Another Juror

These juror interviews are interesting:

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/05/27/ac-jodi-arias-juror-allen-coogan.cnn.html

I don’t know which number she was.  She voted for the death penalty.  Looking at her “demeanor”, she appears to me to be not so much hard minded as just…hard.  Not to mention tight-lipped.  You could also say this interview is anecdotal proof that there’s a pretty strong correlation between people who strongly feel they “have a duty” to be jurors and people who as jurors are likely to find guilt and sentence to death.

That’s another thing that makes it so difficult to represent criminal defendants:  the people you don’t want as jurors want to be jurors; and the people you do want as jurors are trying to get out of it.

One other interesting thing.  There doesn’t seem to be any real animus toward the defendant here, at least not in an emotional way, but this was still a vote for death.  She doesn’t explain her decision real well and doesn’t really seem to feel a need to.

I don’t mean these as criticisms, just observations.  Selecting a jury, by the way, is considered by many to be the single most important thing you do in a jury trial.

Finally, it’s disturbing that other than the foreman, the only jurors who are speaking so far are the ones who voted in favor of the DP.  It’s like they’re not afraid of repercussions, but the others are.  We’ve been concerned about this intimidation of jurors phenomenon around here a lot more since the Casey Anthony trial.

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86 Comments

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86 responses to “Another Juror

  1. Heather

    John, I have been on OccupyHLN on Facebook. Apparently one juror, No: 17 was a friend of the Hughes’… have a look, there’s a photo of her, although she doesn’t appear to fit your description, a smile can change even the hardest of people.
    I have always maintained people look what they are and I can easily recognise a hard-faced person as we all can, mind you, ‘hard’ is in the eye of the beholder..
    I would never try to get out of jury service because I pride myself as being fair and hopefully able to read people. I was the Foreman on a jury once, well, I guess that should read ”Forewoman” !!, and I had to chastise myself when I saw the defendant; he was a very large black guy – not that I’m at all racist, you understand, but he was behind bars and had dreadlocks; he looked pretty fearful and immediately I found myself thinking he was guilty.
    Its essential to have an open mind and I gave myself a slap for thinking such a thing.
    I can’t help but wonder how this jury was chosen, how a friend of the Hughes’ was on it, I think it smells, don’t you?

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    • Apparently one of the pro-DP jurors was a 911 operator, which the defense would almost certainly want to avoid since they are so closely connected to law enforcement. Then a bank manager, which would also generally be considered bad for the defense. The one interviewed in the linked clip was a nurse, if I remember correctly. Nurses could be good or bad for the defense, depending. Some nurses are skeptical of authority because they work closely with doctors and the bloom comes off that rose pretty quickly for many people. OTOH, nurses can develop a callousness if they’re around suffering a lot, as a self-preservation mechanism.

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      • Heather

        Oh my goodness, its as if they had been hand picked for the jury! I wouldn’t put it past Martinez to have done just that. Its shocking, they should have been picked at random. The fact that one of them was a friend of the Hughes’, says it all. I hear he is in the process of finding new jurors.. well, a leopard doesn’t change its spots. As he’s determined to murder her I wonder who he’ll find this time.

        Yes, one usually thinks of nurses as kindly and caring people, but from my own experience they are definitely not all like that, some are as you say, quite callous.. I have vague memories of a couple like that, which isn’t really what you want when you’re ill or injured (or even pregnant–as I was!.) What is ”OTOH” ? I’m not familiar with it!

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    • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

      John & heather,
      Just an FYI, that photo of the alternate juror was taken the evening the jury ws dismissed and she was not a ‘friend’of the Hughes’ prior to trial. Whoever started that is really reaching. Do u REALLY think the defense wouldn’t hv been ALL over that?

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      • Heather

        How would the defence have known at the Time, Guilty? Its Only now that we know.

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        • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

          Heather, I am talking now- not before trial. Because believe me if the alternate juror really was a “friend of the Hughes” this defense team would have already filed a motion for something and attempted to cause a mistrial whether or not the juror was an alternate-THAT has been their style throughout. NO. This rumor started thru the jaii site. The pic was posted the evening after or morning after the jury was dismissed. The juror ended up having dinner with the Hughes that evening when she was with some reporter. There are dates that can be tracked back. Just becs someone says something does not mean its true. And just becs a website tends to have the same opinion you do in terms of Arias’ innocence does not mean suddenly anything they say there rises to the level of fact. You should beware of believing things without proof. Especially if it does not pass the smell test. That jaii site was very big on defending our jury system when same admin was running the casey anthony innocent site. And he posted all throughout the trial that no matter what the jury came back with they would never ever insult the jurors-(like the ‘Cretins who were against Casey’) although he would follow that sentence up with “but its already been decided and they will kick that little Kermit to the curb when they say hell no she is NOT Guilty.” Well, that changed really quick when the verdict of First Degree came back with cruelty. All of a sudden this guy who said he would never disparage the jurors got Alzheimers and was calling them all sorts of lovely names, trying to disparage their credibility, character, making shite up about them to no end etc etc.

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    • Interesting. I rather think his opinion as a Green Beret skilled in knife fighting does not apply easily, or maybe at all to Jodi Arias’ actions, but of course it is possible. What it does show is that a better argument for self defense perhaps could have been made.

      It also shows that knife fight killings are just gruesome, that is their nature, and it might be improper to cite that as an argument for the DP.

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      • Heather

        Well, I was thinking it would apply to Jodi, because he has identified the wounds and how they came to be made. He went into great detail to explain, and how it could only have been self defence, how Martinez was wrong and the defence was weak.
        I’m wondering now why someone who was an expert in knife attacks wasn’t called by the defence? It seems obvious now that they should have done, considering that was what Jodi and the defence team were claiming.

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        • He’s reasoning backward from the evidence, saying this or that is possible. It’s all possible.

          Arias is left-handed, so the knife blade’s initial impact is on the right front of Alexander’s neck.

          The autopsy report reveals Alexander’s right cardiac artery, right jugular vein, and esophagus were cut, consistent with Arias’ left-handed defensive slash at Alexander’s throat.

          A swinging slash to the throat, done as I described above, can leave a wound exactly like what you see in the photos of Alexander’s throat.

          A quick backward stab would leave a stab wound on the left front of the neck.

          The autopsy shows this exact wound on the left front of Alexander’s neck.

          I have no doubt that a “swinging slash to the throat” can leave a wound like that. But not from Jodi. From a much stronger and more experienced knife-wielder, perhaps, and even then I think it would be unlikely.

          Also, I think the knife would have to be really sharp, not like a kitchen carving knife.

