Rumble in the Jungle: Retrial Update with Geffner

Fact-based reporting

By Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

In this re-trial performance art, the part of Psychologist Robert Geffner will be portrayed by a hapless, knobby-kneed zebra. The part of prosecutor Juan Martinez will be portrayed by an athletic pack of hungry leopards.

The part of 2nd chair defense attorney Jennifer Wilmott will be portrayed by a bandage toting animal field medic.

 

The defense team takes a water break.
The defense team takes a water break. (click to enlarge)

Here we are in 2015, still watching the Jodi Arias penalty retrial finally wind down, and what’s changed in this case? We know there’s an overwhelming majority on one side and a small but dedicated following on Jodi’s side.

 

 

Trial by tweet is like listening to the World Series on an AM radio. You just don’t get a good feel for the tempo, the intensity, or the action. It’s so hard to get a sense of what the jury is actually experiencing. Then the story can be very different depending on who’s tweeting about it. Which courtroom tweeter can you trust?

We think the best are Monica Lindstrom (but she’s not there all the time), Michael Kiefer (some trial watchers see Michael as being against the prosecution), and Jen Wood from the Trial Diaries. The rest generally suck eggs, in our opinion. What do You think?

If we were to have a poll today of all interested trial watchers, the votes for Life would most likely easily win by a great majority. It’s only that those who want death are far more vocal. The percentages on social media can make it appear as if it’s 10 to 1 prosecution supporters, because Jodi Arias supporters are very present and vocal, but in fact the percentage of Prosecution supporters is easily 100 to 1.

The prosecutor at the ready (click to enlarge)
The prosecutor at the ready (click to enlarge)

The problems that Jodi supporters like to point out is that some facts are ignored, speculations are presented as fact, and non-facts are believed to be true. Interesting observations on the defense side in favor of Jodi Arias are often dismissed. Some important facts are not considered at all, and some prejudices that can distort the true facts inevitably leak in.

For prosecution supporters, Dr. Geffner is a slimy hired gun, who will say or do almost anything to prevent a mentally ill woman from being executed. He will cheat on tests and lie to the jury with a straight face. Plus, he’s a Dinosaur.

Geffner’s a sentimental relic of outdated psychology theory that people keep around out of nostalgia. He’s a liberal twerp who should be banned from Arizona.

Jodi Arias supporters see Dr. Geffner as another in a succession of experts trying to give the full story of precisely what went on in Arias’ head and in this relationship that lead to the grizzly killing .

I relied mostly on tweets from Michael Kiefer from the Arizona Republic and Jennifer Wood from the Trial Diaries to try and get a balanced idea of what transpired in the courtroom. Jennifer Wood blocked me on Twitter for tweeting that I thought she was biased. That really wasn’t fair, after looking at more of her tweets. One thing, I think, that gave me the wrong impression about Jen Wood is that people were re-tweeting her tweets, but then they added their own comment at the end of the tweet.

I mistakenly took this as ALL a tweet from Jen Wood. I was wrong about that, and

Jodi Arias greets the jury
Jodi Arias greets the jury

I apologize to her. Jen Wood’s tweets are actually the most complete and accurate that I’ve seen. I don’t think her reporting is biased at all, after taking a closer look. She even tweets the jury questions in exact quotes. Great job, Jen!

In our last retrial update https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/jodi-arias-and-her-defense-add-insult-to-injury/, we were finishing up with Dr. Robert Geffner’s testimony. Juan Martinez was finishing his re-cross. They are discussing the PTSD testing and Martinez indelicately tries to ram in the coded messages written near the spine of a couple of magazines, supposedly intended for Matt McCartney. Jodi Arias allegedly tried to smuggle them out to Matt McCartney from the Estrella Women’s Jail in Phoenix via a reporter.

The prosecution side is cheering Mr. Juanderful for sticking another knife in Arias’ case for mitigation. Some Jodi supporters were claiming that those magazine messages were written by another defendant in another case, and Arias was blamed for it. Our take is this:

Dr. Geffner swears in
Dr. Geffner swears in

The magazine messages were in fact written by Jodi Arias and they were intended for Matt McCartney. Gray Hughes even pointed out on a FB page that the handwriting matched that of Jodi Arias. She was probably desperate to get some corroborating testimony from Matt. It is a legitimate fact to bring up, but we’re just saying that the foundation had not been laid down properly. This has no relation to the line of questioning. It’s just thrown in there while discussing the PTSD testing, Geffner keys right in on this, too. What does this have to do with the PTSD testing, he asks? He has never seen this before and he wants to know the context. They started arguing and talking over each other, and Judge Stephens had to admonish them. Geffner has no idea about the coded message in the magazines.

 

Geffner: What does this have to do with PTSD?

Martinez: Tries to ask more about the magazines and the hidden message.

Stephens: Stop talking over and interrupting each other!

Long Sidebar.

The poor court reporter is probably working up a good case off carpal-tunnel syndrome right around now.

Juan is attacking, demanding Yes or No answers. He demands to see Geffner’s notes. He’s getting all up in Geff’s grill. Juan’s always wanting to see the notes. Geffner is claiming he can’t answer these questions with a simple Yes or No. Kirk Nurmi objects to Martinez’ questioning as badgering and argumentative. Judge Stephens overrules the objection. Rumble in the jungle – it’s on.

Dr. Geffner answers a question
Dr. Geffner answers a question

Judge Stephens seems to have a very simple formula for objections. On direct and cross she sustains most objections. On re-cross and re-direct, she simply overrules most objections. Sidebars abound. The main point Juan wants to make is that Jodi Arias, still clinging to the ridiculous Ninja-intruder story, claimed a non-sexual attack by a stranger as the trauma giving rise to PTSD. The prosecution claims this invalidates the entire test, the defense claims it does not, that the trauma was actually a non-sexual attack by a known person, and all the other answers are valid. Jodi Arias suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress.

Martinez’ wingman, Detective Esteban Flores, whose teenage son recently died in a tragic accident, is noticeably missing from the proceedings.

It’s the old Lions and Tigers and Bears argument made famous by a juror in the original trial. Who cares if it was a Lion or a Tiger, or even a Bear? The attack is the same. Martinez puts the PTSD or PDS test up on the big screens. Geffner complains that the test questions are copyrighted and should not be shown to the public. Juan calls Dr. Geffner combative. Geffner actually has to appeal directly to Judge Stephens and tells her “Your Honor, this is getting real borderline”. Micheal Kiefer calls the questioning “snarly and contentious”.

The hungry leopards hang onto the hapless zebra and commence tearing flesh. The zebra is trying to shake them off.

Geffner tries to say that Martinez is mixing up two different tests. The back and forth is described as ‘going in circles’. Geffner reads verbatim from the test to show that Juan Martinez is paraphrasing and mischaracterizing what was said on the test. Juan transitions out of this and he questions Dr. Geffner’s certification to testify in Arizona. Dr. Geffner says there’s no such thing as a certification to testify. He’s licensed in California to practice, but not Arizona. Juan’s finished and Jennifer Willmott gets up for re-direct.

Juan Martinez is licensed to pounce. For now he’s returned to his chair and is crouching, scanning.

 

Juan Martinez waits patiently in his seat for his turn at the witness
Juan Martinez waits patiently in his seat for his turn at the witness (click to enlarge most photos)

Willmott explains that practicing in Arizona requires a license, testifying does not. This is where my theory about Juan Martinez comes in. Once in a while, Martinez will just throw things in that seem to be trivial, not related, to make no sense. Remember that Martinez didn’t want any co-prosecutors on this case. He has had co-prosecutors in the past. He wants to take care of this himself and he’s gonna handle every detail himself.

My theory is that he has a set way of handling witnesses. Juan has a list of testimony he wants to elicit, and points he wants to make. But he doesn’t want the defense to figure out how he prepares and how he picks the points he wants to cover, so he throws a couple curve balls in there. He brings up things which are irrelevant or not really important, just to keep the defense from discovering his system, which is pretty straightforward. I’ve noticed this a few times, and the not-being-licensed-to-practice-in Arizona is something he knows is not even an issue.

Other trial watchers have pointed out that it is an issue, and that out of state Psychologist enlisted as trial witnesses who aren’t licensed to practice in Arizona have gotten into trouble for things they testified to.

Juan Martinez contemplates his next move.
Juan Martinez contemplates his next move.

Here’s a strange occurrence in the trial. Willmott and Geffner are both saying that Juan Martinez did not tell the whole story about the porn found on the Bishop’s computer. This is the Friday before the Super Bowl football championship between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, also going on in Phoenix. Judge Sherry Stephens sends the jury out.

The story of the porn at the Bishop’s residence is that the computer either crashed or was not working well. Witness # 1 sees pop-ups of sexy scantily-clad women. Witness #1 knows about computers and investigates the malfunctioning computer. He traces this back to a file or folder with Travis Alexander’s name on it. He claims he found some child porn. Witness #1’s affidavit continues the story with Travis and the witness going out to his car and they have a heart to heart conversation about the porn. Witness #1 says, “Travis, you are not who you’re supposed to be”.  Then Travis breaks down and explains he was sexually abused at age 12.

jungle porn 30

Then Martinez and Willmott have an argument over whether or not Travis confessed to being the one responsible for the porn. At this point, Judge Stephens tells the gallery “You are not to respond verbally to anything that’s about to be said.” That was quite unusual. The judge calls the two to the stand. They return. Geffner continues. “Travis, you are not the person you’re supposed to be. You would be homeless if I told the Bishop.”  Juan objects – another sidebar. Geffner interviewed the witness with associates. Willmott asks if Geffner believed that Travis confessed to the porn? Martinez objects, and it’s overruled. Geffner answers that was his understanding.

Jennifer Willmott then goes on to show that Travis Alexander had another issue with porn pop-ups in 2007. From testimony we know that Alexander was again having a computer problem from a virus or malware on the day of June 4th, 2008. So, she’s making a connection between Travis Alexander, computers, and an ongoing problem with masking his apparent porn addiction.

Willmott gets Geffner to explain that the date witness #1 gave as the date that Travis grabbed Deanna Reid, his girlfriend at the time, and pushed her down on the couch, was off at first, but he was sure about the incident. This was when Travis supposedly said “Get it through your f*cking head, I’m not going to marry you!” the jury is brought back in. Jenn moves on to Jodi Arias and elicits testimony relating to the months after she killed Alexander. Geffner explains to the jury that Jodi was hazy about what happened. She was not able to come to terms with what she did, so, she made up some stories.

She knew these stories made no sense, but she held onto them anyways. Wilmott asks Geffner if Jodi Arias disavowed the Ninja story and finally confessed. Geffner says that she did. Willmott asks Geffner why she made up the story. There’s an objection and another sidebar and Willmott drops the question. Then she moves on to the masturbation to the photos of young boys allegation about Travis Alexander. Why was there confusion between whether the photos were paper photos or images on his laptop? Geffner explains that all versions and all notes about that story talk about paper pictures, except Alyce LaViolette’s. She had apparently assumed it was images on a computer.

Jeifer Willmott and client
Jennifer Willmott and client

Now Willmott moves on to July 29, 2007, when Arias says she broke up with Alexander after finding intimate communications with several different women on Alexander’s phone. Next she wants to explore what the difference is between the two “going steady” or “officially going out” and being broken up. Geffner explains there was little difference, because they were still seeing each other, still having lots of sex and still hiding the relationship. During that summer, there were text messages of Travis Alexander jealously accusing Lisa Andrews of seeing her ex-boyfriend, while at the same time, he’s wooing Jodi Arias and another woman.

Now it’s time to review the idea about Travis keeping the relationship secret and what that means. Martinez likes to point out that most people do not talk about their sexual experiences and that Jodi Arias also kept it a secret. Keeping things secret, especially in a Mormon environment, is normal and has no application to abusive behavior or any other alleged malfeasance on the part of Travis Alexander.

But that’s really not the point, is it? It wasn’t just the sex, but Travis kept everything else secret from his friends, his co-workers, and his community, too. He didn’t go to dinner with her, or a movie, or a walk. He didn’t participate in any social activities with her, and he made sure she stayed on a different team at Pre-Paid Legal Services. As far as her friends, cohorts and community knew, Jodi hardly existed. That’s what the defense is talking about when they are alluding to abuse.

The questioning heats up
The questioning heats up

Beyond that, text messages between Travis and Lisa show a cycle of love-lust and anger-jealousy directed at Lisa Andrews by Travis. Next, Geffner and Willmott discuss the times Travis talks about marrying several women. The implication here is that in Travis’ world of the LDS church you promise marriage in order to get sex from single Mormon women.

And this is one part of this penalty re-trial and the original trial where the two sides of supporters dramatically diverge. Prosecution supporters seem to discount the whole of Alyce LaViolette’s testimony, when she was giving this same type of evidence. There were multiple women with whom Travis was exchanging risqué messages of love and lust. They were talking about encounters they had in the past and planning more of them. There was lots of sexually graphic talk, including talk about making babies, pubic hair and sexy underwear and clothes. There was talk of boobs, too.

Geffner had to make a graphic chart of the women, there were so many. Jodi Arias supporters believed this testimony and they understood it was objective testimony straight from Alexander’s phone. It didn’t come from Jodi.

Prosecution supporters felt it was just talk and didn’t mean much. They figured that the relationship with Jodi was casual anyways, and that it’s natural for a single man to pursue a number of women. Arias supporters saw this as a betrayal, a web of lies and secret trysts that were most likely also happening in real life with a number of these women, at the same time, Travis was claiming love and monogamy with Jodi, consistent with the Mormon precepts and tenets.

 

Judge Sherry Stephens at the helm
Judge Sherry Stephens at the helm

 

Prosecution supporters saw this simply as Travis playing the field, but Jodi supporters saw it as sexual and emotional abuse, especially when you add in Travis’ jealousy whenever Arias talked about her plans to see other men.

Prosecution supporters see this as manipulation on the part of Arias, trying to keep him and draw him in by the prospect of eligible rivals in the mist.

The implication on the defense side was that this game was going on long before Travis met Jodi and continued unabated the whole time they knew each other. At the least, there’s a misunderstanding as to the nature of the relationship. There’s also a psychological component, as Arias lost out on the affections of her father when her younger sister, Angela, was born.

From a psychological point of view, Jodi Arias may have then drifted from one overbearing or controlling boyfriend to another, doing anything to gain his affections. When she was finally rejected, even as a friend, and cast aside for a younger girl, she may have lost control. Travis may have paid for the sins of the father, in addition to anything he may have done.

The defense fleshes out this line of thinking further with testimony from Dr. Geffner. Travis Alexander and a woman named Chaitanya  Lay are seen on texts discussing a tryst they had while at the same time, Alexander is texting and sexting with other women. Geffner and Willmott then go into the early 2007 Chris and Sky Hughes e-mails, where Sky is talking about various ways Alexander supposedly toyed with and abused other women.

Geffner explains about copyrighted Psych. Tests, relating how Juan had put the actual questions up on the big screen, and answers he got from Dr,DeMarte out onto the public record. It’s a serious issue. The questioning moves to witness #1 and the porn on the Bishop’s computer and Travis’ alleged admission he had been abused as a child. Juan objects, asking what’s the relationship between the admission to childhood abuse and porn on the computer? Geffner replies that it was Travis and witness #1 that made that connection, not him.

Jodi Arias looks on
Jodi Arias looks on

Geffner amplifies the subject about witness #1 seeing Travis grabbing Deanna Reid by the wrists, pushing her down on the couch and yelling at her at the Bishop’s residence. Could it have been someone else he saw? Geffner relates that witness #1 knows exactly who Travis and Deanna are and he knows he saw them, although he may have been mistaken on exactly what month and day he saw the altercation.

Geffner explains that it was only one report from “Psychologist #1”, who everyone believes was Alyce LaViolette (although LaViolette is not a psychologist), that described Travis as being on his knees when Arias alleges she caught him masturbating to pictures of young children. I still cannot figure out why this would be an issue. I suppose Juan Martinez is skeptical about Alexander’s positioning? There were a number of things LaViolette seems to have misunderstood. Next time, she should get a tape recorder and document when she makes an error in her notes.

Dr. Geffner tried to explain why Jodi Arias made up the Ninja intruder story. According to Jodi, it was to find a way to halt further questioning without revealing or facing up to what she had done.  The questioning turns to the January 22, 2008 finger-breaking incident, where Jodi claims Travis threw her to the floor, kicked her in the ribs, and broke her finger while she was trying to protect her side.  They discuss a possible hidden meaning in her journal entry at the end of that weekend: “Nothing noteworthy to report”.

Then they discuss the Secret and the Law of Attraction (The philosophy that negative thoughts will bring negative events into a person’s life) as a reason why Jodi rarely mentions negative issues involving Travis. Geffner says Jodi adheres to the law of attraction consistently in her journal entries.

Dr. Geffner relates that Jodi was experiencing anxiety and depression early in her relationship with Travis. Juan Martinez suggests that perhaps Jodi was feeling these things because of financial problems and losing her house to foreclosure. Geffner said it wasn’t money or foreclosure because her journals only speak of Travis in relation to feeling anxious and depressed.

As a counter to charges that Travis was manipulating Jodi while seeing other women behind her back, Juan charges that Jodi was being manipulative with Travis in May and June, 2008, as she was seeing Travis while also courting Ryan Burns.

Jen from The Trial Diaries reported that Jodi Arias has had the same blank stare all day long in court with no visible emotions.

more intense questioning
more intense questioning

Geffner states that there had been no aggression in Jodi Arias’ history since the teen years and there was low aggression found in her testing. Dr. Geffner stated that Dr. Janeen DeMarte’s report discussed aggression between Jodi Arias and her rival for Matt McCartney, a woman named Bianca. Geffner stated this was not true at all as the encounter was casual and amicable. He stated that Dr, D. had based some of her conclusions on this misrepresentation of facts. Geffner stated that Jodi Arias had often stated that she always wanted the best for Travis, even when they were no longer an item.

Prosecution supporters see this as more manipulation from Jodi Arias. The hungry pack of leopards is poised under shade trees on the periphery, ready to spring.

He stressed that the Havasupai trip was devastating for Jodi, as a nice vacation was soured by a bitter argument with a chilling aftermath. Juan Martinez registered lots of objections here, which were all overruled. There were contentions about a letter Jodi Arias wrote to Abe Abdelhadi, a fellow team member in her PPL group, in December of 2006. In the letter, she was saying she could no longer see him. The idea was that Travis forced her to write the letter. Juan argued that she did it on her own, possibly as a manipulation of Travis to get him to commit to her, and that she never actually sent the letter.

