If you thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre in the
Casey Anthony Jodi Arias case, it seems the prosecutor, Juan Martinez, engages in flagrant witness intimidation. Not just so that he can win the case – he’d already done that as of last week – but so that he can win a death sentence:
Martinez said that he had merely interviewed [proposed defense witness] Womack about her testimony last week, on May 15, and asked her pointed questions about her drug use and unreported income that could subject her to criminal prosecution. Womack decided to invoke her Fifth Amendment right in response to his questions, Martinez said.
I love how the word “merely” is thrown in there. Why not say as well, instead of references to “pointed questions”, that he just “casually mentioned” to the witness that if she testified in a way he didn’t want her to that he might prosecute her?
The solution for this kind of misconduct by the prosecutor is to throw his whole case out and refer him for discipline, after which he should be disbarred.
I’m completely serious. There is no conviction that matters as much as making damn sure no prosecutor thinks he can do something like that and get away with it, or win his case despite misconduct like that. At the very least he should lose his case – immediately and forcefully and make damn sure you pin the blame right where it belongs, your honor.
But that’s the way the system should work; not the way it does.
Rather 10 guilty men go free rather than 1 innocent person convicted? Screw that. How about this: rather than allow a public official to so abuse his authority and subvert a fair trial for any person – but especially the most reviled, who are the easiest for a crude bully to pick on – shut down the court house entirely and let everyone go, because if you permit that abuse you have already turned the courthouse into a farce.
Bullies make me mad. You?
Correction: According to this, defense counsel was present when Martinez interviewed the witness. This changes things. While I still think the substance of the questioning was improper and an effort to intimidate the witness, I would have to say that although it is an extremely unfair tactic by the prosecutor, it wouldn’t be criminal. Unethical, but not criminal.