          Admittedly, I don’t have the special forces credentials to offer an opinion, but at the same time this is not a special forces situation and some of these special forces guys get a little carried away with their expertise.

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          • Heather

            Hmmm I’m not so sure, they are experienced in a job where we are not. So, not having that experience, who am I to judge someone with not only years of experience but who has been very detailed with links to prove what they are saying? Who are we to say they aren’t credible?

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          • Heather

            On the face of it I would agree with you, John, but when in a life threating situation I can only but imagine that one would find that immense strength from somewhere, adrenalin would be pumping. Maybe the knife was sharp, mine aren’t, they’re as blunt as blunt can be, but some kitchen knives are. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

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        • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

          The reason someone experienced in knife fighting wasn’t called is because jodi arias wasn’t an expert in knife fighting. I agree with John, not relevant.

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          • Heather

            Oh God! Jodi Arias didn’t Have to be experienced in knife fighting, we leave that to someone who is, someone who has looked at the autopsy report who can tell just by looking at it!

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  2. Heather

    I hadn’t clicked the link before I wrote, but have now, John, and she didn’t want to answer the question, did she? No wonder she felt uncomfortable, she’d have had a hard time answering as she had voted for death. By just looking at her before she spoke, I knew that I wouldn’t get along with her. Compassion and empathy are in very short supply in Arizona, if not out altogether.

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  3. This particular juror was interviewed on ABC yesterday with 2 other jurors, did you also see that? One of them was the male banker and the other the former 911 operator. The main point that struck me was how often all 3 of them refer to Jodi as a liar — which appeared to refer to her interrogation with Detective Flores and her TV interviews from several years ago. As I was reading the tweets of alternate juror no. 17 (who will be doing interviews this evening), that was also her main theme. Did they convict her for being a liar? That’s what it seemed like. I didn’t hear any of them discuss the evidence.

    In an article by AZ criminal defense lawyer Vladimir Gagic, he made some interesting observations about death penalty qualified juries being more likely to convict, and pro-law enforcement, which is not a jury of one’s peers. Of course, I grew up in England and Ireland, where I didn’t meet very many people who were pro-death penalty because it was abolished before I was born. However, as I think about the people I’ve known in my 27 years living in the US, some are pro-death penalty; many others aren’t. I would have to agree with Mr. Gagic that is a fair representation of our society, but a death penalty qualified jury is not a jury of my peers. I thought you might find his article interesting, JMRJ:

    http://www.azcriminallawsexcrimes.com/violent-crimes/jodi-arias-trial/should-jodi-arias-accept-a-life-sentence-no/

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    • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

      The point of them saying she was a liar, was they couldn’t and didn’t believe anything of importance she said. The one juror clearly said the state proved their case. Arias lied on the stand about many things, gas can return being just one example proven to be yet another lie. I had been hoping beyond hope she would get grilled on the so called ‘brochures’ she claimed she gave Travis about pedophilia. Where did she get them exactly? What was the content. Do a google search, no such thing as a brochure for helping someone with those problems. Doesn’t exist. Interestingly, someone ws supposedly doing an academic paper and ws searching for brochures on subject inquiring where brochures might be found. Several people that work in mental health explained why no such thing exists. I thought this wld have been fun cross examination to watch.

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      • Guilty, YES indeed, do a google search about “overcoming pedophilia”, “pedophilic obsessive thoughts”, or “could I be a pedophile”, and see what you find. Obviously, you haven’t done one yourself, so I have to wonder why you’re suggesting others should.

        Also, ask a priest/pastor for some brochures on the subject, or even a mental health professional. They’ll be able to supply you with them.

        I really don’t know where you get your information from and/or why you believe it without investigating for yourself. But asking the rest of us to do something you obviously haven’t done is really quite absurd unless you really want us to prove your statements are wrong.

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        • Creole Princess

          AA- I DID investigate it. ARIAS said “brochures”, she gave Travis BROCHURES. From where? What you are referring to are ARTICLES, posts online. Come on..you know exactly what I mean. of course I NEVER said anything LIKE there was no such thing as “information” out there on pedophilia. Show me ONE BROCHURE -anywhere- that one could get to give to someone they suspect is a pedophile AA.

          And this is what I was referring to where someone else tried to find “a brochure” about pedophelia for a class.

          http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101203225923AAfihkq

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          • The next time I see my psychiatrist, I’d be glad to get one of the brochures from his office and mail it to you. Provide me with your mailing address please. Brochures aren’t typically available online, but handouts and powerpoint presentations (which are often called “brochures” by some) are. There are PLENTY of those online. You’re basing your research on ONE Yahoo Answer, which is hardly an authoritative source. By the way, did you see the answer chose as Best Answer: Ask a priest. Have you tried that?

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            • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

              AA- You think going to a psychiatrist/psychologist and telling them you suspect you may be a pedophile or that you have suspicions about a friend that has these inclinations – and you need a brochure- you think that’s all there is to it? Some that support Jodi Arias just have not considered how ludicrous her story is. As it stands today, somebody cannot just go to their doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist and say they need help with a problem like that and snap of the fingers -they get help. The LAWS -as they are written currently today, in the US and Canada, REQUIRE a practitioner to report to the authorities a person that comes to them telling them they have these feelings or know someone that may be a pedophile. Its the law. This is why Jodi Arias’ story is absolutely absurd and why I said what I said about her being grilled over the brochures. They do not make brochures for these people to “help” them because legally there is only one place for them to go. Don’t believe me? Ask your psychiatrist if they know if there is such a thing as a brochure to help someone you suspect may be a pedophile.

              No…I base my opinion that no brochures exist because no brochures exist. No brochures exist becs of the nature of the mental illness, the social stigma associated and everything else.

              Look Jodi Arias made a mistake on this one.. trust me. This was a lie she got lucky that no one knew a hell of a lot about, nobody followed up on so she got a pass.

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              • You know what, Guilty, you sound positively rabid right now.

                My psychiatrist has an entire wall full of pamphlets in his waiting area discussing various topics. One entire column is devoted to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and one of the pamphlets is devoted to OCD Pedophilia and something along the lines of fears about being a pedophile in the subtitle. I haven’t read it, but as I was sitting there waiting, I happened to notice it and thought “That’s quite possible one of the ones Jodi gave Travis.” So I don’t need to ask my psychiatrist anything about it. I can simply pick up the pamphlet next time I’m there. And if you’d like, send me your mailing address and I’ll gladly mail it to you.