Here’s a video of Abe Adelhadi talking about most of the stuff he discussed on the stand as a prosecution witness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRU4NK-7O-g

 

Geffner also reported that there was no proof that Jodi wrote the coded messages in the magazines purportedly intended for a potential witness, her ex-boyfriend, Matt McCartney.

They move on to the jury questions:

jungle leopards 21

Question: Do norms testing for the PTSD tests include incarcerated people?

Geffner – No.

Question: Since JA tested years after the incident, how accurate was the test?

Geffner – I’m looking for consistency.

Question: Could depression, anxiety and PTSD come from murdering someone and being in jail?

Geffner – Yes but we talked to other people who knew her at the time to establish it was not the result of being incarcerated.

 

Question: Can Jodi fake non-aggression on a test?

Geffner – It’s very hard to do.

Question: Why does JA continue to have sex with Travis after being abused?

Geffner – That’s the cycle.

Question: Why does JA call Travis the T-Dogg?

Geffner – That was Travis’ macho side.

Question: Who was the recipient of the coded messages?

Geffner – I don’t know.

 

Question: Is there any supportive documentation of DV?

Geffner – No, just Jodi’s word.

Question: In your review of records and expert opinion did physical abuse take place?

Geffner- Yes.

Question: Why was the DV not powerful enough to write about it?

Geffner – JA was going by the Law of Attraction but some of it still sank into her journals.

Question: Did verbal abuse really happen?

Geffner – Yes.

Just another manic sidebar
Just another manic sidebar

Question: Can a person be attracted to young girls AND young boys?

 

Geffner – Yes and also to adults as well. This would be a non exclusive type of pedophile.

 

Question: Aren’t you surprised as an expert that JA continued having sex with TA after she caught him?

Geffner – I’m not surprised anymore. JA felt bad for TA.

Question: How long did JA talk with Psychologist #1?

Geffner – Alyce LaViolette talked to JA for two days and had type written notes.

Question: How can Jodi Arias function normally and go to work, etc., after the homicide?

Geffner Jodi blocked it out.

Question: A question about giving JA the same test twice?

GeffnerShe was given 2 tests with 100 questions each. One was done from the perspective of now and one we asked her to go back in time to the months following the crime in 2008.

 

Jennifer Willmott goes back on direct after the jury questions:

Birds can be heard whooping and cawing, twigs are snapping, and snakes are heard slithering in the jungle.

 

Juan Martinez plies his craft in a previous trial
Juan Martinez plies his craft in a previous trial

Willmott elicits testimony from Dr. Geffner showing it’s nearly impossible to fake aggression on the test. Geffner says 2 tests were given over a span of 2 years and the results were too consistent to be faking.

 

 

 

Geffner states he looked very closely at Jodi’s ring finger and it’s broken, not sliced.

Geffner says the sex tape of referencing a 12 year-old while masturbating corroborates JA’s story of the incident when she caught Travis with the photos of young children.

The hungry pack of leopards leap out of the brush.

Juan crosses and states that he thinks JA learned a lot about PTSD while she’s been in jail as well while she’s been absorbing the proceedings at her trial. He shows there’s no other evidence about the photo incident except Jodi’s word. He asks Geffner if he believes there was Domestic Violence? Geffner answers that it’s not his belief, but his opinion. Juan asks where is there any reference to physical harm in her journals? It’s all based on Jodi Arias’s word, Geffner agrees.

Someone asked a juror what time it was? The juror said they can’t talk to the person. Kirk Nurmi jumps on this and wants a chamber conference.

Kirk Nurmi says Juan Martinez will now call the Mormon Bishop and Abe Abdelhadi. Nurmi wants Abe precluded from testifying.

 

The jungle is temporarily closed.

This ended the questioning of Doctor Robert Geffner in mitigation testimony. Did Geffner offer any solid mitigators as to why Jodi Arias should receive a sentence of Life in prison rather than Death? Did Geffner, along with Dr, Miccio- Fonseca and Alyce LaViolette finally explain why this was an abusive relationship that destabilized Jodi Arias? Or, are they all just hired guns attempting to rationalize and minimize what Jodi did in order to protect her?

 

jungle courtroom 12

Is there any solid evidence that Travis was sexually and emotionally abusive towards Jodi Arias? Is there any credibility to what witness #1 alleges? What exactly transpired after the relationship soured and Jodi and Travis fell apart? These are the questions many trial watchers are asking, answering, and continuing to ask.

Our next trial update will go into the testimony of PPL co-worker Abe Abdelhadi, Bishop Verno Parker, and Psychologist Dr. Janeen DeMarte.

 

 

Anything you've read that you would like to pounce on?
Anything you’ve read here that you would like to pounce on?

 

Comments from all viewpoints are welcome. 

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Your witness
“Your witness”

 

 

Arias and her Defense add Insult to Injury

Fact-based reporting

by Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Flores family on the tragic loss of their 15 year-old son.

We intended to post an article all about Travis Alexander, but recent events in the penalty retrial have caused us to change our course. Additionally, I told a very good friend of mine, a prosecution supporter, about my intention to post an article about Travis Alexander, and she asked me why not do an article about Jodi Arias instead? She’s right, so here it is.

Having recently reported that this retrial was not the nightmare many believe it is, I have to backpedal a little after the events of last week. No question, it was a really dark week for the defense.

https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/the-jodi-arias-penalty-re-trial-the-nightmare-that-never-was/

Two things in particular happened last week, and there are just no two sides about it. The first is an affidavit by a former acquaintance of Travis Alexander named Marc McGee, now of New Zealand. The second is the release into evidence of an 18 page letter Jodi Arias wrote to Travis Alexander’s family on July 28th, 2008. Before we delve into all that, let’s have a review of the rest of what happened last week (Jan. 19 – 22).

Dr. Robert Geffner is still on the stand and Jennifer Willmott was finishing up on direct examination of this defense mitigation expert witness. We should keep in mind that this is not all mitigation. The prosecution summed up their version of all the major events covered in the guilt phase of the trial. The defense, in part, is responding to the prosecution’s version of events. Many prosecution supporters have remarked they have seen no mitigation yet in this penalty retrial. Not so, because the two defense expert witnesses have in fact covered much of the defenses’ enumerated mitigators.

detetive FloresWe have to assume that the mitigators relating to Jodi Arias being a good friend and having artistic talents were removed due to possible difficulties in making a good case for those assertions. Why would that be, do you think? Even so, it’s foreseeable some artwork will be featured in some way during the penalty retrial. Mitigators can come from anywhere in the testimony and evidence and are not limited to those enumerated by the defense.

Here are the new enumerated mitigators:

1. Ms. Arias has no prior criminal history.

2. Ms. Arias was just 27 years old when she committed her
offense.

3. Ms. Arias is remorseful for her conduct.

4. Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse as a
child.

5. Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse during
her relationship with Mr. Alexander.

6. The abusive nature of the relationship caused Ms. Arias to
suffer extreme emotional stress at the time of the incident.

7. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder.

8. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality
Disorder.

9. Ms. Arias’ psychological makeup impaired her ability to cope
with the tumultuous relationship she had with Mr. Alexander.

Numbers 1 and 2 do not take very much testimony to establish. Number 3 should come from Jodi Arias’ own testimony or allocution, and that’s all on hold now pending the appeal of the ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court that she cannot be allowed to testify in a closed courtroom. Numbers 4 through 8 have all been substantially covered by the expert witnesses.

Jennifer Willmott finished up her questioning of Dr. Geffner by introducing messages and texts suggesting that Travis Alexander was having intimate and sexual conversations with a number of women, including a request for sexually provocative photos, while he was involved with Jodi Arias and Lisa Andrews.

Geffner stated that sexual exploitation was a form of domestic abuse and that Travis Alexander was engaged in such conduct with Jodi Arias. The defense also explored how Travis’ overriding emphasis on sex made Lisa Andrews uncomfortable in several different ways.

JUAN FIT 10Geffner described an “on-again, off-again” pattern in Alexander’s relationships and a history of unstable relationships for Arias. Some of the conversations between Alexander and a number of young ladies happened in the weeks leading up to Arias’ move back to northern California in April, 2008.

References to a “cycle of abuse” and Arias being constantly drawn back into the sexual relationship were made by Dr. Geffner. It was stated that there is no physical evidence of physical abuse and no mention of it in Arias’ journals. Dr. Geffner said this was not unusual. Certain incidents of alleged physical abuse were then discussed.

Dr. Geffner talked about Arias’ diagnosis of PTSD and said the psych. tests he ran on Arias showed the same results as earlier tests.

Testimony then turned to a reported drastic change in Arias’ personality in late 2006, about the time Arias became involved with the Mormon Church, Pre-Paid Legal Services (PPL), and Travis Alexander. Dr. Geffner reported that no one has reported any aggression by Jodi Arias in years and years prior to June, 2008.

Then the defense decided to introduce affidavits from defense witnesses who were supposedly refusing to testify. They introduced them via Dr. Geffner’s testimony. Prosecutor Juan Martinez, who previously argued that the court should not be allowed to be cleared for a witness, because witnesses who wanted their identity kept secret could testify by way of affidavit, was now objecting to the introduction of witness affidavits. This is the same prosecutor who famously declared that Jodi Arias and the defense “cannot have it both ways”.

pittsWilliam Pitts @william_pitts · Jan 20

Nurmi is up. Says the last time we talked mitigation Martinez said bring your affidavits. We brought them, now he says no. #JodiArias

To be fair, his objection could have been based on whether the affidavits were sworn statements or not.

At this point, there was a “sidebar” at least an hour and fifteen minutes long to discuss the introduction of witness affidavits. Then Judge Sherry Stephens went to her chambers either to consult with other judges or to research case law. Then she returned for more sidebars.

af·fi·da·vit

noun

law : A written report which is signed by a person who promises that the information is true.

: A sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer.

An affidavit was introduced through Dr. Geffner from a former co-worker of Arias’ in Palm Springs, California attesting to a drastic change in her personality towards the end of 2006. Previously, in the guilt phase, Arias’ former boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, had testified to just such a change.

Now we can get to the dark parts for the defense.

court roomAn affidavit was introduced by Dr. Geffner, signed by one of the defense mitigation witnesses who we now know to be former Alexander acquaintance Marc McGee of New Zealand. We know this because Marc McGee has been vocal in social media, and many trial watchers, reporters and bloggers knew this information was coming from him. The other reason we know this is because Juan Martinez decided to say the name of the author of the affidavit several times in open court, even though it was agreed upon not to divulge the names of the authors/witnesses. At this point what do you think happened? That’s right – Kirk Nurmi motioned for a mistrial. Motion denied, but the Judge admonished Martinez for naming the secret witness more than once. Martinez came out again, blurted out the witness’ name AGAIN, and then he said “Crap!”

The next day, Nurmi took another shot:

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  17h 17 hours ago

Nurmi brings up that he asked that Martinez be held in contempt for stating secret witness’ name yesterday after being admonished by judge.

The two main points in the affidavit of “witness #1” are these:

  • A January 2001 incident at the Bishop’s residnce in Riverside, California where the witness claims to have witnessed Alexander forcibly grabbing and pushing his girlfriend, Deanna Reid, down on a couch and saying “Get it through your f*cking head, I’m not going to marry you.” The witness says his fiancée then provided some first aid to Deanna Reid’s wrists.
  • The same witness also recalled that while looking at files on the Bishop’s computer, as the witness lived at the Bishop’s residence at that time, a file popped up containing photos of child porn. The witness said it came from a user account or folder belonging to Travis Alexander. The affidavit then states that he had a private conversation about the porn with Travis Alexander in a car outside the Bishop’s home. The witness stated Alexander admitted he downloaded the porn, he had an addiction, and that he was sexually abused at age eight.

Jennifer Willmott then drew comparisons to an event where Alexander allegedly grabbed Arias and refused to let her leave his bedroom.

Later, on cross-examination, prosecutor Juan Martinez made the point that since the witness saw the child porn, the witness broke the law and was also guilty of viewing child porn. The child porn allegation includes no evidence or other witnesses, and it’s doubtful that Alexander would make such a damning confession to a mere acquaintance. Also, social media comments from the witness during and after the guilt phase of the trial mention porn in relation to Alexander, but not child porn. Further, the witness, from previous statements on Twitter etc., revealed that he is entirely in the defenses’ corner, seems to crave the limelight and attention, and seems to have an axe to grind with Travis Alexander over some previous incident.

As for the claim about Alexander forcefully pushing Deanna Reid down on a couch in late 2001, there are problems with that, too. First, the witnesses initially gave a date the alleged incident occurred, but it was at a time when Deanna Reid was away on an LDS mission in Costa Rica. The witness then corrected the date to December, 2001, but another problem cropped up.

Travis and deannaFirst, Deanna Reid seemed like a very honest witness, highly credible and reliable. She testified that Alexander NEVER put his hands on her in anger NOR raised his voice to her EVER. Second, Deanna Reid testified that she was not even contemplating marriage to Travis Alexander until 2005, when she broke up with him because he was dragging his feet on the issue. In addition, in December 2001, Deanna and Travis were just getting reacquainted, seeing each other at church and meetings occasionally, and talking about dating steadily again. This makes it doubtful that Reid and Alexander, who had actually dated for only a couple months by the end of 2001, could have had an argument over the subject of marriage, much less an argument that turned physical or violent over marriage.

(Excerpt from CroakerQueen123 video. For the full video, please click on this link: CroakerQueen123

For all CroakerQueen123 trial videos, please click here CroakerQueen123 trial videos  )

Deanna Reid, a prosecution witness, talks about her relationship with Travis Alexander.

So, Witness #1, Marc McGee, is giving testimony via affidavit on two major points and both allegations end up being highly questionable and problematic. No doubt Deanna Reid will appear in person on the witness stand to answer those allegations. This brings up a good question – What is the defense team doing? They brought in a critical witness but they did not properly vet his statements. Meanwhile, trial watchers were saying on the very same date the Tweets flew out of the courtroom that there was trouble with these allegations. Trial watchers picked right up on the problems with these statements, but the defense didn’t?

Another question is: Did the defense know this was a bad idea to use this witness and that his allegations were highly questionable and used him anyways? If so, the culprit might be Jodi Arias herself. Did Jodi Arias, possibly with the help of Simon Johannson, Ben Ernst, or others from the JodiAriasIsInnocent.com crew demand that this witness be introduced? Did they insist on bringing in Marc McGee despite the damage his poor testimony could cause?

This also brings up serious questions about why witnesses refused to testify unless the courtroom was cleared. Why would a man living in New Zealand, who had no trouble spouting off on social media about this case before, now be afraid to testify in a public trial?  Prosecution Supporters were upset about this weeks ago. I just thought there must be some rational reason for the secrecy, but now I can no longer defend that position. I see no reason at all why Mark McGee should refuse to testify in open court.

It’s not really his life that’s at stake here, is it? If a witness cannot get up on the stand and stand up for Jodi Arias, then why come forward in the first place? The prosecution is going to present live witnesses in rebuttal to all this, and that’s much more powerful than paper statements from witnesses who don’t want to risk anything.

jennifer willmottIt’s either really bad work by the defense, or they allowed Jodi Arias (and crew?) to drive the train and introduce this witness, knowing the harm it could cause. Either way, it’s a stunning defeat for the defense. There’s just no way to rationalize it or to describe it any other way. One really bad affidavit now casts a shadow on any subsequent affidavits from any other witnesses. It was an absolute disaster.

Beyond that, how is this mitigation? People are asking this question, but this evidence was given to back up enumerated mitgator #5: “Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse during her relationship with Mr. Alexander”. It does apply to mitigation, because if it can be shown that Alexander physically abused another girlfriend, then it could be more likely he physically abused Arias. If there are other connections with child porn, Arias’ statements become more believable. The defense needs to prove these mitigators true by a preponderance of the evidence and they’re critical to saving Jodi Arias’ life. The defense cannot afford to introduce any more evidence that can heavily damage any of the enumerated mitigators.

Well, they just did exactly that, and it’s not going to get better, it’s probably going to get worse.

Sparks flew when direct examination of Dr. Geffner ended and cross began. Juan Martinez sprang up out of his chair ready to pounce. There were a lot of ‘Yes or No’s? and a lot of ‘Did I ask you that’s?’

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Willmott is done. Martinez jumps up to cross examine. Already with the “yes or no” please. Willmott objects. Time elapsed: about 20 seconds.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez goes to the affidavit about the child porn at the bishop’s house in Riverside. 

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Says witness #1 gave a different story about the photographs on the computer. Martinez asks for yes/no. Geffner says he doesn’t understand

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

“Yes or no?” “Yes or no, what?” Did Alexander “own” those photos?” “I don’t know if the word ‘owner’ came up.”

Prosecutor Juan Martinez continued to attack Dr. Geffner in a flurry of questions, perhaps hoping Geffner would lose control of his water again. There were questions about the affidavit. Did Alexander admit it was his porn at the Bishop’s residence in Riverside, California? Why did Witness #1 have to change the date of the Deanna Reid pushing-down-on-the-couch incident? Why was witness #1 mixed up on the dates to the point he needed to change the date to December, 2001?

At some point, Martinez reaches into his arsenal of bombs and missiles, and threatens to pull out the cat story, not admitted into the guilt phase of the trial, where Jodi Arias supposedly squeezes a cat “too hard”. Martinez is now claiming that she ‘squeezed the cat to near unconsciousness’. Juan wants this in bad. He knows people know that many of the most dangerous serial killers started out by torturing and killing small animals. Martinez also knows that this is highly prejudicial, and would be very effective in a jury of many younger women. Somehow, evidence that was not allowed to be admitted in the guilt phase of the trial is now being allowed in.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez asks complex questions and asks for yes/no, he talks fast, cuts off answers to get witness off balance. Very effective technique.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

“Turn it over, there’s something else on it…”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez hands an exhibit to Geffner. “Why don’t you take a look it it…Take a look at it..Look at all of it…Look at the next page…”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez hammers the question about whether Travis Alexander denied the porn was his, and when Geffner answers, he shouts, “yes or no?”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez berating Geffner, “Don’t tell me, I’m asking you to put your eyes to it.”

juan fit 12

Martinez refers to Alyce LaViolette as “Psychologist #1”, furthering the misunderstanding that LaViolette is a psychologist. She’s not. She’s an MSW (Masters in Social Work), a Domestic Violence expert and a Psychotherapist. Martinez brings up the time when LaViolette wrote in her notes that Jodi Arias caught Travis Alexander masturbating to pictures of young boys on the computer. Geffener says that was LaViolette’s misunderstanding and mistake, not Jodi Arias’. Martinez accuses Dr. Geffener of being a speculating ‘Hired Gun’.

