his behaviors, be exposed and excommunicated?

Genius  #2

“Michele”
Commenter on Facebook
This is another Michele, with one “L”. Maybe it’s the same Michelle. There’s no way to be sure.
facebook 5Though we welcome any and all opinions and comments on Spotlight on Law, people who have read the article and take issue with it choose not to directly engage us in a fact-based discussion. Michele is a commenter on a Facebook page that discusses the Jodi Arias case. Here is what this genius said about our article, “Why Jodi Arias will get a new trial”:
“I cannot help but laugh when reports like this claim they can set the rules for the criteria to be met for the Appellate Court. When they go even further by misquoting expert testimony to make their point, it’s shameful.
Not the first or the last time this has been done. Junk like this has been written on many cases without results for obvious reasons.
zeros 3Your girl is going to need a lot more than this. First degree murder with especially cruel factor. The bar is VERY high when it comes to grounds for appeals and she doesn’t come close to reaching it.”
Hopefully, Michele, you do not need to be an attorney to understand what is and is not a fair trial and what appealable issues are.
facebook 4When a prosecutor and a Medical Examiner team up to deliberately give the jury false testimony intended to sway the jury to deliver a guilty verdict, this is an unfair trial, gross prosecutor misconduct and an appealable issue. If this one is rejected by the courts, there are plenty of others.
The article is not “misquoting expert testimony”. The article contains no quotes. If you mean “misrepresenting or mischaracterizing expert testimony”, we beg to differ. The article is factual.
Is it possible that you could debate using some facts? We would welcome that.
heroes 5We don’t “set the rules”. The higher courts, existing statutes, and past cases do. “Junk like this” has been written before many convictions were reversed and new trials ordered. The news and the social media are chock full of such cases. In many cases, public outcry played a large part in reversed convictions, new trials, and exonerated prisoners.
Obviously, Michele, you didn’t read the article or other articles on this site. If you did, you would begin to realize that something is rotten in Denmark (Maricopa, Arizona). Arizona’s “especially cruel” aggravator is unconstitutionally vague and arbitrary.
We will see how high the bar is in 5 to 7 years. By that time, you will have forgotten all about this case.

Genius #3

“Brooke”
Commenter on Facebook
zeros 5In response to our article “Why Jodi Arias will get a new trial”, this is her response:
“I’d like to see the degree on law that makes this factual reasons.”
Brooke, what I’d like to see is a simple phrase without so many grammatical errors. “degree on law”?   “makes this factual reasons”?
Come on Brooke, you must be smarter than that. If not, you are not qualified to debate or give an opinion on the facts.
******************************************
zeros 8
We anticpate that there will be more Heroes, Zeros, and Geniuses as this case moves forward. Whenever they occur, as they inevitably do, we will collect them, report on them, and issue another update.

Unlike many blogs, All opinions and any comments are welcome here

All Rights Reserved

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