                And sorry, it’s not the law to report someone who has feelings. It *is* however, the law to report someone who has acted on them. According to Dr. Karp’s report, Travis *had* acted on his urges (he fondled two little boys) so Jodi should have reported him. Instead, she tried to help him. Also, Travis was molested as a child, and boys molested as children unfortunately, often go on to do the same themselves, or experience urges. That’s why psychiatrists and psychologists have pamphlets about such subjects in the hopes that someone will know they can talk about their urges BEFORE they act on them.

                For example, I’ve told my psychiatrist I think about suicide a lot — especially since I was recently harassed about my seizure disorder disability at work. I haven’t acted on my thoughts, therefore, he doesn’t have to report me.

                I think you’d believe anything you read online written by a blogger who actually does stalk people. I’m sure you know the blog I mean. And I’m equally sure that’s where you got this ridiculous information from.

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              • Actually, here’s one you can actually even download:

                http://www.solargeneral.com/library/family-research-institute-educational-pamphlets.pdf

                Child Molestation and Homosexuality

                I found that with a quick search of pamphlets on pedophilia. I’m not going to justify its content because I disagree with it. But you could get pamphlets like that from just about any Christian organization opposed to homosexuality.

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              • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

                Positively rabid? Me thinks the lady doth project too much. I am perfectly calm. You are the one that sounds irate. You are the one that seems desperate to argue this point- despite the fact its a completely losing battle-on your end. Your brochure? Did you actually read what you attached here? Your “brochure” Is by that wonderful organization (sarcasm dripping) called the Family Research Institute – a Christian Far Right organization committed to “Family Values”. And the pamphlet certainly is NOT to HELP anyone with anything it is talking about the demonization of homosexuality. This is a pamphlet to scare somebody out of homosexuality and sin because it WILL lead to you becoming a CHILD MOLESTER. (Oh, despite the actual research that says otherwise.)

                But if THAT’S the road you are going down and you’re going to imply THIS is the type of brochure she gave him-then there is no point. J Arias has already implied on the stand she is not homophobic. So you cannot convince me THIS was what she gave Travis. But you have in your way helped prove my point. The ONLY brochure you could find online that had anything to do with this came from the HIGHLY respected (NOT) Family Research Institute. Thats because nobody would print up brochures like that and I believe you know it.

                No, you do NOT need my address. I don’t hand out my address online to people I don’t know. Do you? Just..next time u go, pick up the brochure, tell me who the distributor/author/organization is thats printed on the brochure.

                Oh, and can you tell me where the Dr Cheryl Karp notes, reports etc are now available? She did not testify and I was not aware her medical report was available yet. Link? Thanks

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      • Dee Andrews

        To Guilty:
        I beg to differ with your statement that “gas can return being just one example PROVEN to be yet another lie. Just because the store did not
        come up with a return receipt doesn’t prove anything. I have taken things
        back to stores and gotten cash with NO receipt if they were in a rush. They just run the laser over the skew number on the item. Anyway,
        who gets the death penalty based on a returned gas can receipt. And,
        the woman in Florida who is on trial for shooting her boyfriend and changed her story 5 times was only charged with manslaughter. Why do the people in Arizona hate Jodi Arias so much. The creep who shot Gabby Giffords and killed SIX people, including a child did NOT
        get the death penalty and he was allowed to take a plea (in AZ). I think people have picked her out to persecute, like a scapegoat and everybody is piling on. Its just sick.

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        • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

          Dee Andrews- Um..The 3rd gas can return WAS proven to be a lie. Its amazing the incredible bad luck Jodi Arias had during this trip.

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    • Heather

      I didn’t see the 3 jurors, will have a look, AA. Its the same old story, calling her a liar.. strange they had blinkers on when Martinez’ witnesses were the true liars, isn’t it?
      I fear Jodi will never get a fair trial.. unless they move to another State, can they do that?.

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      • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

        And where did state witnesses lie? And please don’t refer to Detective Flores/Dr Horn inconsistency. That was-not-a-lie. The judge did not see that as a lie either and I think she has far more perspective than anyone online.

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        • Heather

          Guilty, the judge is Biased.

          They changed their stories to suit Martinez.. a lie? Well, it certainly wasn’t the truth. Martinez changed his story too, to being stabbed to death from being shot first…. don’t you remember the theatrics? Tot Doc lied by omission..

          It all stinks of one word: Corruption.

          Corruption.

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          • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

            No. The only witness that was implied or proven to have lied on the witness stand was Alyce LaViolette and Jodi Arias. Alyce LaViolette was an Arias advocate. Nowhere near an expert witness. And what facts do u have to prove the judge was biased? I’d say she was more than fair in allowing the defense to bring in all kinds of stuff about Travis that could not be substantiated except by Jodi Arias.

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            • Actually, guilty, that’s another appeal argument for the defense. The prosecutor is supposed to be held to a higher standard, but in fact any lawyer is not permitted to deliberately mislead either the judge or the jury. If the prosecution ever took the position in motions or otherwise that the shot was first and then changed its position and its witnesses testimony to support the “shot last” scenario, that would be a basis to conclude that the prosecutor had deliberately misled the court or the jury, and indeed the prosecution absolutely must have misled one or the other. Pretty clear due process violation there.

              But that doesn’t mean an appellate court will intervene at this point (see today’s post), if they ever will.

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              • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

                John, I just responded to yr comment here at length in the last post.

                “If the prosecution ever took the position in motions or otherwise that the shot was first and then changed its position and its witnesses testimony to support the “shot last” scenario, that would be a basis to conclude that the prosecutor had deliberately misled the court or the jury, and indeed the prosecution absolutely must have misled one or the other.”

                I do not understand this statement at all. The prosecutor did NOT take this position in any motions…so not sure what you mean by “indeed the prosecution absolutely must have misled one or the other”.

                The whole sequencing Flores testimony was brought up by DEFENSE questioning at the Probable Cause Hearing and Flores was wrong, mistaken whatever. State NEVER used which injury came first at all as part of their theory anywhere-including the probable cause hearing.

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              • Sorry to be so lawyerly, but if the prosecution elicited testimony to the effect that the shot came first, then they took that position, unless and until they corrected it.

                If they later take the contrary position, then either the later position or the original position was misleading. Note I did not say that it was necessarily intentionally misleading, but one or the other must surely be misleading. Since it appears to be a fact of great significance, then for the prosecution to allow it to stand uncorrected for any length of time would support an inference that it was intentional.