Martinez delves into Geffner’s history of testifying in trials. How much money he made, whether he thinks his opinion is “the best”, and some controversial testimony in other trials. Martinez asks if Geffner is qualified to testify about the brain because he’s not a Medical Doctor. Geffner replies he’s a neuropsychologist, so he is qualified to testify about the brain.

Martinez then questions Dr. Geffner’s associations on boards with Dr. Miccio Fonseca, who testified earlier in the retrial. He also questions the presence of both Dr. Geffner and Jennifer Willmott at the same speaking engagement.  He then brings up the peeping incident at Alexander’s home, when Arias saw Alexander through the window with another woman in August, 2007, after “breaking up” with Alexander at the end of July.

This journal entry is just days after the peeping incident:

Aug 26 2007 Journal entry A
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry A
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry B
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry B
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry C
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry C

Dr. Geffner’s notes and timeline do not include the peeping incident. Here again, and for the umpteenth time, the defense shoots themselves in the foot by not supplying their witnesses with negative information so they can be prepared to answer difficult questions on cross. Witness preparation has always been sorely lacking on the defense side. They move on to questions about what defines “dating, seeing each other, and being in a relationship”.

Martinez then moves on to Witness #3 who stated that Jodi Arias was cheerful, never sexual, normal, and fun in Palm Desert, California in 2006. Then she changed drastically. Martinez asks if this may have been because Jodi Arias was in financial trouble and losing her home? But Jodi Arias changed before all that, according to Darryl Brewer.

Then they talked about the January 21st kick-in-the-ribs incident. Martinez states that Arias had sex with Alexander on the same day she claims she caught him in his bedroom with pictures of young children. What’s up with that? Then there’s a discussion about the fight Arias and Alexander had shortly before leaving on a vacation trip to Havasupai Falls. They discuss how Arias writes in her journal that Alexander apologized and Arias reported “it was 99% his fault”.

This Journal entry is written just days after the alleged rib-kicking, finger-breaking incident:

January 24 2008 journal entry
January 24 2008 journal entry A
January 24 2008 journal entry B
January 24 2008 journal entry B

Martinez believes that the Havasupai Falls Fight and the Peeping incidents are key incidents that say a lot about the bad behavior of Jodi Arias. The peeping incident because Arias and Alexander were broken up and Arias invades his privacy, stalks Alexander, spies on him, and confronts him with the information the next day. The Havasupai argument incident is key for Martinez because Arias blames Alexander for something that was not his fault at all – the unpacking of the contents of her backpack onto the kitchen table. Dan Freeman initiated that, because it was way too heavy to hike with. He was trying to help Jodi Arias, and Alexander was just there.

The questioning continues to Jodi Arias’ journal entry registering surprise when she’s told early June 10th that Alexander was found dead in his bathroom. Geffner states she knew he was dead, but he doesn’t know her “level of disassociation”. Martinez remarks how Jodi Arias omits details in her journal that are unfavorable to her, especially about the Havasupai Fight. Geffner replies that people omit all kinds of details in diaries, both favorable and unfavorable. Geffner also says Arias omitted negative things because she was following the Law of Attraction, where efforts to think of only good thoughts will supposedly attract only good things to your life.

This journal entry is written the day after Alexander’s body was found:

June 10 2008 journal entry A
June 10 2008 journal entry A
June 10 2008 journal B
June 10 2008 journal B

Questioning then moved to Alexander’s position on the bed when Arias allegedly caught him masturbating to children’s pictures. He was reportedly kneeling, which Martinez is skeptical about. Martinez asks Geffner why he described Alexander as manipulative, and Geffner responded that he described certain behaviors as manipulative, not the person. Martinez likes to switch subjects suddenly and skip around the timeline to throw witnesses off. He switches to questions about the forensic computer expert “John Smith” and a teen sex website link found on Alexander’s computer.

Next, Juan projects questions from psychological tests on the wall, and Geffner protests that these are copyrighted tests, and they’ll be invalidated by broadcasting the questions to the general public. The inevitable sidebar is called. Judge Stephens orders court cameras turned off and they proceed. Next are questions about the PTSD test that Dr. Samuels gave, after Arias changed her story about what trauma she experienced.

Finally, Juan brings in the famous 18-page letter Jodi Arias wrote to the Alexander family on July 28, 2008, Travis’ Birthday. This letter was not allowed into evidence in the guilt trial for being too prejudicial to Jodi Arias. This is the second serious defeat for the defense. We have wondered exactly what was in that letter, and now we know:

Jodi Arias 7 28 letter to Alexander family

The first thing that stands out with this letter is that Arias knows this letter will be seen by the police and could be used for evidence. She even says so in the letter. Jodi Arias later stated after being arrested for murder, that she did not want to admit to killing Travis because she did not want to get into the specifics of the relationship which would be embarrassing and reflect badly on both Travis and herself.

Yet, she talks about how the couple had to avoid Deanna Reid because she gets very jealous, about everything being part of God’s plan, and about how she discovered sexual text messages with multiple women in Travis’ phone in July, 2007.

She writes about how she broke up with him and how he begged her to move to Mesa, how he cheated on Her and Lisa Andrews, about having a confession session with Travis where he admitted he had been dating Lisa Andrews, about how Travis became enraged when Jodi talked about her love interests and dates, and about Travis being cruel to her and abusing her.

Remember that this letter was sent to Travis’ devastated family, his grandmother and his 7 siblings.

juan fit 11She writes about how Travis was begging her to come over for late night romps, how he ‘guilted her’ if she refused. She wrote about how Travis beat her and how she covered up the bruises, about her leaving Mesa and moving back to Yreka, about how Travis was extremely angry, and how she pitied him and felt sorry for him for the way he got angry and abused her.

She talks of how upon telling him of new love interests and dates, he branded her “a whore”, and about how she was helping him to court Mimi Hall.

She writes about how Travis planned to travel up to her area to see 3 more of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die * ( Crater Lake, The Oregon Coast, and the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon), how Travis later guilted her into diverting to Mesa, Arizona from her planned trip to lower California and Utah on June 2-6, 2008.

* If you listen closely to the phone sex conversation, you will notice that every time Jodi Arias mentions getting together or Travis coming up to Yreka to travel in Oregon, he stops talking or changes the subject. You will notice that happens several times. Then he finally agrees, but his plans are very vague.

Then she starts giving a very detailed account of the killing on June 4th, 2008. This is the Ninja story where she is taking photos of Travis in the shower when she hears a loud “pop”. Travis is shot by one of two intruders. He is on his hands and knees and screaming. Jodi charges the female intruder and knocks her over. She grabs Travis and tries to escort him out of the bathroom. Travis says he can’t make it and he can’t feel his legs.

The female intruder says we didn’t come here to kill Jodi Arias and the male threatens her family if she tells. The male and female intruder have an argument. The male intruder then changes his mind and points the gun at Jodi’s temple and fires, but the gun doesn’t go off. She brushes by the two intruders and out of the bathroom leaving Travis behind. She peels out of the driveway.

Jodi Arias even supplies details such as she backed out of the driveway keeping an eye on the front door, backing up without even looking at what was in the street. She even supplies witnesses, two blonde girls, a 9 year-old and a 14 year-old, who saw her as she cruised out of Travis’ neighborhood.

Then she talks about Travis’ kindness and generosity and how much she misses him. She makes the remark that some souvenirs Travis had in his home from their trips together, which are probably in their possession now, were bought by her. She writes again about how they both planned to conquer the 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. She gives more references to God’s will and adds some scripture, and explains why she smiled for her mug shot. She writes about how God is just and fair, how they will find and punish whoever did this someday, and about how Travis is close by and living in Heaven.

She goes on to say that Travis had retaliated against her physically on two occasions, but that he did nothing to deserve his horrific murder. She says she wasn’t jealous at all about not being asked to go to Cancun with Travis. She says she harbors no hostility towards Travis and knowing him was one of the great blessings of her life. She’s forgiven Travis for being unfaithful to her, and his family is in her thoughts and prayers.

jodi lg btThen she lets the family of the victim know that she will not spend a single day in prison for a heinous crime in which she had no part.

She mentions physical abuse in this letter, written just 7 weeks after the killing which goes against both the Law of Attraction and her stated goal of not edifying Travis in a negative way.

On the other hand, her claims of physical abuse are very consistent.

To get the full effect of the letter, you really need to imagine your son, grandson, or brother was just found in his bathroom in the state Travis Alexander was found in, then imagine you were told by the Mesa Police they were 100% sure that Jodi Arias did this. You are then told she has been indicted, charged, and arrested for your relative’s murder, then you receive this letter about 7 weeks after the body is found.

Read it several times. There are really only two conclusions a reasonable person could come to:

  • Jodi Arias is selfish, cruel and inhuman, with absolutely no concept of other people’s feelings or pain.

Or

  • Jodi Arias is severely and seriously mentally ill.

Any way you look at this letter, even in the light most favorable to the defendant, there can only be these two possibilities. These people just lost their family member, and she is talking about souvenirs from trips, about Travis’ cruelty and abuse, about herself mostly, and about Travis’ anger and rage. There is just no way any reasonable person could be that callous and insensitive to write the things she writes to a family that just lost their loved one in a brutal killing. There’s just no way she could have not really meant it that way. There is no possible interpretation of this letter that’s favorable to Jodi Arias.

Others would offer a third possibility

  • Jodi was justified in committing this crime or did not commit the crime at all.

barwood

barwood 4

Now try to clear your mind of everything, and put yourself in the shoes of someone who was there and did commit the killing, but completely blacked out, and only remembers small bits and pieces, but she knows she was attacked and she was defending herself. Now read the letter again. Does it make more sense now?

dryson 1

Now put yourself in the shoes of a very confused person who does not remember what really happened, but she knows she did not commit the killing. Now read the letter from this perspective. Does the letter make any more sense now?

“Dryson Bennington” believes that Travis’ roommate, Enrique Cortez, witnessed Travis having that conference call he was scheduled to have on June 4, 2008 at around 6:30 PM. The obvious problem with this is that his fellow PPL’ers stated Travis missed that conference call. No one has come forward to say they were on a conference call with Travis at around 6:30 PM on June 4, 2008.

I agree that the two roommates, Zach and Enrique, could not remember exactly when they saw Travis last, when they did their laundry last, and why they didn’t think it strange that Travis’ CTR ring (‘Choose the Right’), keys and wallet sat on the kitchen counter for 5 days when they thought he was in Cancun. It’s a little strange, but they were cleared in this matter, and it doesn’t seem like a promising lead to me. Dryson Bennington, a fellow Jodi-supporter, blocked me on Facebook shortly after this, when I was questioning his statements.

Jen from The Trial Diaries, a prosecution supporter, blocked me on Twitter, for whatever reason. I questioned something she said. I guess if someone disagrees with you, just block them and you never have to justify your statements or question your own ideas and assumptions. 🙂

But please be objective. Setting aside all other evidence, from which perspective does the letter make the most sense?

  • She planned it, she did it, and she knows she did it.
  • She did it, but she was attacked first and she defended herself, but remembers little.
  • She remembers little, she was there but she did not have any part in it.

This letter does serious damage to a case for Life for Jodi Arias. Presumably it will be in the jury room for the jury to read. Juan Martinez will be sure to see that they all read it. Many people think this letter is subtly, stealthily and deliberately heartless and cruel. Others believe it’s totally blatant and not really hidden at all. Few people see how this could just be an effort to ingratiate herself with the Alexander family and try to rationalize and divert blame and responsibility for the murder onto someone else. Fewer people still, believe that this letter can be explained and rationalized if the person committed the killing, but blacked out and doesn”t remember most of what happened, or was not involved at all.

I see it as more evidence that Jodi Arias has a severe and serious mental illness. I don’t see this as wholly deliberate, but beyond her ability to control it, or to fully realize the magnitude of what she is doing and what she has done.

When you couple this letter together with the affidavit of witness #1, the defense has taken a very serious blow this week. Some trial watchers have reported that this week changed their minds from wanting Life for Arias to wanting Death for her. Many trial watchers have reported that they feel that a sentence of Death is now far more likely than a Life sentence just on account of the events of last week.

judge sherryJuan Martinez has many, many more missiles and bombs in his arsenal to rain down on Jodi Arias, some of these may even be nuclear. The defense cannot afford to stumble again like they did last week. They need to find a way to counter these severe blows and others like them that surely will follow.

jodi arias sleeveless 2 ltThis thing with Marc McGee has been a disaster so far, and they need to fix it. It just makes a person wonder who will be the next star witness? Were these mitigation witnesses selected by the defense team or were these witnesses Jodi Arias insisted on including regardless of the defense team’s advice? Are Marc McGee and other possible witnesses the product of Jodi Arias listening to and believing in Simon Johannson, Benjamin Ernst and others from the crew at Jodi Arias Is Innocent.com?

Entering that letter into evidence was no fault of the defense, but the letter contradicts other statements Jodi Arias made. The Affidavit evidence needs to be as unassailable as possible. It does no good to enter into evidence things that will do far more harm than good for your case.

Whoever is behind this is steering her down the road to the execution chamber. I’m saying this as a Jodi Arias supporter: As of last week, the worm has turned and a unanimous sentence for Death has become a real and glaring possibility.

Do You Concur?

dod do you concur

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Penalty Retrial: Two Craters Traversed, One Giant Chasm Left

Fact-based reporting by

Rob Roman

The jury questions and the back and forth by the prosecution and defense completed computer expert witness “John Smith”s testimony today. Former Mesa Detective Steve Flores was called back to the stand to testify a little more about what happened with Travis Alexander’s lap-top computer. The two sides have finally gotten to the bottom of what happened with the computer and who did what.

The court had been grappling with two giant crater issues in the Jodi Arias Penalty Phase Re-trial. The first was Judge Sherry Stephen’s decision to clear the court room for the testimony of Jodi Arias. This decision must have everyone stumped. Be aware that that decision ONLY pertains to Jodi Arias, and not any other mitigation witnesses. 

 

Giant Crater #1

Can Jodi Arias continue to testify in secret?

No. Many prosecution supporters were incensed with that ruling and have lashed out at the Judge, claiming that she is on the defense side and some have implied that she has been that way throughout the proceedings. jodi jan 1It doesn’t seem so, yet they cite this ruling as a major example that Stephens is rooting for the defense.

Yet, the Judge must have had a reason, other than sending the decision to a higher court to take the blame for making the decision. The media was the most upset about the ruling, citing the Constitutional 1st Amendment right of the public to be present, especially in high profile and high consequence trials.  They already can’t broadcast until after the trial, and they’re not about to be pushed any further. It’s difficult to think of a compelling reason for the Judge to have made that decision, but we should be fair in believing that she did have an important reason.

The only one I can think of is that Jodi Arias was going to talk about the other mitigation witnesses in her testimony and integrate them into her testimony. This means she would have to name them or otherwise expose them. The only way to keep the witnesses who did not want to be identified protected would be to also make Arias’ testimony secret.

Giant Crater #2

The Porn on the computer issue.

The second Large Crater in this penalty retrial is the issue of porn on the computer. How did it get there? Was it purposely accessed or was it automatically accessed due to malware?bryan jan 14 Did the prosecution try to hide porn found on the laptop hard drive, or was automatic actions of the computer creating that appearance? Canadian Deborah Maran has a good set of articles explaining the inner workings of computers, site-blockers, viruses, and malware, etc. It’s a good background on the issues surrounding Travis’ lap top computer.

http://jodiariastrialtruth.blogspot.ca/2015/01/the-truth-about-porn.html

http://jodiariastrialtruth.blogspot.ca/2015/01/the-truth-about-porn-part-two-case-of.html

 

shery jan 14Judge Stephens waited for Bryan Neumeister and his assistant, “John Smith”, to complete their testimony before issuing her ruling on lots of motions pertaining to the defenses’ desire that the court reverse the conviction or remove the death penalty from the proceedings. These rulings were released today. Boom!

“IT IS ORDERED denying the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Continued Misconduct filed October 1, 2014,

the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Defendant’s Inability to Present a Complete Case for Life filed September 26, 2014,

the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Continue State Misconduct Supplement #1 filed October 24, 2014,

the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss All Charges with Prejudice and/or in the Alternative to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty due to Recently Discovered Purposeful and Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct filed on November 10, 2014,

the Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration: Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Defendant’s Inability to Present a Complete Case for Life filed November 26, 2014,

and the Defendant’s Supplemental Motion to Dismiss all Charges with Prejudice and/or in the Alternative to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Recently Discovered Purposeful and Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct filed December 14, 2014.”

http://media2.abc15.com/html/pdf/AriasJan14motion.

 

Judge Stephens ruled that nothing the defense brought up, including the computer evidence, can be construed as prosecutorial misconduct, and nothing the defense brought up justifies any sanction including the removal of the death penalty. Also the tweets by Steve Flores’ wife may or may not have been leaks from sealed meetings, however the Judge rules that the defense presented no evidence that the information tweeted came from closed meetings.

juan 3 jan 14As to the hard drive evidence, it was determined that no pornographic photos were found, that much of the accessing of porn sites was the automatic workings of malware, as Deborah Maran stated in her article, and that the prosecution did nothing wrong that would change the outcome of the trial. The court also determined that differences between the different clone copies of the hard drive created on different dates were the result of waking and inspecting the original computer, and only system files were overwritten. The computer did not overwrite any registry files or porn information.

The court also determined that a porn site was accessed purposely by a user on June 3, 2008, one day before the killing.

This should put an end to the computer porn issue, and it’s doubtful that this could be deemed to be a legitimate appeal issue by a higher court. Deborah Maran also reported in her article that she felt the defense violated their “duty of candor” by purposely filing accusations and allegations they knew to be false. Juan Martinez also filed a motion to sanction the defense for the issues and allegations regarding the hard drive. That motion was also denied.

“ IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying the State’s Motion for Sanctions (Compaq Presario Computer) filed November 16, 2014 and the State’s Motion to Strike (Compaq Presario Computer) filed November 18, 2014.”

These two Huge Craters in this elongated penalty re-trial seem to be traversed, but there’s one huge chasm left.

 

The remaining Giant Chasm

The remaining giant chasm is will Jodi Arias agree to continue her testimony in open court? Will her mitigation witnesses agree or refuse to testify in open court?

jennifer jan 14The Judge has ruled that there are many options available to protect the identity of witnesses short of clearing the courtroom. This is true, and we have already seen this in action with Darryl Brewer not showing his face in the original trial, and most recently, a computer expert who was given the pseudonym of “John Smith” to protect his identity. Maybe “John Smith” was fearful of what his participation in this trial would do to his prospects of being hired by “major corporations” as a private contractor.