                Martinez arguing that the defense objected to the evidence originally is not only irrelevant – just as Nurmi said, apparently – but highly dishonest. He was the one who offered the evidence. If he thought it was wrong, it was his obligation, having offered it and gotten it admitted, to correct it, whether the defense objected or not. A defense objection doesn’t relieve him of his responsibility not to offer false evidence to the court, or to correct false evidence when he knows or learns that it is false. The idea is so ridiculous I can’t believe he actually argued that, but then what does it matter, the court will rule in his favor even when it’s ridiculous. His whole career has taught him that. He’s probably not as stupid as the system’s indulgence of him has made him seem.

                You have really been taken in by something to see this episode differently, as somehow being evidence of defense slipperiness. It isn’t that at all. Quite the contrary.

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              • Jessie

                Oh, I don’t know, John….I think Martinez really might be that stupid (though I guess the general lawyerly opinion is that he just really sucks at cross-examination): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wry3aykRCxA

                At about the 3:00 mark, it gets laugh-out-loud funny when he forces the witness to confirm that she has “no information about the relationship between Snow White and Prince Charming.”

                There’s a whole line of questioning about whether Snow White lived in a cottage and whether she talked to animals. I couldn’t make this stuff up!

                It’s hysterical until you realize what’s it done to the dignity of an actual court.

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              • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

                John, you write:

                “You have really been taken in by something to see this episode differently, as somehow being evidence of defense slipperiness. It isn’t that at all. Quite the contrary.”

                Maybe. Maybe not. With what we DO know about the probable cause hearing in 2009 and the evident. hearing in 2013, I feel very confident that my instincts on this are right on the money. But the argument you make, no one could ever prove wrong because it boils down to the system is so corrupt that we would never know the truth. No offense..but that’s the argument for a lot of conspiracy theorists too. When presented with evidence that says they are wrong they simply say it was manufactured. Or if someone says no this was investigated by an independent commission…well, that commission was corrupt. How could anyone disprove a non fact sufficiently when you argue like that?.

                With all due respect, I think it is actually you who has been taken in, not me. That is…If I believe you actually believe what you argue. Maybe you actually DO see exactly what I see here, what the judges who hv reviewed this see here and you are just arguing for argument sake and pulling everyones’ legs as u are a defense atty after all and no one would ever hear you criticize another defense atty. Personally, I believe that more defense attys need to speak out when their brothers (other defense attys) are using manipulative misleading tactics that are really transparent and do nothing but hurt the profession as a whole. I do not understand why more defense attorneys do not see that. Its true, defense attorneys have a MUCH harder job than a prosecutor. That I will absolutely concede and I do believe. But my understanding is Defense attys are also much better compensated as a whole if they are good @ what they do and have worked hard to build a name -when compared to a prosecutors salary. Many defense attys spend loads of time criticizing prosecutors tactics but to NOT criticize their brethren when warranted makes people unable to take the other criticism on prosecutors, no matter HOW warranted, with the gravitas it may deserve. I wonder if you have EVER conceded to defense trickery and manipulation? Does not sound like you think that exists. Do you think all defense attys are knights in shining armor fighting only for the truth of the matter? In THIS case, I just wish you would focus some of your argument less on this idea that Jodi Arias is innocent or that her defense attys are shining examples of warriors fighting the good fight for the defenseless -the prosecutor is always wrong AND would spend some time educating some of us through your expertise on how the defense strategy is fair and their mistrial motions legally sound and smart and worthy of being won. Or NOT. For instance, this defense brought in numerous mistrial motions for prosecutorial misconduct sometimes basing their entire argument on the prosecutor was just too damn aggressive, raised his voice and was merciless with certain defense witnesses. (He was often same way with his own.) To me, THOSE motions were beyond ridiculous and sounded like Arias was behind them because they had this whining feel to them like that of a high school girl pouting. Cross examination has never ever been considered a “polite exchange”. And when witnesses are clearly testifying as an advocate as opposed to the expert witness they claim to be -who should be unbiased -or at least attempt to present themselves as unbiased -but does not -or LIES on the witness stand and happens to lie in a soft gentle voice and looks cute doing it and is actually very adept at lying and has nerves of steel …the prosecutor is FORCED to be aggressive to attempt to show the “truth” behind the mask. Anyway, I would like to hear if you thought those mistrial motions for prosecutorial misconduct (lets stick first with just the one they complained about the aggressive tone of prosecutor-NOT the autograph issue, though we can argue that later) were completely reasonable or if you agree with my take. (Not holding my breath :))

                Maybe its just the additional moral argument that bothers me here and that you make them without having watched everything that happened at trial. You make assumptions and then infer based on assumptions that have sometimes been absolutely inaccurate. Obviously I enjoy your blog and I do respect your opinion as I wouldn’t be here otherwise. You have been (for the most part) respectful of contrary opinions. That is rare to find online in this case. Without a doubt I think its critical you watch the WHOLE trial. Eventually. Or at least the key portions where there is much disagreement. You miss so much otherwise. An intellectual argument on the law would be very appreciated though when looking at this defense and strategy. But I think for me I would need to hear you admit that certain legal maneuvers are obviously manipulative first.

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        • Jed

          you’re actually going to attribute the change of sequence of the shot fired as a typo? 4+ years preparing for trial and horn overlooks something that significant? not a chance. sugar sherry’s perspective is to hang jodi arias.

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          • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

            Haha Jed. Now I know u gotta be pulling my leg. 🙂

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            • Heather

              I wish he was pulling your leg, guilty.. but no, Jed isn’t.. like I said, that judge was biased.

              Martinez:
              Aww the witness is unresponsive, Mummy, she won’t give a yes/no answer to my 4 questions in one that have different answers.. awwww Mummy Do something? Yes says Mummy, of course Mr Martinez.

              The Defence: Objection.
              Judge: Overruled

              JM throws pens, yells and is abusive to witnesses, the Defence objects. But Mummy Overrules and allows JM to continue being abusive to witnesses.

              After the verdict Mummy cries.. boohoo they didn’t give the verdict I wanted 😦

              Mummy judge allows JM to sign autographs, conveniently assumes that the jurors won’t know what is going on outside the courtroom, and thinks if she says ”I see no hands”, she’s done her bit.

              The defence wants a mistrial due to this and prosecutorial misconduct.

              Mummy thinks of all the reasons she can to deny it.

              Mummy judge doesn’t want to see that she is refusing the defendant her Constitutional Rights..

              One Complete Farce.

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              • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

                Yeah. Funny that take because it was actually the defense that cried boo-hoo at every turn saying ‘the prosecutor was a meanie’ to their lying witnesses and ‘So.. Judge… DO something! Tell JMartinez he simply cannot kick our ass that bad in front of all these cameras and just expose our house of cards legal strategy just because he wants to….Its unfair to our client your honor”.