That’s one of many reasons Arias’ mitigation witnesses are reluctant to testify. Another is cyber-stalking by over-zealous social media followers. Witnesses from the main trial had their books disparaged in reviews by trial activists on sites such as Amazon.com. Others have found photos of their children and maps to their home, as well as phone numbers publicly displayed on Facebook. juan jan 14Alyce LaViolette has had her speaking engagements seriously curtailed as a result of backlash from her participation and opinions in this trial. Other participants have had their safety and their life threatened.

The media appealed Judge Stephen’s decision to close the court to the Arizona Court of Appeals. The Court ruled in favor of the Media, and stayed the ruling. Arias had to stop testifying until the defense gets a chance to appeal that ruling. The Appeals Court also ordered Arias’ sealed testimony to be released to the public which happened yesterday.

http://archive.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/arias-transcript.pdf

http://archive.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/arias-transcript2.pdf

 

Here are a few samples from Jodi Arias’ secret testimony:

(Click to enlarge)

Childhood and alleges parent's drug use
Childhood and alleges parent’s drug use
writing and journaling began at age 8
writing and journaling began at age 8
Teens, choked by Bobby Juarez
Teen years, choked by Bobby Juarez
Executive Dinner with Travis, borrows Sky's dress
Sept 2006 Executive Dinner with Travis, borrows Sky’s dress
Early 2007. Travis and Jodi hook up at border motel room
Early 2007. Travis and Jodi hook up at border motel room
Evidence on record that the fight over the mitigation witnesses will continue
Evidence on record that the fight over the mitigation witnesses will continue

 

Many people theorized that Arias wanted the testimony to be secret because she was going to make wild and outrageous new allegations of abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and pedophilia, either by the victim, Travis Alexander or someone in her family when she was a child, or both. We have yet to see an indication of this yet.

 

The released transcripts reveal no real shockers, but there was some talk of drug use and more details of physical abuse by her parents when Arias was a child.  The Appeals Court ruling put an jodi jan 3abrupt end to Arias’ testimony, which covered her childhood and previous relationships all the way up to her first meeting with Travis Alexander and their initial motel rendezvous at a truck stop in Ehrenberg, Arizona, on the California border.  Perhaps any anticipated shockers were yet to come? Perhaps there were not going to be any shockers at all?

 

The released testimony had more color and detail than in the original trial. Arias seemed to be very eloquent and comfortable and she revealed new information in terms of different friends she made and how she came to move to the different places she lived. For example, Jodi did not just cruise down to the California Coast and find the Ventana Inn job. A man named Richard Molay from Oregon worked there and she actually got a recommendation from him.

 

She also revealed that when living with Bobby Juarez in Montague, 6 miles outside of Yreka, Jodi owned a Samurai sword. After Bobby allegedly choked her, and then convinced her to hang up on the 911 call, she told her brother Carl that Bobby had choked her. Carl showed up with a posse at Juarez’ place to intimidate Bobby, who came sailing out the door with the Samurai sword and chased Carl and his friends away. There are interesting details like that, but no real exploding bomb shells.

 

Now, the big question is, will Jodi Arias continue her testimony in open court, or will she refuse to testify? maria jan 14Also, the Court of Appeals is under no obligation or time limit to respond to Nurmi’s appeal of their decision to stay Judge Stephen’s ruling to clear the courtroom. The Arizona Court of Appeals also said that the defense could not use their decision as a basis to put the trial on hold or to delay the trial further.

 

Will the defense work with the court and the prosecution to find creative ways to protect witnesses and information while still having an open court? Will Jodi Arias continue her testimony or refuse to return to the stand? If she testifies, will other mitigation witnesses refuse to testify now that the promised anonymity may not be available? Will they agree to modifications so they can testify in open court? These are the big questions coming up soon.

 

A witness can be given a pseudonym, a witness can ask not to be identified, a witness can testify on video or by affidavit. Another person, such as mitigation specialist Maria De La Rosa or another suitable person can testify in the place of a witness. The witness can also be subpoenaed and compelled by the defense to testify. There are many ways a witness can testify and protect their identity without going to the extreme solution of clearing the courtroom, and Judge Stephens has explained this in her ruling.

 

So, if witnesses make a personal decision not to testify, this most likely cannot be an appealable issue at this point, because the prosecution and the court have offered many ways for witnesses to testify without having to reveal their identity.

 

This is not such a simple issue, because the Judge is reluctant to force Jodi Arias or her mitigation witnesses to testify in open court, because Nurmi has appealed the ruling. Should Jodi Arias be sentenced to death, and afterwards, Nurmi’s appeal is granted, then the retrial becomes a mistrial and Jodi Arias’ sentence would possibly need to be converted to life, especially if some witnesses refuse to testify. Anything done in open court cannot be undone, so it is questionable how this trial will proceed or even if there will be a postponement of the trial pending the ruling on Nurmi’s appeal.

 

Some prosecution supporters believe that this “witnesses are afraid” claim is just a ruse by the defense to find an excuse not to present mitigation witnesses. This is because some death sentences have been stricken down by the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, based on ineffective assistance of counsel for failure of a defense attorney to present mitigation witnesses. They claimed that this was what Nurmi did in the first penalty trial, also.

 

If this is his strategy, it’s not going to work at this point. So, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Will the defendant and her mitigation witnesses testify or not?

Another notable thing that happened on Tuesday the 13th was that Jennifer Willmott finished re-direct questioning of Mesa Detective Steve Flores about the chain of custody and what he witnessed about the computer in the evidence room. PNI Arias MonSome evidence favorable to the defense was elicited from Detective Flores. Juan Martinez  got up on re-cross and went after him in a fury and with as much ferocity as he has displayed with any defense witness. Fireworks in the courtroom. Juan Martinez also referred to himself as “Mr. Martinez”. “Objection to what Mr. Martinez thinks”.

 

Two Giant Craters have been traversed. Many prosecution supporters blamed the defense and Judge Sherry Stephens for all the delays and for throwing this crazy train retrial off the tracks, but that’s not the only perspective. The defense did not threaten and intimidate witnesses in the original trial and the defense did not put the porn on the computer. Theses two issues could not be ignored, they had to be confronted and worked out one way or another. The final Giant Chasm is what will the defense do now? Court is out until Tuesday after the Holiday, and we may or may not find out then.

Lilburn_Sketch_t300U1677888

14-356489-composite-drawingWhat do YOU think?

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Decepticon Christine Beswick Transforms Gossip into Gospel

Canadian Decepticon Christine Beswick Transforms Gossip into Gospel

Fact Based Reporting by Rob Roman

Research by Amanda Chen

gospel

Christine Beswick, a “Relationships Examiner” for Examiner.com out of Toronto, makes medical history ….. by talking out her ass.

Here we review Christine’s latest article “Jodi Arias will get a video call for Christmas, Juan Martinez fights back.” Judging from her past articles, Christine Beswick seems to have a visceral and seething hatred for the defendant. Really, she’s just another in a long line of D-list celebs who try to cash in, garner more site hits and attention for themselves by throwing rocks at Jodi Arias.

Beswick, in a Nutshell

decepticon sm

 

 

 

Her so-called articles are generally devoid of fact, give few specific examples, and cite few if any other qualified sources. Beswick is just putting it out there knowing that 95 out of 100 people will tell her “Right-on”. As she goes riding by on her bicycle, triumphantly waiving to her adoring fans, we just had to try and shove a proverbial stick in her spokes, in the name of factual reporting and fairness, of course.

The quoted sections in turquoise are from Christine’s article, followed by our responses. Other sources are in purple.

Victim’s Wounds

“After seeing the evidence that Travis Alexander was stabbed over 25 times, shot in the head, and nearly decapitated from a severed windpipe, the 2013 jury also found that Jodi’s crime included the aggravating factor of cruelty in the murder of Travis Alexander. It was this aggravating factors stage that a jury unanimously found made Jodi Arias eligible for the death penalty.

1359613086_grammar_police_xlargeWrong! (Grammar Police needed)

Travis Alexander had 16 stab wounds. Try reading the autopsy report.

http://murderpedia.org/female.A/images/arias-jodi/travis-alexander-autopsy-report.pdf

He had 29 knife wounds.

– 16 stab wounds – 13 incised wounds, including the slit throat. Many of these wounds were minor.

This does not seek to minimize the wounds, as some were obviously deep and two wounds were fatal all by themselves (the stab to the heart and the neck slash). The wounds were horrific, no doubt.

Everyone likes to say that Travis Alexander was “nearly decapitated” or that his throat was “slashed to the vertebrae”. Wrong!

This would be Nicole Brown Simpson, and we will not go over that again. Nearly decapitated? There is no evidence of that whatsoever. In fact, the official autopsy report states that the throat wound was 2-4 inches short of being ear to ear. His windpipe was severed, yes.

Saying Travis was “nearly decapitated” is like saying in July that it’s “nearly Christmas”.

GoodallJane-Cruelty500px

Extreme Cruelty

It would have been much more cruel, had Alexander been stabbed once in the heart, then left to slowly bleed to death.

As for the cruelty charge, let’s see what USA Today has to say about that:

“In the Jodi Arias case, the jury that convicted her of murder also found that she killed Travis Alexander in an especially cruel manner. The current jury will decide only if there are mitigators that outweigh the cruelty.

The aggravator is called F(6) in the statutes, “especially heinous, cruel or depraved.” In Arias’ case, the trial judge would only allow for cruelty.

All murder could be deemed cruel, but “excessive cruelty” is supposed to refer to great physical suffering or great mental anguish before death.”

This is supposed to mean a prolonged death, a purposely prolonged death, torture, a significant period of mental anguish prior to death, or a significant period of uncertainty about whether or not the victim will be murdered, such as in a rape, a kidnapping, or  a hostage situation.

“But ­prosecutors often rely on the common meaning of the word “cruel” to get juries to believe that the murder they are ­judging is among the cruelest.”

This is a problem of Arizona law. It’s a serious problem.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/21/arias-sentencing-retrial-death-penalty/17652153/

a-few-good-men

Jodi Arias ordered a “Code Red” on Travis Alexander. Therefore, Juan Martinez, a few connected polticians, and the LDS Church get to order a “Code Red” on Jodi Arias. Right?

Fair is fair.

Supporters and Defense Think Guilt Phase Still in Progress

“…This (2nd penalty) phase has been in progress since September 2014. Supporters of Jodi Arias, and the current defense strategy of Jodi Arias, suggests (sic) that some people think right now Jodi is fighting for her innocence. She is not. She is still guilty and convicted of first degree murder, and this jury has been ordered to remember that.”

grammar policeWrong! (Grammar Police needed)

I keep hearing this idiotic idea that Jodi supporters and the defense think it’s still the guilt phase. Nobody thinks that, and the jury knows full well what they are there to decide. It’s Life vs. Death.

We have already reported that there is almost zero difference in Arizona between LWOP (Life with no possibility of parole) and 25 years to life with a possibility of parole (Life with an infinitesimally slight, but virtually no chance of parole).

What’s really interesting is that we know for a fact that many Prosecution supporters believe that Life is the correct decision. We thought the battle lines would change from Guilty vs. Not Guilty, to Life vs. Death, with many prosecution supporters coming over and joining us on the side of Life. However, most prosecution supporters are still fighting the Guilty vs. Not Guilty battle.

We wonder how many of these people are hiding the fact that they secretly hope the verdict will be Death? We wonder how many really don’t care whether she gets Life or Death?

 

Swamp_Thing_Dick_Durock mud

Drag the Victim Through the Mud … blat blat blat

“In this phase of the court process Jodi Arias is required to present mitigating factors that may lead a jury to have sympathy for her and decide on life in prison, rather than the death penalty. Instead, the Jodi Arias defense team has decided to drag the victim through the mud with one abuse story after another in their efforts to paint Jodi Arias as an abuse victim, according to Christian Today earlier this week.”

Wrong!

That is Not what the Christian Today article said. The article did not say “drag the victim through the mud with one abuse story after another” nor did it say “their efforts to paint Jodi Arias as an abuse victim”.

To the great credit of Christian Today, their report was much more objective than that. They stated the facts, and they let the reader decide – you know, the old-fashioned way.

The only true citing from Christian Today, other than a quote by Jen Wood of the Trial Diaries, was this:

christiantoday.com

Christian Today reports that the trial wrapped before the holidays with testimony from a Dr. Geffner.”

Chritine Beswick, these are YOUR words:

Defense Attempts and Allegations

“As we previously reported Dr. Geffner was trying to paint the picture of Jodi Arias as an abuse victim, in an attempt to use alleged “abuse” as a mitigating factor. What this means is the defense is trying to say, Travis abused Jodi and so she should get off for this killing.”

They aren’t attempting – they already did it in the first penalty phase. They aren’t alleging anything either.

Is Christine Beswick citing an article from Christian Today because they are an authority on the Jodi Arias trial? Or, is she citing the article on Christian Today merely because it has the word “Christian” in it?

‘We report, –  You decide.’

christian-symbols-14v

Beswick citing Christian Today

That in-depth Christian Today article she cited was a whopping 333 words. Another Christian Today article about the Jodi Arias trial (354 words) was headlined under “entertainment”. This is what it said:

“Last week, the lawyers working on the case started questioning 400 possible jurors in Phoenix’s Maricopa County Superior Court. After the first cut, the number was trimmed down to 176.  Wednesday’s trial resulted to further trimmings, which ended up with 26 people returning for further questioning.

The residents from the area, on the other hand, are not happy with how slow things are shaping up for the trial.  A former Mesa police investigator expressed his strong opinion in an interview posted at the Arizona Central.

He said, “YES! I’m sick and tired of the Jodi Arias murder case. Murders happen almost every day in Arizona. Sadly, murder is no big deal. While most murder cases and trials are handled quietly and with the dignity of brain surgery, the Arias trial has taken on the theatrics of a well-rehearsed circus show, thanks to Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez, defendant Arias and the media.”

That’s what Christian Today reported. They also reported this:

“The prolonged trial to sentence Jodi Arias is also putting a hole in the pockets of Arizona taxpayers. At this point, the defense costs already reached $2.5 million. This is not the final numbers, however, since the tab will continue to grow while the second phase for penalty hearing is still ongoing.

The amount paid for the prosecutors were undisclosed.”

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/jodi.arias.trial.update.as.jury.selection.continues.local.residents.complain.about.slow.legal.process/41657.htm

Looking again at a Beswickism:

“As we previously reported Dr. Geffner was trying to paint the picture of Jodi Arias as an abuse victim, in an attempt to use alleged “abuse” as a mitigating factor. What this means is the defense is trying to say, Travis abused Jodi and so she should get off for this killing.”

Wrong!

How is getting a sentence of Life in prison with no possibility of parole “getting off”? It’s a perfectly appropriate punishment for 1st degree murder. In fact, with no prior police record, LWOP is quite a harsh punishment.

Mitigation Evidence

“Due to an overwhelming lack of evidence, most court watchers aren’t buying it. They are saying, “We’re still waiting to see a mitigating factor. And evidence, please.”

The last two days of the Jodi Arias trial before the holiday season included Jodi using Dr. Geffner to tell about how often she perceived herself to be a victim in her life.”

Wrong!

In the last Penalty Phase trial, there were 8 mitigating factors presented by the defense

1. Ms. Arias has no prior criminal history.
2. Ms. Arias was just 27 years old when she committed her offense.
3. Ms. Arias is remorseful for her conduct,
4. Ms- Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse as a child.
5. Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse during her relationship with Mr. Alexander.
6. The abusive nature of the relationship caused Ms. Arias to suffer extreme emotional stress at the time of the incident.
7. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
8. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
9. Ms. Arias’ psychological makeup impaired her ability to cope with the tumultuous relationship she had with Mr. Alexander.

The evidence and testimony currently being presented is covering number 4, number 5, number 6, number 7, number 8, and number 9. It’s actually quite efficient in covering a large part of six listed mitigators.  Numbers 1, 2,  and 3 will be covered later.

Here is one prosecution supporter’s very humorous response to the mitigators, thought it’s full of a heapin’ helpin’ of lies. And a prosecution supporter just asked the other day “Why do they call (some of) us “Haters”? Maybe this is why:

Time Out for Comedy

I guess this commenter on Facebook is called “Ugly Stick” because he/she feels Jodi Arias got hit too many times with the ugly stick by the Creator of the Universe:

ugly stick 1

UGLY STICK

OK LETS START WITH MITIGATING FACTORS SHALL WE?

PARASITE AGE: ( if parasite is old enough to brutally, savagely murder a really good guy in cold blood in a fit of jealous creepy girl stalker rage, by stabbing him 29 times, 9 to back and head, shot to head then after OVER KILL, has the ABILITY to cut an innocent mans head off, then she is old enough to DIE by the good Doc Dr Needle Juice ).

NO CRIMINAL HISTORY: ( with exception of slashing tires, stalking, threatening TA ex-girlfriends, hacking private information in secrecy, attempted black mail, forging documents and fake letters, breaking and entering without authorization multiple times by means of a DOGGY DOOR, etc… )

PARASITE WAS A GOOD FRIEND: ( such a good friend she will stab you in the back, too much of a coward to face you, cant look you in the eye as she pounds a REAL friggen knife in you back ).

LACKED SUPPORT FROM FAMILY: ( her family financially supported her by giving her money to make her go away and shut TFU, parasite refused any other reality, but her own creepy alternate world… parents first instinct told them she did it, what does that tell you ).

SUFFERED NEGLECT AND ABUSE: ( a wooden spoon is not a knife or a gun, and having to live by rules that can not be followed is not abuse it is a selfish immature child who has to go to bed at 8 and not allowed to color on walls ).

TRIED TO MAKE THE BEST OF HER LIFE: ( dropping out of high school to be a menace to society, mooching and hopping from host to host, ( man to man ) *PARASITE* No real ambition or desire to be more than a “GOLD DIGGER* or *TROPHY WIFE* ).

TRIED TO IMPROVE SELF: ( One does not improve themselves with breast implants and hair color and becoming whatever religion her target host is ).

PARASITE IS A TALENTED ARTIST: ( images traced from various magazine does not make art, it makes you look stupid and a fraud…another criminal act. )

http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2014/11/14/jodi-arias-death-penalty-retrial-day-11-photos

see comments section.