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            • Heather

              Straight answer, guilty, yes or no, ok?

              Do you see that JM signing autographs outside the court, throwing pens and yelling at witnesses, to be prosecutorial misconduct, is this the way a prosecutor should behave ?

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    • Heather

      AA, I have seen the 3 jurors, … they look what they Are..
      The US society is unlike so many..
      I have been blocked from my FB page – for 12 hours they Said..
      I still can’t get back into it more that 24 hours later..
      Did I swear? No, was I vile to anyone? No.
      Did I say what I thought about the Mormons?
      Yes. I said what I felt – that they are a vile Cult..
      What’s the betting FB are either Mormon or the Mormons are ‘in’ with FB?
      I couldn’t post anything on some sites because you need to be logged in with FB.
      GeeBee2 or 22 sent me a mail from Wiki but I couldn’t post anything..
      These vile and obnoxious haters will not stop.
      I suspect my FB page will be blocked indefinitely.

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    • Heather

      Can you Believe this, OMG.. look below, where DO these people come from?

      ”JA was using Travis for sex. Duh.”

      Submitted by Anonymous on May 6, 2013 – 10:36am.

      ”JA used Travis for sex. That’s why she kept coming to him and not the other way around.

      TA wasn’t violent. There would be some independent corroboration.

      In my view, your behavior is abusive.”

      Like

  4. As I recall, this trial was initially expected to run from the beginning of January through mid-April. (Of course, it ran a month longer than that.) The length of the trial was estimated based on, for one factor, that particular court house does not hold trial on Fridays, and standard calendar proceedings are heard prior to trial commencement daily — which leads to rather short days, four days per week. When a trial is expected to be this lengthy, it handicaps jury selections. Many potential jurors who would be able to step away from their normal business/family life for anywhere from a week to a few weeks, are not able to do so for a 4 month stretch of time. Therefore, the potential jurors that remain are generally either retired, disabled, unemployed or housewives. In combination with requiring each juror to be pro-death penalty, how can a jury of one’s peers ever truly be selected for such a lengthy trial?

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    • Dennis

      OTOH means “on the other hand.” and juries are picked by both parties. Martinez didn’t pick this jury.

      When you take the stand in your own defense and you’re thought a liar, you’ve essentially convicted yourself.

      Like

      • Dennis, have you ever been involved in jury selection? I’m going to assume your answer is no, based on what you’ve said above. I have been involved in jury selection during a few criminal cases and many civil cases. Therefore, if you would be so kind as to keep an open mind for just a few minutes, I’d like to provide you with a little insight as to what occurs.

        First of all, from all those called for jury duty that day, only a much smaller group are actually sent to the court room at first to make up the potential juror panel. That process is random. No others are sent to the court room unless a jury panel can not be selected from those originally sent. In this case, if I recall correctly, the venire was 300, but 75 were initially sent to the court room and the impaneled jury was selected from those 75.

        Now, you state that the attorneys select the jury, but that isn’t quite accurate. Let me explain.

        The first thing that happens is that the judge asks questions to ensure the potential jurors are qualified to serve. I will admit that I have never been involved in voir dire for a capital punishment case, but I’m going to assume (and someone correct me if I’m wrong) that one of those questions would be to ensure that the panel could find for the death penalty. Other types of questions for a trial expected to continue for this length of time would include questions relating to medical conditions that may prevent jurors from serving for 4 months. Also, the judge may ask questions about prior criminal records, whether or not they believe in the legal system or that the law is fair, their comprehension of the English language, their mental capacity to understand evidence, whether they can keep an open mind and be completely impartial, whether they have served on a jury or grand jury, whether they have testified as a witness, whether they have ever served or applied for a job in law enforcement, how they feel about the testimony of law enforcement officers (more likely true than another witness), whether they understand that they must find guilt beyond reasonable doubt, whether they will understand that opening statements and closing arguments are not evidence, whether they have awareness of the case from the media, whether they can disregard evidence heard in open court but ruled as inadmissible by the judge, and so much more. But that will give you a general idea.

        In some cases (and if I recall correctly, it happened in this case), potential jurors are provided with a written questionnaire to complete.

        Next (if allowed in that court room by that judge — and, if I recall correctly, it was allowed in this case), the attorneys ask questions in an attempt to determine whether there is any potential for hidden prejudice among the panel. For example, in a case like this, a potential juror who was a crime victim might be removed for cause (by the judge, by the way — not the attorneys) because that person may not be able to be fair. Asking questions of potential jurors by attorneys can be a very difficult process because some will answer less candidly than others. They may answer yes or no, or even say they agree with the answer given by a previous potential juror, without actually answering for themselves.

        Potential jurors can be dismissed for cause by the judge, but each lawyer also has a limited number of peremptory challenges, but such challenges must be used lawfully. Let me attempt to explain what that means. The theory behind peremptory challenges is that the lawyer can decide to dismiss a juror without cause, perhaps just because they have an intuitive feeling that juror will not vote the way they desire. Unfortunately, the other side has the right to object to peremptory challenges and if that side can establish prima facie showing that the peremptory challenge was used unlawfully (such as, the party exercising its challenge was attempting to excuse all jurors of a particular race, age group, education or income level, etc., etc.). At that point, the party exercising its peremptory challenge must justify the challenge, and the burden shifts to that party to explain. Then, it’s up to the judge to weigh whether or not the challenge was indeed used unlawfully or not.

        There have been cases where verdicts were overturned because judges did not allow peremptory challenges and that juror ended up being the foreman of the jury playing an influential role over other jurors and was indeed biased. Jurors often conceal relevant information (perhaps partially due to recollection issues, or perhaps because they are being asked in open court and it’s embarrassing) which would have been pertinent in determining their selection. Also, judges can preclude attorneys from asking certain questions during voir dire.

        In Arizona, apparently, it’s at the judge’s discretion whether or not he/she allows the attorneys to conduct voir dire, or the judge asks the questions him/herself. In Jodi’s case, the defense objected to the fact that the prosecution was systematically excluding women and African-Americans from the jury, and the 18 men and women selected were almost all white, with the exception of one Hispanic male (who was later excused prior to deliberation). The judge excused one woman because she was married to a preacher, but did not disqualify on the basis of religion such as whether or not jurors were Mormon — which became a central theme of the case in regards to the law of chastity.

        So, was it really the attorneys who selected the jury, or did the judge have great influence over which jurors were selected? In fact, this may well become an appellate issue, given the defense objection.

        Things are not always as they seem, Dennis. It’s time to open your mind and rethink some of your biases, because I don’t believe you have all the information. I do not mean to insult you by saying this, but without all the information necessary to form an opinion, it’s easy to see things one way when, in fact, they may actually be quite different.