 

Christine Beswick, Relationshipd Reporter for the Toronto Examiner.com
Christine Beswick, Relationshipd Reporter for the Toronto Examiner.com

Crime Comparison

This is what USA Today had to say about a comparison between the Arias crime, and other murders in Maricopa County:

Cristanos
Cristanos Moroyoqui-Yocupicio

“On the same day Arias was convicted, Crisantos Moroyoqui-Yocupicio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge sentenced him to 14 years in prison. In 2010, Moroyoqui-Yocupicio, a reputed member of a Mexican drug cartel, ­murdered an associate who had stolen from him, and then cut his head off.”

Cut his head OFF, –  for real.

 

george
Ray George and a sketch of the murdered woman……
george
….. Who turned out to be his girlfriend, Annovedwin Begay-Barakzai

“A month later, Douglas Ray George beat and stabbed his girlfriend to death and left her naked body in the street in Tempe. He also was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Prosecutors said it was uncertain whether the crime was premeditated.”

“A passer-by found the body of Annovedwin Begay-Barakzai, 23, on June 15 An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma, and authorities said she had broken ribs, a lacerated liver and numerous stab wounds to her face and chest.”

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/douglas-ray-george-pleads-guilty-in-girlfriends-murder

When he switched from a blunt object to a knife, that wasn’t premeditation?

See what we mean by biblical law double standard? A man in Arizona can do whatever he wants to a woman, but a woman dare not try to assault or kill a man for any reason.

“There was no plea offer for Arias; she went to trial and was convicted of first-degree murder.

 AileenWuornos, admitted "human--hater", who killed 7 men and told her jury "May your wife and children get raped, right in the a**"
Aileen Wuornos, admitted “human–hater”, who killed 7 men in cold blood, and told her jury “May your wife and children get raped, right in the a**”

The death penalty is supposed to be reserved as punishment for the worst of the worst murders, and the Arias ­murder was certainly horrible. But so were the murders committed by ­Moroyoqui-Yocupicio and George.

Who decides which murders are the worst of the worst?

Prosecutors.”

“But it is almost impossible to draw a bright line between murders that should be punished by death and those that should not. So the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1976, approved a “narrowing” system ­using statutory “aggravating factors” to distinguish the extraordinary murders from those that are merely ordinary.

Those factors include killing children or police officers, committing multiple murders or killing for pecuniary, that is, monetary, gain. But since the 1976 ruling, the number of aggravators (in Arizona) has risen from 6 to 14, leaving defense attorneys to complain that every murder qualifies for death.

Prosecutors decide which to pursue”.

“The only narrowing function is ­prosecutorial discretion,” defense ­attorney Eric Crocker said. “You’re at the whim of the prosecutor’s office to ­determine which cases are capital and which are not.”

 http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/21/arias-sentencing-retrial-death-penalty/17652153/

 

code-red1

The truth is that somebody made a phone call and made sure that this was to be a death penalty case and that Juan Martinez would be the lead prosecutor.

They made sure that Jodi Arias would be given a “Code Red” Maricopa, Arizona style.

 

Abuse Survivors vs. Jodi Arias

“Using primarily information from Jodi’s own diary, Geffner testified repeatedly that Jodi perceived herself to be a victim against the alleged big, bad murder victim who is unable to speak for himself. Jodi Arias needs to be careful with this strategy because she has already ticked off many abuse survivors in this particular crowd of high profile trial watchers. Most abuse survivors have a funny “radar” for each other, and can spot a fake a mile away.”

battered womanFundamentally Wrong!

This is not about abuse survival. According to her defense, Jodi Arias is a survivor of a sudden, violent conflict. This conflict was brought on by a cyclical abusive relationship. This is not a battered woman’s defense. Arias has never claimed to be a battered woman, or to have battered woman’s syndrome. Alyce LaViolette claimed that, but she meant it in that this relationship fit that pattern – type, not that Arias has any battered woman’s syndrome.

She did claim that a relationship characterized by dominance, emotional, and verbal abuse, began to turn into physical abuse by the time Jodi moved 1,000 miles away and back to Yreka, California. She claims that that violence began again in Alexander’s home in Mesa on June 4th , 2008, beginning to escalate in the afternoon and culminating with a deadly attack in the bathroom.

Out of the 8 mitigating circumstances presented by the defense in the first penalty phase, the most important mitigator, according to the 4 jury members who voted for life in the first penalty phase, was the feeling that Jodi Arias had been abused both before she met Travis Alexander and during her relationship with him.

Jodi, Jack, and Darryl enjoy a birthday party together
Jodi, Jack, and Darryl enjoy a birthday party together

Look at what Darryl Brewer had to say about her and what Travis Alexander had to say about her. He said she was always honest and cheerul. Do the math. It had to be either abuse or mental illness or a combination of the two.

Both are mitigators from the Death Penalty.

The entries in Jodi Arias’ diary do in fact provide evidence of abuse. This evidence was not refuted when Alyce LaViolette testified, although she was attacked personally. This is evidence as testified to by Dr. Fonseca and Dr. Geffner. They are corroborated by e-mails, messages, and texts between Travis Alexander and friends, and the testimony of friends of Travis.

This evidence cannot easily be refuted. She was abused, no doubt.

Within months of meeting her, Alexander was calling Arias a “skank” and “a pathological liar”. Yet more than a year and a half later, he is still suggesting sexual scenarios for the future and having both phone sex and in-person sex with her while still denigrating her to his friends.

 

No Accountability, No Remorse, Manipulator

“Again, Jodi needs to be very careful about this approach because nobody sides with the defendant who never takes accountability, never shows remorse, always manipulates, and has a long history of not telling the truth. Not only that, but juries are instructed to make decisions based on evidence.”

Wrong!

Evidence is being presented by the defense. It’s real and it’s evidence. Jodi Arias has taken accountability for her actions during this trial. Jodi Arias does NOT have a long history of not telling the truth. It was only after the killing that she has a such a history. No evidence to the contrary has been presented.

When Bill Arias said in the police interrogation that Jodi had not been honest with her parents since age 14 or so, what he meant was that she no longer confided in them. She was evasive as to the details of her life after moving out of the home, but this does not mean she lied to them. The fact is she didn’t tell them anything unless absolutely necessary.

 

Biased Expert Testimony

doctored-evidence

“Expert witness testimony does count as evidence… Most juries understand that expert witnesses are biased, for the defense and for the prosecution as well.”

I agree, but when the experts present objective evidence that can’t easily be disputed, on either side, the jury is likely to accept it.

 

Jury-Images-1

Jury’s Perception is What Matters

“What matters at this point for Jodi Arias isn’t even what is or isn’t the truth. It’s what the jury believes. How is the jury perceiving all of this drama? If even one of them is perceiving it the same way the general public appears to be, Jodi is in trouble.”

Agree, however Juan needs 12 out of 12 jurors to get his death sentence.

 

narcissist (1)

Jodi is a Narcissist per DSM V

“Jodi’s been accused of being a narcissist several times. And the funny thing about narcissists is that people always see through them very quickly, but the DSM 5 tells us that they are so oblivious to that because they lack insight beyond their inflated sense of Self. Jodi thinks she’s fooling people. Her supporters are fooled. Supporters for the prosecution call that ‘drinking the Kool Aid'”.

Plain Wrong!

narcissism2Jodi had never been diagnosed as a Narcissist, which means that she is not a narcissist, doesn’t  it?. Please give specific examples of where Jodi Arias is easy to see through. I would agree that Jodi Arias is sometimes oblivious to seeing how she is viewed by others, and she does lack insight. For example, after she gives the “Ninjas” explanation for the murder, even though Detective Flores told her that her story is impossible and unbelievable, she stuck with it and even enhanced it.

 

Congratulations to “Cate”

I will say that “Cate” has given many very specific incidences of Arias’ testimony and journal entries she feels should not be believed. Her arguments are persuasive, and I give her a lot of credit for her arguments. Cate knows that she must provide specific examples to make a convincing argument, how is it that Beswick, a “life and relationships advice” reporter, does not feel the need to provide an example?

 

Jodi has Fooled her Supporters

Strong Wrong!

Jodi’s supporters are not fooled by her. They are in a better position to judge her than non-supporters because they have been communicating with her and they generally know more about her and her positive qualities, which are just flat out ignored by prosecution supporters.

“And her lack of evidence is going to strongly work against her and lead her jury into waffling territory. This is dangerous because waffling territory which plants the seeds of reasonable doubt.”

Way Wrong!

“Reasonable doubt only applies to a burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt”. In the penalty phase, the defense only has to prove that the mitigating factors are more true than untrue. Only 51% proof is needed, and this is called a burden of proof “by the preponderance of the evidence”. There is no place for reasonable doubt here. A mitigating factor is either more true than not true, or it’s not.

“You will notice every lie or as Jodi likes to call them, abuse story, is more dramatic than the last. As the DSM 5 shows, that’s an elevation technique narcissists use, especially when they meet with resistance. It is the classic, “Oh ok, you didn’t buy that story? You will have to believe this one, because it’s even more terrible.” The narcissistic defense.”

Do you have any specific examples? You are a reporter, aren’t you? Or are you just telling people what you want them to believe, without providing anything to back it up?

There is NOTHING in the DSM V relating to an “elevation technique” due to “resistance” or anything else.

 

Zero Boundary Defense

“It’s the, “let’s toss out as many of these dramatic stories as we can and see how much we can make stick” defense. She has zero boundaries and will literally stop at nothing to avoid the death penalty. And, since she is too afraid to testify, she gets her expert witnesses to do the job for her. From Travis was a pedophile, to “oh great now I’m getting death threats” nothing is off the table in Jodi’s quest to delay the inevitable.”

Wrong!

If Jodi is getting death threats, as she had alleged, this will be easy to prove or disprove, as the jail has a copy on file of every postcard sent to her and a recording on file of every phone call she has made. Dr, Fonseca believes that Travis did have a sexual interest in underage children. Why would she dare say this if she didn’t really believe it given the evidence she researched?

For the millionth time, it seems, Jodi does not want to “delay the inevitable”. She cannot start her appeals process until after she’s sentenced. I’m very sure she’s eager to get to Perryville prison, where there are better food and conditions (according to the prisoners themselves), so she can begin her series of appeals.

How many boundaries would you have in trying to save your life?

 

Days Of Our Lives

Citing Jeff Gold About the Defense

“It was two very long days of testimony that left many still wondering where the mitigating factors were. As lawyer and expert legal analyst, Jeff Gold from the Gold Patrol tweeted,”

“#JodiArias diary ugh! These are the days of our lives. The court has allowed the defense to go way too far afield of mitigation. #justsayin.”

We have already demonstrated that Jeff Gold is an idiot, a sentiment not only of many Jodi supporters. He is desperate to connect with people under age 60, but he has no idea what these “youngsters” are interested in. He tried to do tweets about such things as a 1970’s soap opera and Britney Spears, not realizing that no has been interested in such things for decades. Just sayin’. LoL.

Wrong!

The reason why he is wrong is because the prosecution disputed that there was any evidence at all of abuse written in Jodi Arias’ journals. The prosecution used Arias’ journals to try and show there was no abuse. The prosecution tried to deny the evidence given by Alyce LaViolette by attacking her character and her qualifications, rather than attacking the evidence she presented.

Therefore the defense should be given lots of latitude by the court to show how the journal entries back up Ms. Arias’ claims of abuse.

 

Citing Jenn Wood

“The defense was hoping this would establish a pattern of abuse, but what it appeared to establish was the pattern of an obsessed girlfriend. As Jenn Wood from the Trial Diaries reported,”

“Day in out #jodiarias eats, sleeps, breathes Travis. Journaling, calling, emailing, and texting.”

I would agree with Jenn in that Jodi Arias was way too infatuated and obsessed with Travis Alexander.

juan jodi jen

Jodi Arias and Jen Wood. Any similarities?
Jodi Arias and Jen Wood. Any similarities?

wolf juan jen jodi

 

Jodi Admitted to Slashing the Tires?

“In addition to stories told to make Travis look manipulative, the jury also heard that Jodi Arias did admit in her own journal that she slashed the tires of Travis Alexander at one point in 2007.

We also heard that Jodi owned a stun gun at one point, which may once again work to negate that she was in an abusive relationship.”

Wrong! Maybe Travis looks manipulative, because he was manipulative? Jodi Arias never admitted that she slashed Travis Alexnder’s tires. How, pray tell, would owning a stun gun negate an abusive relationship?

Citing Jeff Gold, Again

“As Jeff Gold tweeted,”

“#JodiArias court allows defense so far into the weeds you lose site of any view. It’s a DP mitigation case. This minutia can be abbreviated.”

I agree with Jeff here, this may be to Arias’ detriment as her too long testimony in the guilt phase worked against her.

 

No Accountability

“It came up that Jodi hadn’t bothered to mention to her diary the fact that Travis had slapped her allegedly. Geffner says this is “understandable.” Christian Today reports that one message that was read in court that was written by Jodi Arias to Travis Alexander read,”

“I’m very sorry for all the pain we’ve caused each other. Most of it is my fault. I never meant to hurt you.”

Isn’t this an exact demonstration of Arias taking responsibility for her actions that you stated earlier were non-existent?

 

Journals Were Doctored by Arias

“Many reports are showing suspicion around these journals and many are speculating that some of the journals shown in court were written by Jodi Arias after the crime. Jenn Wood from Trial Diaries told KPHO what she thought the defense was doing with these tactics.”

Journal entries were written in after the killing? Prove it! How in the world would she know that her journal entries would become evidence? If she really did this she could have put a lot more damning stuff into the entries.

“They are trying to get compassion for Jodi….What they are trying to do is translate this to the jury, that Jodi is a victim of Travis Alexander….”

Exactly. And isn’t that what actually happened?

 

dr miccio fonseca dr robert geffner

Dr. Geffner Is just Dr. Fonseca 2.0

“By the end of Days 19 and 20 of the retrial of the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial it was clear that Dr. Geffner testimony was simply a “2.0” version of previous expert witness for the defense Dr. Fonseca. Like Dr. Fonseca he worked very hard to paint the picture of Jodi Arias as an abuse victim, and the word “manipulated” came up a lot in his testimony.”

Maybe that was the defenses intention. You can discredit a witness and attack them personally, but it’s much harder to attack two witnesses saying the same thing. Now you must attack the evidence they provided and that’s not easily done. It’s an excellent strategy if it was in fact their strategy.

 

Abuse Victims Don’t Kill Due To Manipulation

“What Dr. Geffner, domestic violence expert, does not want to say about Jodi Arias is that, abuse survivors don’t act like that. Even abuse victims don’t kill because they feel manipulated. They only kill when they are in true survival mode.

Jodi is trying to say she was in survival mode the entire time she was in a relationship with Travis Alexander, and there simply is no evidence to date to support that notion. This is a mentality she is trying to convey that is seriously ticking off abuse survivors. This is how the last week ended before breaking for the holidays. “

Right! Either she was in survival mode and fought for her life or she just snapped even if it was days before the killing. There are no other reasonable explanations that I can see. No one has claimed that Jodi Arias was in survival mode the entire time she was in (the) relationship. Just you’re claiming that, Beswick.

 

A18-882471 - © - Norma Jean Gargasz

Jodi Will Go To Perryville Prison

“Regardless of what verdict is reached, when the verdict is delivered Jodi Arias will be transferred to Perryville Prison to carry out her sentence. “

Right! Who is not in agreement with that?

 

Demonstrators Protest Against AZ Sheriff Arpaio During His Visit To CA

Kindness and Benevolence of Sheriff Joe

“We do not know if Sherriff Joe Arpaio will be hosting another talent competition this holiday season, but we do know he is allowing free video visitation as a special treat to inmates over Christmas.

KTAR reported on Dec. 23 that inmates in Maricopa County, including Jodi Arias, will be able to have a free video visit with family members over the holiday season. Generally the video visitation costs $13, but Sherriff Arpaio is providing it free to all inmates this holiday. KTAR reports that Sherriff Joe said,

“It’s very very good to be able to let the loved ones – whether it’s in Mexico or anywhere else that cannot come to the jail – to be at least able to utilize this video equipment.”

Video visitation will last 20 minutes each and must be registered for online. What do you think the chances are that a group of Jodi supporters will try and get in on this one? Will the next step for Jodi Arias be a leaked jailhouse video?

Dead Wrong!

This is all a very nice tribute to that cuddly teddy Bear or Santa of a benevolent jail keeper, Sheriff Joe. But this is the most distasteful thing in the Christine Beswick’s Examiner.com “article”. Can anyone refute that Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio is a Monster? I don’t think you can.

We urge you to take a look at some real, factual reporting:

https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/stranger-than-fiction-the-real-sheriff-joe-feb-20/

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The Video visitation scheme, actually replaces face to face visitation in Sheriff Joe’s jails, meaning that even if you can travel to the jail, you cannot have a face to face visit with a prisoner any longer, only a video visit. Keep in mind that most of the inmates have merely been charged with a crime and have not yet had their day in court.

If you are familiar with Skype and other video conferencing software, you know that this software is virtually free and only requires a computers or smartphone to enable a video chat.

The system in the Maricopa jails works well for jailers because they can record and store each and every video-chat. Prisoners are charged almost $13.00 (65 cents/minute) for a twenty minute “video visit”.

Now, for Christmas, Sheriff Joe is “allowing the privilege of a free video visit for each qualifying prisoner in his jails”. How benevolent of him! Actually it’s entirely self-serving.

Many families who have not yet done a video visit can try one for free. Then they will be much more used to the technology and all set up for future PAID video visits. Though it’s nice that people can visit from a great distance, this scheme is a giant cash cow. The Sheriff gets 20% of all monies generated from video visits as pure profit. They also save money from all the manpower and logistics required to have actual face to face visitation. You do the math.

 

Juan’s Wondrous Motion

“Trial Diaries has reported that a motion was filed dated Dec. 22 with the Maricopa County Superior Court on the case of the State of Arizona vs. Jodi Arias.

In that motion, prosecutor for the State Juan Martinez objects to, well, just about everything the defense has done as of late. Specifically Martinez is objecting to the recent motion filed by the defendant seeking to dismiss the death penalty. So, at the start of this case, Juan filed a motion to seek the death penalty.”

The motion to dismiss the charges or to dismiss the death penalty demands a response by the prosecution. Of course, he filed a motion in response to the defense motion. Ch – Ch – Ch Chia!

 

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Strenuous Objection

“Juan’s motion is a strenuous objection to that. He basically said in his motion, they are claiming misconduct but have failed to show evidence, as usual, thus, no misconduct. In closing he makes sure that the last thing he says about Jodi Arias before the holiday break is, she’s a liar.”

Juan’s response is always “She’s a liar”. However, you do not get sentenced to death for being a liar. Lying is not a capital offense. You need something more substantial than that. Strenuous objection? Remember how far that got Demi Moore’s character in “A Few Good men”?