        And don’t forget that the prosecution only revealed its new theory that Travis was stabbed FIRST (instead of shot first) on December 4, 2008, less than a week before jury selection began — in other words, the eve of trial — which hampered the defense jury selection to begin with because they had to then rethink voir dire questions they had already planned on asking.

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        • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

          The foreman made a comment that he thinks its unfair to ask people to decide life or death. Yet same juror became the foreman, and told us they all agreed not to try and change anyone’s mind. This guy should have been upfront re his attitude on the death penalty and it ws his job to encourage debate on evidence and law. It’s clear though why he said and did what he did. He believed that by his choosing the Verdict form to say blah blah, he thought he was FORCING the death penalty PFF the table and he would end up with his minority view being the successor in the end.

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          • I guess I’m continuing to respond to you, Guilty, because a few days ago, you actually seemed like you might well be a reasonable person with a kind heart who simply jumped on this blog to tell us all “what for”, but later realized that was not a good way to debate with us. Unfortunately, since then, you appear to have regressed into the hostile negative person that you first presented as here. I assume you’ve been influenced somewhere else to present again in the way you first did, so I’ll give you benefit of the doubt for a few more moments.

            Have you ever served on a jury where you were asked to sentence someone to death? Have you ever spoken personally to someone who was? Have you ever known anyone who once staunchly believed in the death penalty and later changed their mind because of something that happened in their life? Have you ever talked to a member of the military who served during a war and, although trained to kill, suddenly found his/herself hesitating when in such a situation? Have you ever talked to someone in a life or death situation who had to make a decision immediately whether to fight or flee? If you have done none of the above, then perhaps you should not decide for this foreman what actually happened. Please note also that he did not tell us how he actually voted. For all you know, he may have voted for execution.

            The foreman clearly believed prior to trial that he would be able to sentence a defendant to the death penalty if the evidence supported such a sentence. During deliberations, after listening to mitigation, he did not believe he could do so. He was not the only juror that felt that way. There were three others who also felt the same way.

            When one is in a position where he/she has to consider whether to sentence a young woman to death or not, it’s an entirely different position than believing he/she can enforce it. Jurors who have sentenced a defendant to death often suffer severe remorse, PTSD and ill health for years thereafter, even if convinced that the defendant was guilty beyond ANY doubt. It’s a heavy burden for any human being to bear.

            I’m sure that foreman now wishes he had not spoken to the media. None of us should EVER criticize a juror for their decisions. We weren’t present during deliberations. We don’t know what occurred. We don’t know why that juror decided as he/she did. By criticizing jurors, we will only end up making more people unwilling to serve. I’m really surprised at you or anyone else who speaks of this man the way you do. There are death threats and warnings addressed to him all over the internet. It’s disgusting.

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            • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

              First off AA, I have no idea why all of a sudden you think I am being hostile to you or anyone else. What did I do??? What did I say now that’s different from anything else I have said before? I thought we have had a couple nice civil exchanges – honestly, I feel you are the one suddenly very hostile toward me because I am expressing my views. Did I miss something? I have always obviously thought Jodi Arias is lying about the abuse and that she is guilty of premeditated murder with cruelty. As for the sentence, I have been split on that. I have always been a bit of a hippie and never ever thought I would be pro-death for anyone-EVER. And I am not necessarily here either, but I will admit, in this case, this woman’s arrogance and continued vilification of the victim and (in my opinion) -complete lack of remorse- has seriously tested my belief system. I would not be upset if she were to receive the DP-but I would be just as satisfied were she to receive natural life. Because I believe- based on the overwhelming facts of this case- she deserves that.

              As to the foreman, he was asked in the jury questionnaire whether he could morally vote for the DP if he felt it warranted. Maybe he didn’t REALLY think about the question before answering? For him to then go on TV and say he thought it was “unfair to ask a group of people to decide life or death” implies that his answer on the questionnaire was either only applicable to certain defendant ‘types'(based on his remarks that Arias didn’t LOOK like a killer-something BTW, which is an emotional reaction-and he was NOT supposed to take that into consideration) or he was a rogue juror and never intended on being able to vote for death. Either way. My issue was not with his vote, he has the right to vote his conscience of course. It was the way he went about his interview, the timing of it and a number of things he said that didn’t make sense. He contradicts himself and admits to things that were really inappropriate, especially since he was the foreman. Many of his co-jurors were extremely angry he spoke out as early as he did after HE agreed NOT to (they ALL agreed not to) and to wait until this week when things cooled down. Other jurors had the media camped out in their yard too and they did not go against the agreement. (At least not until they began discussing Zervakos’ interview.) Zervakos also might as well have admitted that he manipulatively used the VERDICT FORM instead of the JUROR QUESTION FORM to tell the judge they could not agree, in order to GET the verdict his minority position wanted. Because he states he was shocked the judge declared a mistrial. He said himself he thought the judge would be forced to take Death off the table and determine what type of Life sentence Arias should get. In his mind, by doing just what he did, he thought his minority position would be the successor in the end. Do you understand what I mean? He was the jury foreman. I think it would be extremely insightful to hear what was discussed in relation to this. It was SPECIFICALLY his job to ask questions they were unclear on. It was also his job to encourage debate on the evidence in the case and follow the law. When Mr Zervakos stated that they had all made an agreement not to try and convince each other of any particular position, he admitted he did not do his job. That is EXACTLY what he as foreman was supposed to facilitate. And I DO NOT MEAN to imply he had to change his vote. Not at all. But it appears as if there was some serious discouraging about discussing the individual juror’s opinions and whether those opinions matched up with the facts of the case and the law. It is my firm opinion, he did not WANT to be given another dynamite charge as the judge did prior when they asked about what happens if they cannot agree and he did not want to be instructed to continue deliberating. Deliberating more – really deliberating-discussing evidence and the law- would not likely go in his favor – especially as to the issues he brought up in the interview. He says Arias had NO issues at all and was a normal vibrant healthy girl before the age of 27. It sounds to me as if he listened ONLY to the defense. THAT in and of itself goes against the evidence presented and the law.

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            • Jesse

              AA, your comment is spot on in my opinion. The foreman was courageous, and should be commended for doing the interview in my opinion. First of all, as I understand it the foreman never said that they weren’t going to do interviews, only they weren’t going to reveal how they voted. Which…he…did…not!

              That makes a whole lot of sense, given the vitriol in this case, as they would not want members of their group having to deal with the evidently extreme emotion that has built up (How they knew this I don’t know, but that’s for another time). Consequently we have every other juror since, that has given an interview, tell exactly how they voted. One,an alternate I believe, even went on to describe the jurors that voted for life as being “old.” The power of deduction.

              During the deliberation period HLN tried to harp on the fact that it wasn’t the jurors that would be killing Jodi Arias, but her bad decisions in life. Well… that makes me feel so much better about having to push that red button marked death. Thanks Vinnie (Sarcasm laced)!

              “But…but…there’s the throat slash, the gun, the stalking, the gas cans, the magazine…..the lying! How could they not give her death?” With the evidence that was presented and the hearsay that most of the prosecution’s “facts” were based off of, I’m surprised a M1 conviction was handed down, let alone the death penalty that most people seem to be salivating over. The fact that people would go so far as to threaten a man that voted how he felt he was capable of voting given ALL the evidence, including the mitigating evidence from Jodi, is disgusting.

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              • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

                Thats right Jesse. You have to change the FACTS to make it jive up with your belief. Despite what you “think” they may or ,may not have agreed to..They DID ALL agree NOT to do ANY interviews until the following week when everyone had an oppty to COOL off. Several jurors have already said this and this was a point of contention amongst a few and why some spoke out soon after becs they were disappointed he did . Just becs the foreman didn’t say it (and why WOULD he?) doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

                AND they did NOT all agree NOT to say how they INDIVIDUALLY voted, just that they would not say HOW OTHERS voted. That is up to each juror to say what they wanted.

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              • Heather

                I absolutely agree with AA and Jesse.

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            • Heather

              Reading between the lines, AA, it would appear to me that Dennis thinks that if a juror has no trouble giving the death penalty verdict, he/she should give it, no matter what transpires during the trial. UGH.

              I fervently believe that the judge decides; judges in AZ, so John told me, are clearly pro pros. Its so disgusting. The judge gets rid of those who he/she sees as not voting how they want them to vote. Conclusion? That there is No fair trial in Arizona in a criminal case. If they could get away with a public beheading they would. Sickening.

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        • AA, so true. A lot goes into jury selection. It’s really the beginning of the trial, even though you haven’t empaneled the final jury yet.

          And you re-think. And you re-think. And then you re-think some more, because everything ties in to everything else. You might base the kind of juror you are looking for – or objecting to – on what you plan to argue, or on what your opponent plans to argue. If that changes not only the kinds of questions you ask, but also the kind of juror you are looking for might change with it.

          Then again you can’t plan too closely. You’re not going to get exactly what you want, so you might have to look at the jury you wind up with and then change what you emphasize or what you argue, or the way you argue, depending on what you get.

          Very intense business this jury trial lawyering.

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        • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

          The state is not required to reveal their entire theory of the case prior to trial. The detective misspoke during an earlier evidentiary hearing and assumed HIS theory was backed up by the medical examiner. Doesnt matter anyway because the defense knew one year prior what kevin horns report said, so no, they didn’t just learn about it one month before trial. Go back and read judges ruling on why no mistrial granted for this very reason. Just like u believe tire slashing is hearsay so is Flores statement on sequencing. Arias and team are simply angry becs they mistakenly thought they knew what the state ws going to say at trial and based their defense around THAT.

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          • Obviously, you haven’t read the ME’s report. It didn’t say the gunshot wound came first.

            And actually, Flores testified that he spoke with the ME regarding the sequencing of wounds. That’s NOT hearsay. It’s testimony.

            Please read about the special responsibilities of a prosecutor regarding timely disclosure of compulsory evidence before you speak about something you obviously do not understand. The sequencing of wounds was not a “theory of prosecution” by any means. A prosecutor is allowed to prosecutor with vigour indeed. However, he is required to be ethical in the way in which he does so. It is the defense who has the liberty of not disclosing its theory, or any other information that might help the prosecution, prior to trial, not the other way around. Look up United States v. Wade, 388 U.S. 218 (1967). You might learn a thing or two, regardless of what you’re being told on whatever blog or forum is telling you something different.

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            • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

              AA,

              Since you like to tell me I don’t know anything about well..anything..I am attaching the minute entries so you can read for yourself.
              http://media2.abc15.com/html/pdf/Petition.pdf
              misconduct.

              I never said that Horn’s report says gunshot came first. Ever. Anywhere. What i said above was that it was untrue that the defense only learned of the Kevin Horn/Esteban Flores inconsistencies in December 2012. A month before trial. They actually had a whole year. But I do understand why you were left with that impression. I had the exact same impression until we began to hear more information. For instance, did you know Arias’ OWN attorneys objected to Detective Flores commenting on Dr Horn’s “medical opinion” at all during the very same probable cause hearing that Nurmi refers to in January 2013-saying that it would be “HEARSAY” and he is not qualified to speak on behalf of Horn since Flores is not a medical doctor? BUT…In the January 2013 hearing however- Nurmi OBJECTED to Martinez’ cross examination of Flores. Martinez asked Flores if he remembered that Arias’ then attorneys objected to the testimony on the basis that it was “hearsay” testimony- but the judge overruled Mr Nurmi and Detective Flores was allowed to answer that he did remember. So there was LOTS of back story to this issue that was bound to come out. But I will say- the defense tried very hard to give that impression in January 2013 that they were furious and that this was the last straw and an all of a sudden revelation about this discrepancy. Please- Go back and watch the video and you will see it again, definitely Mr Nurmi gives the impression that he just learned of this that day/week whatever. If you look at page 25 of the attached- you will learn that they were discussing this issue in chambers and Nurmi demanded they move the discussion to in camera in court. Why would he do that? Listening to Martinez and observing the judge it became clear to me there was some grandstanding going on. Once I read the full decision by the judge as to her justification for denying the defense motion..I realized why I was getting the feeling this was a grandstanding. The defense had known about this for a full year.

              Like

            • GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

              AA- Just because you say it does not make it any more true. The prosecution does NOT have to provide defense counsel with a blow by blow narrative telling them what and how to interpret every piece of discovery they turn over ..nor do they have to provide the Cliff Notes to their trial strategy. As you can easily see in the attached minutes above, the prosecution provided defense with what they were required to per Judge Stephens. You are just falling for theatrics AA. READ the attached minutes above.

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        • Dennis

          AA the point was that the jury was not selected by Martinez.

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      • Heather

        Dennis, I read (from a reliable source) that The State is picking a new jury… the State? Juan Martinez.

        Like

  5. Jessie

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in this “reading their demeanor” business. It’s like reading entrails. You’re not only seeing them very briefly, in a highly unusual situation, but the jury foreman is already getting death threats because in his initial interviews he wouldn’t say whether he voted for the death penalty or not, but he did believe Jodi was mentally and emotionally abused.