“The State objects to defendant’s latest request to ‘dismiss all charges with prejudice’ or dismiss the State’s notice of intent to seek death penalty due to recently discovered prosecutorial misconduct. Defendant continues to make unsupported allegations of prosecutorial misconduct and her current request should also be denied.”

Wrong!

The many instances of prosecutorial misconduct are really adding up. Juan Martinez’past misconduct may be finally catching up with him. Chickens finally coming home to roost? Ch – Ch – Ch – Chia!

 

kool-aid

Jodi Supporters Drink the Kool Aid

“Meanwhile, a cursory glance around the Internet would reveal that Jodi supporters, whether they are or are not drinking “the Kool Aid” truly believe she was abused. Some also are living in a universe that has led them to believe she will need a job when she gets out of prison. Those that are not drinking “the Kool Aid” know that Jodi is a convicted murderer whose best case scenario in this lifetime is life in prison.”

Thank-You, Christine, for noting that NOT ALL Jodi supporters are drinking the Kool Aid.

 

Arias Best Case Scenario

Right!

Okay, this is the faction of Jodi supporters I like to call the “Rainbows, Flowers and Unicorns” division of Jodi supporters. They believe she will be set free any day now. Not gonna happen.

Judge Stephens will never dismiss the charges, she would be tarred, feathered and run out of the state if she did that. The Supreme Court of Arizona will not dismiss the charges, they will bump it up to a higher court and let them take the heat. Jodi Arias will not go free.

 

Jodi Arias will go to Perryville Prison.

Realistically, the best case scenario for Jodi Arias and supporters is that she be awarded a retrial. This possibility is more likely than many prosecution supporters dare to believe.

https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/why-jodi-arias-must-get-and-will-have-a-new-trial/

 

be the kool aid

Arias Supporters Are Delusional

“And this group of people calls those that support Travis Alexander “delusional.” Another post about the future of Jodi Arias shows that some people still believe she is getting out of jail sometime, and soon.”

Aren’t many Travis Alexander supporters delusional? What is it they are fighting for? Justice has already been served in this case. Jodi Arias has been unanimously convicted of Murder in the first degree. She will either get life or death, and she will go to Perryville Prison. So what fight is left for them to have? For those who demand death, good luck to you, it’s highly doubtful she will be sentenced to death.

 

Gossip Is Not Gospel

On top of that, there is a cornucopia of evidence to suggest that facts in this case are not as advertised by Juan Martinez, Media, Minions, or a life and relationship reporter from Toronto.

Even if Christine Beswick did make medical history!

 

The CODE RED

Did Juan Martinez order a “CODE RED” on Jodi Arias?

You’re God Damn Right He Did!

What is YOUR view?

Comments from all perspectives are welcome.

 You can also comment on our FB page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.examiner.com/article/jodi-arias-will-get-a-video-call-for-christmas-jail-juan-martinez-fights-bac

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/21/arias-sentencing-retrial-death-penalty/17652153/

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/jodi.arias.trial.update.as.jury.selection.continues.local.residents.complain.about.slow.legal.process/41657.htm

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/jodi.arias.trial.defense.team.retells.arias.alleged.mental.illness.day.20/44734.htm#ixzz3NCZBKXXJ

http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2014/11/14/jodi-arias-death-penalty-retrial-day-11-photos

see comments section.

http://www.psi.uba.ar/academica/carrerasdegrado/psicologia/sitios_catedras/practicas_profesionales/820_clinica_tr_personalidad_psicosis/material/dsm.pdf

DSM V The personality Disorders.

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.

Sony_H9_3qsony-cyber-shot-dsc-h9_2

“Deleting images

(Index) button
(Playback) button
MENU button
1 Press (Playback) button.
2 Press MENU while display in single-image mode or in index mode.
3 Select [Delete] with v on the control button.
4 Select the desired deletion method with b/B from among [This Image],
[Multiple Images] and [All In This Folder], then press z.
See page 45-46
michael
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

PNI Arias Mon

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.

Esteban Corinna.jpg Brt
“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.

Jodi-Arias-Pinwheel-artwork
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.

jeff gold

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.

The-Death-Penalty-in-2013-335x256Kasab2209a

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.

ur-so-corny

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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The Felony Murder charge is the Holy Grail in the Jodi Arias case

Why the Felony Murder charge is the Holy Grail

of the Jodi Arias case

Fact based reporting

by Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

 

monty-python-image-1

 

Much has been made of the 1st degree Felony murder charge in the Jodi Arias case. The popular consensus is:

 

1) This is a totally legitimate charge under Arizona law.

2) The prosecution can charge whatever they want. It’s still up to the jury whether or not to convict on each charge.

3) Arias’ defense attorneys are a “joke” and “do not know what the hell they’re talking about”.

4) “F*ck Off, f*cktard!!”

5) Nobody cares / It doesn’t matter, because the jury did not find Jodi Arias guilty of 1st degree Felony Murder.

6) The jury instructions said that jurors can make a finding of both 1st degree AND felony murder, and that’s what some of them did. So what?

7) Jodi Arias butchered Travis Alexander. She was unanimously found guilty of first degree Premeditated Murder by a jury of her peers, so f*ck off!

8) It was Felony Murder, because it was a felony AND it was a murder. – It’s not rocket science – Duh!

“Ladies and Gentlemen: There’s nothing.

It’s silly. It’s fearful. That charge is there out of fear.

It makes no sense …. not under any scenario does that make any sense.

Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t.”

– Defense Attorney Kirk Nurmi

 

What does he mean by “Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t”?

What does he mean by “That charge is there out of fear”?

 

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Now is a good time to review the different charges for a murder:

 

1st degree Premeditated Murder: A deliberate plan to kill or a “period of cool deliberation”.

It’s deliberate and there is an intent to kill in the person’s mind. It’s also called a “cold-blooded murder”. It’s considered worse than 2nd degree Murder because a person calmly made a decision to murder, reflected on it, and then carried it out.

1st degree Felony Murder: A deliberate plan to carry out a dangerous felony (other than 1st degree murder) and in the course of that felony, a death occurs.

The primary or “predicate felony” is the main intent of the person. The person usually has no premeditation to commit murder. As a result of and in the course of carrying out that dangerous felony, somebody dies.

2nd degree Murder: There is no deliberate plan to kill nor a “period of cool deliberation” or it cannot be proven in court, but the person intentionally caused the death of another person.

There is no provable deliberation, but an intent to kill is formed in the person’s mind. It is a murder born of unplanned circumstances. Often, this would be called a “hot-blooded murder”.

If a jury finds that this 2nd degree murder was committed in the intense emotional turmoil called a “heat of passion”, Arizona law requires that the charge be reduced to Manslaughter.

Manslaughter: There is no deliberate plan and no intent to kill, but the person negligently or recklessly caused the death of another person.

Justifiable Homicide: A murder is justified because a person was defending their life or the life of another person.

martinez-01

We have a situation in a Capital murder case, where the prosecution is pushing hard for a 1st degree murder conviction, this will mean lifetime imprisonment or the Death Penalty.

The defense is pushing just as hard to get, at the least, a 2nd degree murder conviction, where the Death penalty cannot be applied and the defendant has some chance of parole and one day getting out of prison. Of course, a heat of passion manslaughter verdict or an acquittal would be even better for the defense and Arias.

The Defense in the Jodi Arias case had a primary goal or mission to get anything BUT a 1st degree murder conviction for the same reasons.

Can the additional but bogus charge of 1st degree felony murder assist the prosecution to achieve their goal of a 1st degree murder conviction?

 

Now, let’s review the actual instructions that the jury was given and that Judge Stephens read word for word to the jury.

 

“THE CHARGED OFFENSE – PREMEDITATED MURDER

Count 1 charges the defendant with First Degree Murder. Arizona law

recognizes two types of First Degree Murder – Premeditated Murder and

Felony Murder. The state has charged the defendant with both types.

The crime of First Degree Premeditated Murder requires the state to prove the following:

  1. The defendant caused the death of another person; and
  2. The defendant intended or knew that she would cause the death of another person; and
  3. The defendant acted with premeditation.

“Premeditation” means that the defendant intended to kill another human being or knew she would kill another human being; and that after forming that intent or knowledge, reflected on the decision before killing. It is this reflection, regardless of the length of time in which it occurs, that distinguishes First Degree Murder from Second Degree Murder.

While reflection is required for First Degree Murder, the time needed for reflection is not necessarily prolonged, and the space of time between the intent or knowledge to kill and the act of killing may be very short. An act is not done with premeditation if it is the instant effect of a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.

The crime of First Degree Premeditated Murder includes the lesseroffense of Second Degree Murder. You may consider a lesser offense if either:

  1. You find the defendant not guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder; or
  2. After full and careful consideration of the facts, you cannot agree on whether to find the defendant guilty or not guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder.

You cannot find the defendant guilty of any offense unless you find that the State has proved each element of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

SECOND DEGREE MURDER

The crime of Second Degree Murder requires proof of one of the

following:

  1. The defendant intentionally caused the death of another person; or
  2. The defendant caused the death of another person by conduct which the defendant knew would cause death or serious physical injury; or

Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, the defendant recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death and thereby caused the death of another person. The risk must be such that disregarding it was a gross deviation from what a reasonable person in the defendant’s situation would have done.

The difference between first degree murder and second degree murder is that second degree murder does not require premeditation by thedefendant.

 

CHARGED OFFENSE – FELONY MURDER

As stated earlier, Count 1 also charges defendant with First Degree Felony Murder. The crime of First Degree Felony Murder requires the state to prove the following two things:

  1. The defendant committed or attempted to commit Burglary in the

Second Degree; and

  1. In the course of and in furtherance of committing Burglary in the Second Degree, or immediate flight from it, the defendant caused the death of any person.

An “attempt” requires the state to prove that the defendant intentionally did something which, under the circumstances she believed them to be, was a step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of the offense. The crime of Burglary in the Second Degree requires proof that the defendant:

  1. Entered or remained unlawfully in or on a residential structure; and
  2. Did so with the intent to commit any theft or felony therein.

Residential structure means any structure, movable or immovable, permanent or temporary, that is adapted for both human residence and lodging whether occupied or not.

“Intentionally” or “with the intent to” means, with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person’s objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.

There are no lesser included offenses for First Degree Felony Murder.

http://archive.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/arias-jury-instructions.pdf

 

18calq4ybym0sjpg

 

 

Okay, I hope you lived through that. If so, you may have noticed a few things. First, it seems as if juries were very confused about how if they decide it’s a second degree murder, then they must decide if it was a “sudden heat of passion” killing. If the jury decides it is, then the 2nd degree murder is reduced to manslaughter. The instructions repeat so many times on this that it seems that there was trouble with the comprehension of this instructions.

The 1st degree pre-meditated murder charge includes the lesser offenses of 2nd degree murder, sudden heat of passion murder, and manslaughter. The Felony murder charge has no lesser included offenses.

The jury is informed that all can vote for premeditated M1, or all can vote for felony M1, or all can vote for both, or there can be any kind of mixture, as long as they are all unanimous that it’s a first degree murder.

In order to make a finding of Felony murder in this case, the jurors need to find that the defendant committed or intended to commit 2nd degree burglary. In Arizona, this only means that a defendant entered or remained unlawfully in a residence with the intent to commit any other theft or felony.

 

holy-grail

 

Can two people both be guilty of felony murder with one victim? Yes they can.

Example: Joe Blow and Lou Blew go to rob a horse track. Lou Blew blows away a cashier. Both Joe Blow and Lou Blew are guilty of felony murder.

Can one person be guilty of felony murder with two victims? Yes they can.

Example: Snidely Whiplash is in his Humvee being chased by the police. The police car smashes into a motorcycle, killing Hairy Ryder. Snidely runs over Midge, a little old lady with a walker who was trying to cross the street. Snidely Whiplash is guilty of two counts of felony murder.

Can one person be guilty of both felony murder and premeditated murder with two victims? Yes they can.

Example: Robin Redrum plans on killing Bumptious Q. Bangwhistle in his home a month in advance. She goes to his home and shoots him dead. Bumptious’ brother, Sumptious Z. Bangwhistle, is visiting that day. He hears the gunfire and comes out of the bathroom and Robin shoots him dead. Robin Redrum is guilty of one count of 1st degree Premeditated Murder and one count of 1st degree Felony Murder.

Now, can one person be guilty of BOTH felony murder and premeditated murder with a single victim? Only rarely, and it would take some doing and some verbal gymnastics to explain how this could be so without a separate felony.

 

Premeditated murder is a planned murder, or at the very least, the person had a moment of cool reflection.

 

Felony murder is an unplanned murder. The person plans another felony, and in the course of and in furtherance of this felony, a death occurs. (The victim could have a heart attack, your accomplice could murder the victim, the police could shoot the victim by mistake when trying to shoot you, or you could be surprised by an unexpected victim and kill them, or you could just suddenly decide to kill somebody. All these are examples of felony murder).

 

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How does one person commit BOTH a planned and an unplanned killing with a single victim? Not very easily, BUT Arizona law does allow jurors to find both pre-meditated murder 1 and felony murder 1 concurrently under certain circumstances.

Doesn’t that seem like a blessing for prosecutors?

 

A) Let’s say Horatio Hornblower plans to tie up and rob little Billy Pilgrim. He ties him up and steals his computer and big screen TV. He drives away, then he thinks again and drives back to Billy Pilgrim’s house and kills him with a George Foreman 3 minute hamburger grill. Now, is this felony murder or premeditated murder or both?

B) Let’s say Horatio Hornblower again plans to tie up and rob little Billy Pilgrim. He ties him up and steals his computer and big screen TV. Billy tells Horatio that he’s a useless cowardly thieving dirt bag. Horatio Hornblower then brains Billy with a George Foreman 3 minute hamburger grill. Is this example felony murder, pre-meditated murder, or both?

C) Let’s say Robin Redrum has NO intention to kill Sweet Polly Purebred in her home by suffocating her with a plastic bag. Robin is a welcome guest. A fight breaks out. She puts a plastic bag over Polly’s head, but she’s not dying. She’s injured, but not dead. So Robin stabs her with Polly’s knitting needle 99 times until she dies. She takes the bag and the knitting needle with her. Is this premeditated murder or felony murder or both?

D) Now, let’s reverse that and say that Robin Redrum plans for months to stab Sweet Polly Purebred to death in her own home with Robin’s knitting needle. She stabs her 99 times, but she doesn’t know if she’s dead or not. She puts a plastic bag over her head just to be sure and takes her own knitting needle. Is this felony murder or premeditated murder or both?

 

The last example is the equivalent of the prosecution’s theory in the Jodi Arias case (gunshot last, pre-meditation, Jodi brought the gun). The one before that is the alternate theory of murder in the Jodi Arias case (gunshot first, no pre-meditation, Jodi used and stole Travis’gun).

 

Now, can you apply the jury instructions to these 4 cases? What do you come up with?

 

A) Under the laws of California and many other states, this would be premeditated murder. It starts out as a felony, but Horatio leaves, then deliberates and after cool reflection, decides to go back and kill Billy Pilgrim. For me, this would be 1stdegree premeditated murder plus separate kidnapping and burglary charges.

In Arizona, however, this fulfills all the requirements for a finding of BOTH Pre-meditated M1 AND Felony M1.

B) I would call this felony murder. Horatio intended to commit a felony. While engaged in the felony, he becomes enraged at Billy Pilgrim and, without a plan or cool reflection, murders him. I would charge felony murder and add on the kidnapping and burglary charges.

C) This would seem to me to be premeditated murder or it could be 2nd degree murder, depending on the details. Robin Redrum didn’t plan the murder. There was no intended felony. A fight broke out and Robn went wild. If there was a cooling off period proven, then it’s 1st degree premeditated murder. If there was no time for reflection, then it’s 2nd degree murder. If the jury finds it’s a sudden heat of passion killing. (Robin and Polly had an intimate relationship of some kind), then the charge could be reduced to manslaughter.

D) This would also seem to me to be premeditated murder. Robin Redrum planned the murder and carried it out. There doesn’t seem to be any intended felony or further felony other than the murder itself.

 

Did you come to the same conclusions as I did?

In the Jodi Arias case, there were 7 out of 12 jurors who found that it was BOTH a felony murder and a premeditated murder. How did that happen? There were also 8 jurors out of 12 jurors who voted for death. Since I do not know, I think it’s a very good educated guess that the 7 who voted for both felony and premeditated murder AND 7 of the 8 jurors who voted for death are the same people.

I would love to hear their explanation as to how this is BOTH. I would love to hear anyone’s explanation as to how this can be both a planned AND an unplanned murder.

UPDATE:

In Arizona, there IS an explanation:

If the prosecution proves that a death occurred “In the course of, and in furtherance of, another intended felony”,  a juror can make a finding of Felony Murder 1, even if that same juror also made a finding of Pre-meditated M1.

images (3)

monty_python__the_holy_grail_by_eleth89Kirk Nurmi argued that since there is no predicate felony, there is no Felony Murder. So, it is either 1st degree premeditated murder, which the prosecution argued almost exclusively, or it is a LESSER CHARGE, such as 2nd degree murder or heat of passion manslaughter. Here’s what he said about this in the guilt phase part of the trial in 2013:

 

“Remember when we heard the charge of Felony Murder yesterday and the state making an argument that was….incomprehensible? This idea that well…if you believe Jodi’s version of events she’s guilty of felony murder because she went to Travis’ home, and she decided to steal his gun, and in the course of trying to steal his gun, she shot him. She went there, they had sex, they did all these things, then she decided she wanted his gun, and decided to take it, and wanted it so bad that she was willing to kill him.

That’s the theory of felony murder they have put forward. That shows a little fear, and we’ll talk about some of the fear that the state has demonstrated throughout this case, but that’s just some of it – alright? We also heard this idea that….well, she was unwelcome once she put the weapon upon him and she was there to commit a burglary or another felony ….. there’s no other felony.

Ladies and Gentlemen: There’s nothing. It’s silly. It’s fearful. That charge is there out of fear. It makes no sense …. not under any scenario does that make any sense. Either she was there to kill him, because the state said “Hey this is a plot that began in May”. Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t, and that’s ultimately what we’re here to determine.”

– Defense lead attorney Lawrence “Kirk” Nurmi in the guilt phase closing argument.

Start at 9:15

 

So, in his closing statements, what does Kirk Nurmi mean by “Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t”?

What he means is that this is either a deliberate pre-planned, cooly reflected upon murder, or it should be a lesser charge.

The reason why he’s saying this is because he doesn’t see an underlying felony in the felony murder charge. Martinez’ answer during Nurmi’s motion to dismiss the felony murder charge is that the underlying felony can be any lesser offense of Premeditated Murder. This is after he states once again the reasons why this is clearly a premeditated murder. Then Martinez offers up “assault” as the underlying felony in the felony murder charge.

We are well on our way up the hill to the Holy Grail, I promise. But first, let’s take a small detour and look at the genesis of the felony murder charge. It never changed from the time of the indictment, although premeditated and felony murder are clearly stated as ALTERNATIVES.

Here’s the relevant wording from the original indictment on July 9th 2008 (Jodi Arias’ birthday):

 

“The Grand Jurors of Maricopa County, Arizona, accuse Jodi Ann Arias on this 9th day of July, 2008, charging that in Maricopa County, Arizona:

Count 1:

JODI ANN ARIAS, on the 4th day of June, 2008, intending or knowing that her conduct would cause death, with premeditation caused the death of TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of A.R.S. $$ 13-1101, 13-1105, 13-702, 13-703, 13-703.01 and 13-801.

The State of Arizona further alleges that the offense charged in this count is a dangerous felony because the offense involved the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a .25 caliber handgun and/or knife, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and/or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious injury upon TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of A.R.S. $$ 13-604 (P).

OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE

JODI ANN ARIAS, on or about the 4th day of June, 2008, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, committed or attempted to commit Burglary, Second Degree, and in the course of and in furtherance of such offense, or immediate flight from such offense, JODI ANN ARIAS or another person caused the death of TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of $$ 13-1105, 13-1101, 13-702, 13-703, 13-703.01 and 13-801.

The State of Arizona further alleges that the offense charged in this count is a dangerous

felony because it involved the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a .25 caliber handgun and/or knife, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and/or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury upon TRAVIS VICTOR ALEXANDER in violation of A.R.S. $ 13-604(P).

http://jodiariasisinnocent.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Jodi-Arias-Court-Docs-1.pdf

 

Did you see that? Premeditated Murder OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, felony murder. Not both, how could it be both? You either planned a murder or you didn’t, right? In Arizona, for whatever reasoning, a juror can find both if the pre-meditated murder happened “In the course of, and in furtherance of, another intended felony”.

In Arizona, you get to

have your cake and eat it too

I’m going to throw out a word to you now – Boilerplate. It’s a legal term meaning a standard way of wording things such that there are few problems understanding it. The exact same, time-tested phrasing is used every time. July 9th was just a month after the body was found.

JODI ANN ARIAS, on or about the 4th day of June, 2008, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, committed or attempted to commit Burglary, Second Degree”. This standard boiler plate language should be narrowed down to exactly what the evidence shows by the time of the trial.

 

ravenAt that point, Jodi could have been hiding and protecting an accomplice who actually did the killing while she just watched. She would still be guilty of 1st degree felony murder, because she was a willing accomplice. Someone could have assisted her, even if Jodi did the killing. Maybe it would turn out that either Jodi didn’t premeditate the murder OR there was not enough evidence of premeditation.

winchester .25 auto

So that boilerplate wording on the indictment including the felony murder charge are there as a catch-all or a just in case. They’re basically a one size fits all. Three or Four years later, you would think the prosecution would know if it was felony murder or a premeditated murder. Everyone knows what they are going to try to prove and what their theory of the case will be.

 

– But they left the defense guessing.

Kirk Nurmi made two major points in his closing about the Felony Murder Charge. It makes no sense, and it’s only there because of “fear”.

“Either she was there to kill him, or she wasn’t”.

 

In Arizona, there are 16 statutory (witten in the law) predicate felonies for felony murder. These are:

1) Sexual Conduct with a minor

2) Sexual Assault

3) Molestation of a child

4) Terrorism

5) Marijuana offenses

6) Dangerous drug offenses

7) Narcotics offenses

8) The use of minors in drug offenses

9) Drive by shooting

10) Kidnapping

11) Burglary

12) Arson

13) Robbery

14) Escape

15) Child abuse

16) Unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle”

 

Jodi’s predicate felony is burglary? You’ve got to be kidding me. Incredibly, Juan Martinez sold that B.S. To the jury, or to many of them, anyways. I don’t think you can stretch, mutilate, and warp a law any more than Martinez did here. Then he sold it to them, because he is the fireside story teller. There were five astute jurors, though, who weren’t buying it at all.

The State has put forth that the felony predicate is burglary. In Arizona statutes, burglary is akin to trespassing with the intent to commit any felony. Jodi Arias at some point became an uninvited guest in Travis Alexander’s home. When, exactly did Jodi Arias become an unwelcome guest in Travis’ home? According to the twisted logic of the State, Jodi Arias became an unwelcome guest as soon as she began her premeditated murder of Travis Alexander.

According to the state, when Jodi Arias began killing Travis Alexander, at that point in time, she is no longer welcome in Travis’ home and is now guilty of 2nd degree burglary.

 

Monty_Python_Holy_Grail

 

“The crime of Burglary in the Second Degree requires proof that

the defendant:

  1. Entered or remained unlawfully in or on a residential

structure; and

  1. Did so with the intent to commit any theft or felony therein.”

– Arizona 2nd degree burglary statute.

Here there is a situation where, as soon as Jodi Arias starts killing Travis Alexander, she is now guilty of second degree burglary, because Travis obviously would not want her in his home at that time = remaining unlawfully in a residential structure. That same act of starting to kill Alexander also serves as the further felony Arias intended to commit. So the killing of Alexander serves as the reason why she is guilty of 2nd degree burglary, plus it is the further felony Arias intended to commit, plus it is the killing that was committed in the course of the burglary.

 

resized_philosoraptor-meme-generator-circular-logic-is-the-best-logic-because-it-is-circular-fa4a24

 

Do you see why this is insane circular logic? As a matter of fact, that’s what Kirk Nurmi argued when he asked the court to drop the Felony Murder charge after it became clear that the State was arguing just about exclusively for 1st degree premeditated murder. He said this is circular logic. The murder and the predicate felony and the further intended felony cannot be all the same thing.

Not only is it circular logic, but also, there’s a law against it:

 

circular_logic_by_mestafais-d5vm1d1

 

Felony-murder cannot be charged if all the elements of the felony are included in the elements of murder. This is known as the merger doctrine, which holds that if the underlying felony merges with the killing, the felony cannot constitute felony-murder. For example, all of the elements of the crime of Assault and Battery with a deadly weapon are included in murder. If a killing, therefore, occurred during the course of this crime, the accused would be charged with murder.”

Yet this is exactly what Martinez is putting forth. He wrongly divides a stabbing murder into a series of assaults with a knife, and calls the intended further felony “assault”.

 

Update: It has come to my attention that, In Arizona, Martinez and Judge Stephens correctly cited the law when stating that the intended felony defining the burglary can be assault even if the victim was murdered.

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Felony-Murder+Rule

Again, the predicate felony = remaining unlawfully in the home (via killing Alexander) with the intent of committing any further felony (killing Alexander) and the murder part of the felony murder is (killing Alexander).

For this charge of Felony Murder, aren’t all of the elements of the felony predicate “merging” with the murder?

 

You cannot do that. Yet, Martinez and the state of Arizona did do it. Sound familiar?

It seems that in the Bizarro world of Arizona, a murder can be divided up into a series of assaults.

 

Raven1

Now, let’s entertain the theory that it was Travis’ gun that was used in the killing. Besides the fact that this significantly weakens the State’s case for pre-meditation, this scenario doesn’t work so hot either. That’s because the State would have to prove that Arias’ stated intention was to remain in Alexander’s residence with the intent to steal that gun, and in the course of committing this felony, she was willing to kill Alexander.

He would have to prove that Arias intended to steal the gun prior to, rather than after, the murder.

Following this theory, the death occurred while she was in the process of stealing Travis’ gun, which was her primary intention. This is absurd. Since she got rid of the gun, one can then be confident that her main purpose was not to be in the home unlawfully in order to steal his gun.

 

 

Travis Alexander as Eddie Snell from Alabama
Travis Alexander as Eddie Snell from Alabama

There’s a much better argument for that:

What if, she broke into the home, was in there without Alexander’s consent or knowledge, and then he caught her with the gun in her hand? She shoots him and kills him because he identified her in his home when she was supposed to be 1,000 miles away in Yreka. This is a much clearer case of felony murder. But, as we know, Travis let her in the home, Jodi knew what he was watching on his computer (You tube: “Harder Better Faster Stronger”).

We know they took pictures of each other, and we know they had sex a number of times. One could have confidence that she was welcome in the home (at least, at first).

Neither theft of the gun, nor “assault”, nor the killing of Alexander can fulfill the “intent to commit any felony” part of the Felony Murder Statute, according to Nurmi. The intended felony must be separate from the killing.

scoob1Update: It has been brought to my attention that Arizona does not recognize the merger rule in all instances, meaning if a person is murdered, you can break down that murder into a series of assaults and you can use assault as the felony defining the felony predicate of burglary.

 

 

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The prosecution, after being asked over and over again by the defense about their intentions with the felony murder charge, in 2010, finally stated what they would be using “any of the lesser included offenses” (murder 2, manslaughter). Later, they added “aggravated assault” and “theft” as the intended offense beyond 2nd degree burglary (remaining in the home unlawfully). Doesn’t this show that they have no clear theory?

Nurmi brought up a motion to dismiss the felony murder charge on the ninth day of trial, in open court minus the jury, on video. There he states that there is no underlying felony for the felony murder charge (video below). Nurmi said “The essence of the argument, your honor, is that there was nothing facilitated, at all. There was no distinct offense for this burglary….and the assertions of felony murder based on that should not stand.” Here he is saying that there was no intent to commit a theft or any felony other than the killing itself.

HolyGrail051

Juan Martinez states that the further felony is assault, now her status has changed to an unwelcome guest, the assault, and the stabbings that happened after that become the felony. Nurmi responded that it is either a premeditated murder or it’s not, and the felony murder burglary charge is just an “empty vessel” in order to seek a first degree murder conviction. (The motion was denied by Judge Sherry Stephens).

 

 

The defense motion to dismiss the felony murder charge.

Start at 47:15

 

Do you remember this? Jodi must have forgotten her glasses or something and is wearing a different pair. Nurmi and Martinez fight it out over the felony murder charge

 

At SpotLightOnLaw, we have talked about the felony murder charge a lot. Now, we hope you will soon understand why. Who gives a hoot about the felony murder charge when it’s old news? It’s over and done with, the jury was unanimous for pre-meditated murder anyways, and Nurmi is a blooming idiot!

 

Tim-monty-python-and-the-holy-grail-591629_800_441

 

No, there’s something to this. Either this is Martinez’ trick, or it’s just bad common law. Not the first time we’ve seen a poorly worded statute interpretated poorly in Arizona.

Nurmi seems to feel internally that this is incorrect. He’s not wrong, but his argument is not persuasive enough. He didn’t invoke the merger rule and he couldn’t find any case law specific enough to this issue. He’s a really good attorney, but he’s lacking as a trial lawyer.

 

images

 

I will reiterate this now in a visual format, so I hope you can see that this felony murder charge is ridiculous. It’s ludicrous. It makes no logical, practical or legal sense, does it?

Juan's interpretation of the law is on the left and Kirk's interpretation is on the right. Who is correct?i                                                                Click to Enlarge
Juan’s interpretation of the law is on the left and Kirk’s interpretation is on the right. Which is correct?
Click to Enlarge

 

Stay with me, now. I hope you will see that this is at the root of what’s wrong with the Jodi Arias case. The Holy Grail is in sight!

What do you believe is the theft or felony that Jodi intended to commit or committed? No, Juan Martinez and Judge Stephens, it cannot be the murder itself.

But, wait. According to Arizona law, and only Arizona law, Juan Martinez and Judge Stephens are correct in saying that assault CAN be used as the the felony defining the burglary. 

 

Martinez in closing arguments of the guilt phase discussing the felony murder charge

Starts at 23:30 then he picks it up again at 37:30

Now, if you don’t believe me, look at what a very good attorney in Arizona has to say:

 

Vladimir Gagic, Criminal Law Attorney

Phoenix Arizona

“That, for the moment, leaves the felony murder charge, which is count two in the indictment. At common law, felony murder meant that someone could be charged for murder even if they never intended to kill a person, so long as the a death was the foreseeable result while the defendant was committing a dangerous felony.

The classic example of a felony murder is when a kidnap victim dies from a heart attack while stuffed in the trunk of a kidnapper’s car. Thus, even though the kidnapper never intended to kill his victim, he is still guilty of felony murder because the death of his victim was a foreseeable consequence of the underlying predicate felony, kidnapping.”

“Another example is when during a bank robbery the police shoot and kill a bank robber’s accomplice. Even though the bank robbers certainly never intended the police to kill one of them, that result was foreseeable, and thus felony murder. Other common law predicate felonies included rape and burglary. Assault is not a predicate felony in Arizona for the felony murder rule.”

The important point with the felony murder rule is that the predicate felony is different from intent to murder, depraved indifference murder, manslaughter, or any other homicide charge because the goal of the felony murder rule is to deter the predicate felony itself, while non-felony murder homicide and murder laws deal with homicide charges directly.”

 

Monty-Python-and-The-Holy-Grail-monty-python-16580771-845-468

 

As most of you are aware, the government has charged Ms. Arias with felony murder, with the predicate felony being burglary. The important point here is that while even though common law burglary required breaking and entering with the intent to commit a theft therein, in Arizona, which follows the model penal code, defines burglary more broadly as (see “Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1506 and 13-1507):

Entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a nonresidential structure or in a fenced commercial or residential yard with the intent to commit any theft or any felony therein; and A person commits burglary in the second degree by entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure with the intent to commit any theft or any felony therein.”

“The prosecutor does not allege Ms. Arias entered into Travis Alexander’s home with the intent to kill him or commit any felony, for that matter, at the moment of entry. How could he when all the evidence shows Mr. Alexander invited Ms. Arias into his house? The evidence is clear she spent at least 8 hours in his house, and during that time together they had sex multiple times.”

 

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“Instead, the prosecutor’s argument is that felony murder applies because at some point Mr. Alexander revoked permission from Ms. Arias to be in his house, and at that point, she was “remaining unlawfully in… a residential structure”. This is where things get quite silly for the government’s felony murder allegation:

if in fact at some point Jodi Arias was still in Mr. Alexander’s house without his permission (we can call that point T1), what felony was Ms. Arias’ intending to commit at T1? If she was intending to kill him at T1, then that would be the exact same thing as count one, murder in the first degree intent to kill, premeditated murder.”

“The defense filed a motion to dismiss the felony murder charge, stating quite correctly the allegation makes no sense. In response, Judge Stephens ruled Ms. Arias’ intent at T1 could have been assault, not intent to kill Mr. Alexander. I believe that ruling is in error because of something called the merger rule.

 

arias22n-1a-web

 

To count any death that occurred during the course of an assault as felony murder would obliterate the distinction between assault and murder. And even more importantly, there would be no distinction between second degree depraved indifference murder and first degree intent to kill murder.”

“P.S. What I mean by merger rule is that the predicate underlying dangerous felony, the dangerous felony of felony murder, must be different from the actual murder charge itself; that is why assault is not a predicate in felony murder. If it was a predicate, then every murder would automatically be felony murder because every murder involves an assault. In other words, proving the murder would automatically prove the assault as the evidence is circular. And thus, there would be no degrees of murder charges (first degree, second degree) as there are now.”

http://www.azcriminallawsexcrimes.com/violent-crimes/why-the-felony-murder-allegation-against-jodi-arias-is-nonsense/

 

There’s more to it. Let’s move on to the other pieces of the puzzle.

This explanation makes good sense and it’s the law in most states. Here is another instance, like the F(6) cruelty aggravator, where the statute is poorly written, coupled with illogical jury instructions or case law, that leaves Nurmi and Gagic and I, feeling like something is not quite right. That’s my overall feeling about the Jodi Arias case, too.

 

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What did Kirk Nurmi mean by “That charge is there out of fear”?

Now, we are getting to what Kirk Nurmi said about the prosecution’s ”fear”. What’s the distinction between 1st degree Felony Murder and 2nd degree Murder? Both involve no pre-planning, and in both, the person must have an intent.

The difference is that in Felony Murder, as normally observed, there must be an intent to commit another dangerous felony (where a death is foreseeable). There must be a primary or “predicate felony” OTHER THAN THE KILLING, with no pre-planned intention to kill. In the course of committing this dangerous felony, a death occurs.

Martinez argued premeditation throughout this case. He even argues a short moment of cool reflection in the bathroom was also possible, in case the jurors don’t accept the long premeditation theory. The – Travis was “killed three ways” argument is also meant to show deliberation and premeditation. He argued throughout the case that Travis didn’t own a gun, and that Jodi brought the gun with her from Yreka.

Now, Martinez is telling the jury that according to Arias’ version of events, Travis did own a gun and he’s arguing that she did steal it and that makes theft the felony defining the burglary. He’s arguing that Travis Alexander was murdered, and in the process of the murder he was assaulted, making assault the felony defining the burglary.

Martinez is telling the jury that yes, you can find that this was both a felony murder and a pre-meditated murder if the premeditated murder happened in furtherance of the burglary. He’s telling them that as soon as Arias first assaulted Alexander, that at that point, she was now unwelcome and unlawfully in the home. He’s telling them that this fits the Arizona burglary statute.   

Who’s right and who’s wrong?

 

Holy_Grail_tapestry_The_Failure_of_Sir_Launcelot

Why is he doing this? What is going on here?

Imagine there are 4 rooms, like motel rooms. Imagine there is a door to each of these rooms. The first room is 1st degree pre-meditated murder, the second room is 2nd degree murder, the 3rd is manslaughter and the 4th is justifiable homicide. Which door will the jury walk through?

 

holy_grail_png_by_erdmute-d1nodd1

If some jurors are unsure about premeditation or if some feel it’s a heat of passion homicide, they could have a compromise verdict and choose to walk through the door of 2nd degree murder. But what if the state is allowed to add the door of 1st degree felony murder? In this motel scenario, that extra door would lead into the same room as the 1st degree pre-meditated door, (or they could be connected rooms). In any case, it’s another choice for the jury.

It’s another choice which gives the prosecution another opportunity for the jurors to go into the room they want. That’s only fair, Martinez would say, because the defense has 3 doors and 3 rooms and we only have one. Now, it’s more fair because they have 3 doors and we now have 2 doors.

That’s what’s really going on here. He wants it to be as ambiguous as possible.

 

images (1)

 

Whether Jodi Arias is  completely innocent or whether she is a cruel and evil, cold-blooded murderer shouldn’t even matter. Does what Jodi did give officials the right to do what they’re doing here, or what they have done and continue to do in the State of Arizona?

Maybe the statute and/or the interpretations of the statute is just plain wrong.

In the beginning of this case, Juan Martinez had much less information about the gas cans than he did by the end of the trial. The major evidences of pre-meditation at the beginning of the trial were the license plates being tampered with, the car being rented 90 miles from Yreka, the borrowed gas cans, the hair coloring, the phone being off, and the recovered bullet being the same caliber as the gun stolen in Yreka.

All these occurrences could have nefarious explanations, but all these could have innocent explanations. If I were the prosecutor on this case, I would have been a little worried. Maybe that explains, both the change by the prosecution in the order of injuries from gun first to gun last (with the help of Dr. Horn), AND the retention of the felony murder charge. Is it just a coincidence that both of these absurd assertions help to dramatically increase the odds for the prosecution?

The biggest untold embarrassment of this trial is that there was division in this jury. They could not agree on the essentials of this case, and they disagreed 8 to 4 over the death penalty. Seven jurors voted for BOTH felony murder and premeditated murder.

Just because the boiler plate jury instructions state that you can vote for both felony murder AND premeditated murder doesn’t mean that voting for both in any way applies to this particular case.

 

monty_python_and_the_holy_grail_blu_ray_disc_5

 

These 7 people were following Juan Martinez’ interpretations while the remaining 5 were at least considering some of the defenses’ arguments.

 

All this is the Holy Grail of the Jodi Arias case.

 

Remember the list of 16 predicate felonies?

If you or someone with you causes the death of a person in the course of one of these dangerous felonies, the killing is elevated to 1st degree murder. You could say that 1st degree Felony Murder is when a person commits a 2nd degree murder in the course of one of these dangerous felonies.

 

Law-School-Dojo-1-2-3-Play-Smart-Build-Muscles-Win-Big

 

Notice that 1st degree premeditated murder is not on that list. Premeditated murder cannot be the predicate felony for felony murder. Assault with a deadly weapon also is not on this list. Assault can be the further intended felony that’s required in 2nd degree burglary, but it cannot be the predicate felony for felony murder.

So, 2nd degree murder and 1st degree felony murder have A LOT in common. Also, 2nd degree murder and 1st degree premeditated murder have A LOT in common, particularly when the period of cool deliberation or reflection is very short.

 

This caused a legal expert to say:

expert_in_60_days_big

“The point is that in jurisdictions where no time is too short to support a finding of actual thought and reflection, sufficient to establish premeditation, the dividing line between first and second degree murder is extremely murky, to put it mildly”.

http://books.google.com/books?id=f9vrpYcRBAAC&pg=PA137&lpg=PA137&dq=example+of+premeditated+murder+brief+period+of+reflection#v=onepage&q=example%20of%20premeditated%20murder%20brief%20period%20of%20reflection&f=false

 

brrLHMC

 

They could fear that they would lose the case. Remember, Juan Martinez, as shown in his prior and current cases, will cheat even when he has a slam dunk case. (State vs. Morris, State vs. Dixon, State vs. Gallardo, State vs. Lynch). But we know that Juan will cheat even more when he fears he may lose the case (State vs. Falater, State vs. Grant, State vs. Carr, Robert Towery commutation hearing, State vs. Chrisman).

 

dt_monty_python_1026

 

For Juan Martinez, not getting a 1st degree murder conviction would be a LOSS in the Jodi Arias case. The Death Penalty would be off the table and Jodi Arias would get out of prison one day. That’s unacceptable to the prosecution. This case has been widely viewed throughout the United States and the world. People are getting a good look at Arizona Justice, and this trial was on live TV. Also, the 2nd penalty phase will be available on video and transcripts after the sentencing.

 

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This case is a very big deal in Arizona. There are plenty of biblical law types, who demand the most severe punishment possible when a woman kills a man. The Mormons are a very powerful political base of themselves, and they support the ultra conservative right which reigns supreme in Arizona. Woman’s Death Row just lost one woman (due to a wrongful conviction), so there are now only two women on Death row in Arizona. Isn’t it awful expensive to run a maximum security Death Row for only two women?

 

Monty Python

Remember that Juan does not like to lose a case, and anything less than 1st degree murder would be a loss. Remember also that Juan did not really have a handle on the gas can situation until late in the trial. As things stood in 2011, this is too risky for a guy like Juan. He wants every advantage possible. He got that advantage by changing the order of injuries and not dropping the felony murder charge, for starters.

Now, I hope you can understand this just a little better and we hope you will start to see why we consider the retention of the felony murder charge, along with the one-two switcheroo of the order of injuries to be the Holy Grail of wrongdoing by the prosecution.

What is YOUR opinion?

Comments from all perspectives are welcome.

You can also comment on our FB page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

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Jodi Arias Trial – Jury Selection / Media Clown Reunion

Jodi Arias Case – Jury Selection / Media Clown Reunion

by Rob Roman

 

The Jodi Arias Murder Trial, the OTHER side of the story

Many people believe that much of the media storm against Jodi Arias was due the the results of the Casey Anthony trial.
Many people believe that much of the media storm against Jodi Arias was due to the results of the Casey Anthony trial.

 

The Jodi Arias trial is back on the front burner again with what is usually a mundane process, but hope springs eternal that some controversy or drama can be somehow squeezed out of this situation. Tweeters in the Phoenix, Arizona courtroom are experimenting with different titles for Ms. Arias Such as “Convicted Killer Arias” or “the Murderess”. A woman named “Jen”, and others are joking about the slowness of Defense Attorney Kirk Nurmi, especially after lunch. They’re questioning if he is being slow on purpose in order to add to the trial’s tremendous tab. Now slimmed down and reportedly sporting hair, Nurmi has written yet another voluminous motion to dismiss the Death Penalty, based on previous accounts of “prosecutorial misconduct” along with some new allegations. It’s like a high school reunion of class clowns as all the celebrities start gearing up and jockeying for position during the jury selection of the Jodi Arias 2nd penalty phase. HLN is coming on strong and is the current media fave among potential jurors, according to tweets coming from reporters inside the courtroom.

Jen from the Trial Diva’s fame is now back with her Trial Diaries website, tweeting every occurrence in the courtroom. CNN has made sure to cozy up to her as she has great popularity on Twitter. Earlier rumors reported that Jen and Prosecutor Juan Martinez had become good friends. Vinnie Politan is gone form HLN, which is no big loss, but Nancy Grace and JVM have more than made up for his absence with their powerful vilifications of Jodi Arias and her defense. There’s no need to pretend there is any objectivity or to try to hide their favoritism in the case, like they tried to do at least in the beginning of the guilt phase. Beth Karas is basically a free agent now after possibly having refused to go along with HLN’s completely one-sided reporting. She stayed at HLN too long until they finally decided to try to humiliate her in the process of dumping her.

Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony
Jodi Arias and Casey Anthony

Today, on the fourth day of jury selection, for example, reporters are tweeting about the clothing and hairstyle of Arias. Ms. Arias is wearing a “royal blue top” and a “mid-high ponytail” according to Tweeters inside the court room. It’s a different court room and the reporters can get much closer to her. The prevailing sentiment of potential jurors has been that Jodi Arias should get the Death Penalty. Of course, most of these jurors have been dismissed. There was at least one who thought that all 1st degree murders should get the DP. Other potential jurors are saying that they could never vote for anyone’s death, no matter what they have done, but that they could still be fair? What?? You have to hand it to Arizona jurors, they seem to be a special breed, truly. Some jurors have been victims of murderers and one potential juror has had co-workers who were stalked and murdered.

Look-it what this special breed of media moron Tweeted:

Jeffrey Evan Gold ‏@jeffgoldesq  5m5 minutes ago

Sitting behind #JodiArias today and much closer than usual. With her hair up, her creamy neck and shoulders beckon…the hangman’s noose.”

This perfectly exemplifies the tone and tenor of reporters as they gear up for this story, attempt to ramp up the hatred, and try to find a way to wrangle up some drama at the start of the final courtroom scenes and acts. This is what JVM has on tap for tonight. Oh, that voice of her that sounds just like an air-raid siren!

 

Jane Velez-Mitchell ‏@JVM  8m8 minutes ago

TONIGHT at 7p @LisaBloom @claycane @LukeBurke @TrialDiariesJ @janegarrison join me tonight to discuss #DanielCrespo #RavenSymone #jodiarias

 

Of course there are the Travis watchers and Tweeters who need to be heard from (This one appears to be the reincarnation of @HodiHo69:

 

superdooperday ♥ ‏@AnneWyattanne7  1h1 hour ago

Happy 2see potential jurors r taking precautions be4 entering court with that disease ridden whore #jodiarias there

 

A group of nearly 400 potential jurors has been whittled down to 82 finalists, with 12 that have just made it to the 3rd round, or pre-emptive elimination round where attorneys for the defense and the prosecution will dismiss jurors without cause. They have so many of these (10 each, instead of the usual 3, I believe) and then they must give reasons for cause for dismissing any potential jurors who make it past the 3rd round.

Of the Tweeters in the courtroom, Jen, from Trial Diaries recommends Jeffrey Evan Gold and Monica Lindstrom in her absence. As above, Jeffrey Evans Gold seems to show what he’s all about. Monica Lindstrom seems to be much more fair and normal, so-far.

 

Monica Lindstrom ‏@monicalindstrom  26m26 minutes ago

The juror that had a family member who grew up with #JodiArias is the one that seems like she is trying a bit harder than most 2b on jury

 

Monica Lindstrom ‏@monicalindstrom  42m42 minutes ago

I think #Nurmi is doing a good job questioning potential jurors, calm, understandable, prepared and methodical #JodiArias

 

I Haven’t seen any reporting like that from anyone else. Someone actually complimented the Defense, imagine that! Nice to see at least one person attempt to present both sides reasonably fairly and accurately.

 

Jen’s Trial Diaries ‏@TrialDiariesJ  32m32 minutes ago

Juror 82 sister in law knew #jodiarias and she is also juror that knew people killed by stalker

 

This one juror incredibly has family who knew Jodi Arias and has co-workers who were murder victims of a stalker. This does not by any means indicate that this juror will be good for the prosecution, but it’s so doubtful this juror will survive the later rounds.

 

Well wonder of wonders, Jeffrey Evans Gold Tweeted something that actually makes sense:

 

Jeffrey Evan Gold ‏@jeffgoldesq  10m10 minutes ago

Death penalty juries are special because they decide the ultimate human sentence. In #JodiArias there’s complication of prior media circus

 

Jeffrey Evan Gold ‏@jeffgoldesq  4h4 hours ago

Sort of funny the way #JodiArias Pros Juan Martinez style is bombastic whether def on stand or a juror in box.

 

Maybe I should take back what I said about him earlier. So this should be easier to report from a media-bias view, as the two sides are no longer about guilt or innocence, but about whether the convicted should spend life in prison or be executed. Prosecutor Juan Martinez will be sure to drum into the jurors heads that it’s a fact that Jodi Arias committed pre-meditated murder and that that murder was especially cruel. You can expect him to make that absolutely clear.

 

Jen’s Trial Diaries ‏@TrialDiariesJ  3h3 hours ago

Juan tells this woman “not only is she guilty of murder it was especially cruel” Nurmi objects but Judge overruled #jodiarias

 

Another cut-and paste blog with little to no original content “Wild about Trial”, is also on the scenes trying to drop a new bombshell

 

Wild About Trial ‏@WildAboutTrial  23m23 minutes ago

I have a surprise that will drop in a few days. #JodiArias.

 

Translation: I’m late to the party and I desperately need to distinguish myself as a top reporter on this penalty phase re-trial before I’m left behind in the dust and forgotten. Let’s see if that “SURPRISE” will ever really materialize.

Update: There was no surprise.

 

Here a mock-up of Jodi Arias is surrounded by so-called supporters (Clockwise from the top) Webmaster Jason Weber, Some guy who wanted to attack Nancy Grace, Friend Donovan, The foreman from the original trial, William Zervakos, Defense expert Dr. Robert Samuels, and Humanitarian from England, George Barwood.
Here a mock-up of Jodi Arias is surrounded by so-called supporters (Clockwise from the top) Webmaster Jason Weber, Some guy who wanted to attack Nancy Grace, Friend Donovan, The foreman from the original trial, William Zervakos, Defense expert Dr. Robert Samuels, and Humanitarian from England, George Barwood.

Here a mock-up of Jodi Arias is surrounded by so-called supporters (Clockwise from the top) Webmaster Jason Weber, Some guy who wanted to attack Nancy Grace, Friend Donovan, The foreman from the original trial, William Zervakos, Defense expert Dr. Robert Samuels, and Humanitarian from England, George Barwood.

We wonder how the trial is going to go, yet, below the surface we know how the trial is going to go. Juan Martinez will try to force his opinion every step of the way and the defense will try to oppose this at every opportunity. Juan will argue that the jurors should, with objectivity and without emotion, apply the facts to the law. The defense will argue that life in prison is an appropriate punishment and they will argue the value of a human life in general, and of Jodi Arias’ life in particular. The defense will try to personalize Jodi Arias while Juan Martinez will call her “it” and “that thing” who chopped up Travis Alexander without a thought, then giddily rushed to Utah to perform mating rituals on Ryan Burns.

As the new penalty phase re-trial has abandoned the question of guilt or degree of guilt all together and now only asks about life or death, so too the blogs and Facebook pages have for the most part abandoned any discussion or debate about the guilt phase. A secret Facebook Page called “Jodi Arias Both Sides” is run by Brad Justda, who now is calling himself Brad Smith. He seems to be a good guy, but I wonder what he means by “both sides”. Both sides of what, you may wonder? On that page, which is a secret page to begin with, are a large variety of a mixture of decent people, ignoramuses, and mad zealots, who do not tolerate any hint of the guilt and aggravator phase of the trial not having turned out exactly right. In their view, it was a fair trial logically worked out and all allegations about Jodi Arias were proven to be true.

A Prosecution supporter uses a famous comic strip to mock Jodi Arias Supporters.
A Prosecution supporter uses a famous comic strip to mock Jodi Arias Supporters.

In the world of the mad zealots of the prosecution supporter pages, no one is allowed to question the verdict or to bring up any question which may reflect unfavorably on Travis Alexander. If you do, you are met by almost hysterical personal attacks. On that page, if you allow someone to voice their minority opinion, you are a traitor to the Travisites and you have let down your idol and your team. You must launch a personal attack on anyone who doesn’t believe the same things as you, you must block anyone who is a Jodite and who has a different opinion than you do. You must insult that person, fabricate false evidence against them, obstruct and divert the conversation, spam the thread, and do whatever it takes to repel the agitator off of the page.

king juan

This is what alternate juror Tara Kelly was told by fellow Tweeters when she showed up on Twitter so shortly after the trial. Her wise friends advised her to not have discussions with people who have opinions that are in opposition to hers and to just block them. Then you can live in the peaceful bliss of unanimity. It hardly seems American, but free speech has no place in the Travisite world, where speech is only free when people are being told what they need to hear.  On a page that is 99% prosecution supporters, any voice in opposition is not able to be heard. Yet, on some Jodi Arias support pages, prosecution supporters are allowed to speak their mind and air their opinions freely. You have to wonder why that’s so?

Here are some sentiments of some prosecution supporters on Twitter:

 

TeamTravisUnited retweeted 7h7 hours ago

@yours917 @mitchiepoo46 @jodimustdie @bunnykittenpupp @ClubLove13 I Sooo want it to get DP!! It on death row…Priceless!!

 

Juan football

juan gloves are off

 

Retweet3 retweets3 Favorite3 favorites3 More· Oct 6

TeamTravisUnited

@mitchiepoo46

The grim reaper is waiting! #jodiarias

 

Arias Reaper

Jodi Arias supporters are thought by prosecution supporters to be every bit as vile and as guilty as they suppose Jodi Arias to be. This means if you support Jodi Arias, you are a lying, murdering scum. You are a felon and a deviant. You are no better than a murderer and you are hypnotized and controlled by Jodi Arias and her crew of foreign fiends. Actually, the truth is that some people will always gather to support someone who has been rejected by society. Some people will always see that no matter what Jodi Arias has done, there have also been some injustices done by the other side. Some people will always rise up to support the oppressed, the underdog, the downtrodden, and the hopeless. The truth is that HLN helped to create Jodi Arias supporters, prosecution supporters helped to create Jodi Arias supporters, and Juan Martinez especially helped to create Jodi Arias supporters.

The real, true support for Jodi Arias comes from very quiet people who do not talk about, discuss or debate the case, who say absolutely nothing derisive about the victim or his family, and who strive every day in their secret groups to give well wishes, words of encouragement, strength, prayers and love for Jodi Arias. Some people can’t stand that fact but it’s a fact. Some Jodi Arias supporters are counting on a type of Stockholm Syndrome where people have come to know and perhaps hate Jodi Arias so strongly that perhaps they will also want to see her life spared.

abc_2020_arias2_130510_wg

People we know never use the word “Travis supporters”, because actually, most Jodi Arias supporters feel badly about what happened to Travis Alexander and support him as much as anyone else. We don’t hear much of anything positive or supportive towards Travis and his family coming out of the other side at this time. Not to say it’s not there, just that it hasn’t been very visible. It seems more a sport or a game, a spectacle of entertainment as many fervently hope that Jodi Arias will get the Death Penalty and they can call it a day.

This can be the final victory for Travis as the Defense team of Kirk Nurmi, Jennifer Wilmott, and mitigation specialist Marie De La Rosa and Jodi Arias herself are finally, publicly vanquished and the world can see that there is no mitigation for such an atrocity. However, many Jodi Supporters and also many prosecution supporters as well are hoping that at least some of the jury will see that there is value in a human life, that this case has been somewhat overblown, and that life in prison is an appropriate punishment. It’s really in the hands of this new jury. Only time will tell.

Here’s a sentiment that we at SpotlightOnLaw  can identify with:

Rain Shine ‏@RedTailspin  3h3 hours ago

Iranian woman facing death penalty may b spared, officials say. If only #JodiArias was in Iran, instead of #Arizona. http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iranian-woman-death-penalty-20141006-story.html …

 

Other people may feel this way:

Beth Karas ‏@BethKaras  10h10 hours ago

The final juror on the third panel being questioned. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Not an Arias fan here. #jodiarias

 

Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please comment.

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 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Spotlight-On-Law/189870931203328

Sources:

Twitter feed on #JodiArias Oct 1st through 8th, 2014

Photos and Memes courtesy of Twitter