    That was enough to set off the seething mob and now the guy’s getting threatened. (I rest my case that the verdict is invalid.) But what do you expect the rest of the jurors to look and act like in this environment? Yet people on here claim to take one look at them on TV and be able to tell what sort of person they are and whether you would like them by the way they purse their lips? Give me a break….you could tell more by reading the lines on their palms….

    I got a chuckle out of your comment about how the people you want on a jury are the ones who are trying to get out of it. I got called for jury duty once and FRANTICALLY tried to get out of it. I had good reasons though.

    For one thing (and this couldn’t be uncovered during the selection process unless I’d up and said it, which I wasn’t about to do): I was acquainted with the prosecutor and I despise the guy. Had I voted to acquit, I’d have wondered for the rest of my life if I let a man go who murdered a baby, just because I loathe the man who tried to put him away. Of course I would look at the evidence, but I don’t fool myself that we can crawl out of our own skins. I simply did not trust the prosecutor, right off the top, before the trial even began.

    Ironically, the second reason I shouldn’t have been on that jury is I spent years as an investigator in these very types of cases! So while it’s the prosecutor I didn’t like, I figured the defense would boot me immediately.

    But they didn’t!! I went through the written questions and the court still called me back. Then I went through all the oral questions….and then they seated me on the goddamn jury….WTF?? I thought I was going to have to show up for the first day of trial in a t-shirt saying, “I am investigating this in my head RIGHT NOW!”

    Partly, I was a hot commodity because the case involved disturbing autopsy photos of a dead baby and most of the potential jurors were saying there was no way, no how they could handle that. Given what I used to do, I could handle it. Not that I don’t have emotions when I see something like that — I’ve retrieved the bodies of dead babies and it’s very emotional. But you do what you have to do. So I think that’s why both sides were so willing to overlook my obvious conflict (even though it was more obvious to the defense, when I was probably more prejudiced against the prosecution).

    In any case, two days before trial, the judge called me at home and excused me. So I guess the system worked in that case.

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    • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

      Death threats? The foreman is getting death threats? Have you actually seen them? Can you post a link? The backlash on the foreman I’ve read has little to do with his obvious vote and much more to do with how he obviously tried to manipulate his minority opinion into the succeeding opinion. He THOUGHT that by using the verdict form, that would’ve forced the judge to take death off the table and just decide which life arias received. IOW, making the minority opinion the successor.

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    • Heather

      ”Its like reading entrails”.. I like that, Jesse, most apt!

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    • Yes, Jessie, you wouldn’t put too much stock in this “demeanor” business because you are much more honest and discerning than appellate judges. According to appellate judges, all fact findings of juries, no matter how absurd, are entitled to deference because “they were there” and “observed the witnesses’ demeanor” so as to flawlessly evaluate their truthfulness.

      That is, if it’s a jury in a criminal case and they have found the defendant guilty.

      If it’s a civil case and they have awarded “too much money” to some injured schmuck, they second guess those otherwise infallible jurors all the time.

      https://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/anybody-want-to-strike/

      Sad but true.

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  6. Jessie

    Oh, and while I’m griping about The System….I fully expect Nancy Grace’s next trick to be pulling the information about the jurors and potential jurors and airing it all, with her special brand of scathing mockery.

    At least in my state, that’s all public information. The newspaper could go down to the courthouse, request the juror questionnaires, and get them all. And the most personal questions are asked on the questionnaires so people won’t have the embarrassment of being asked those things verbally in front of everyone right there in court.

    Can you imagine getting called for jury duty….you answer all the questions honestly….and next thing you know your answers are being aired on national television??

    I think Nancy Grace has made it her personal mission to destroy the justice system.

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    • Yes she is a menace to us all. Where’s Joseph Welch when you need him (who could forget “Have you at long last, sir, no sense of decency?”)

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      • Guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt

        Something we can all agree on. Nancy grace has no place in the justice system.

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      • Jessie

        Why are these defense lawyers not suing her for slander? She’s declaring their clients guilty on national television. Even couching it with the word “alleged” is weak, because once the allegation is out there, it’s out there. But she doesn’t even couch it — she declares them guilty.

        I remember when Richard Nixon declared Charles Manson guilty and it almost derailed his trial. Now it happens round-the-clock on cable news and nobody says a word.

        I like our liberal defamation laws in the US. I would not want us to be like Europe that way, where people can be silenced with a defamation suit. But Nancy Grace, et. al. are in clear violation of even our liberal defamation laws. Stand up to it, defense attorneys!

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        • Heather

          Bbut.. defamation is defamation, isn’t it, Jesse? Does it matter which country its in?

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          • Jessie

            Makes all the difference in the world. In the US, defamation is civil and you (usually) have to prove damages. And it’s almost impossible to libel a public figure. They have to prove that you pretty much intentionally worked at lying about them. (Some states have even more protections, with anti-SLAPP legislation, to prevent Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.)

            In Europe, defamation can be a criminal offense and all you have to prove is the statement was false, not that you were actually damaged by it. So if somebody just doesn’t like what you say, it’s much easier to use defamation claims to shut you up. For example, a lot of the European press won’t talk about Scientology because of the legal risks. Here, we’ll let them be a religion….but the trade-off is we get to talk smack about them and they can’t do a darn thing about it.

            But declaring a criminal defendant guilty before conviction is a no-no even in our system. The number-one cause of libel suits against US newspapers is forgetting to put the “not” in front of “guilty.” The Associated Press now recommends using “acquitted” or “pleaded innocent” (even though there’s no such thing), just to avoid accidentally forgetting the “not.”

            So there’s no way Nancy Grace and HLN are acting within even our liberal defamation laws. They just keep it up and keep it up, until the defendant’s reputation is so trashed she’s libel-proof (her reputation is so bad that she can’t be damaged any further, like Michael Jackson or OJ Simpson).

            I’m not really down with the news media practice of couching everything in “alleged.” It keeps them from getting sued, but….once an accusation is out there, it’s out there. And the media in general are way too into reporting petty, garden-variety crime. Somebody gets picked up for public drunkenness and their mug shot may turn up in the newspaper. We’ve become a society of schadenfreude-filled voyeurs.

            But when it comes to our defamation laws, I really am a snooty, stereotypical American exceptionalist. I’m not loud though! At least not usually…..

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            • Heather

              Jesse, But they did find Jodi guilty, they put her in jail before her trial so she was declared guilty before conviction, surely that has to be wrong?

              I loved your last paragraph!! You are definitely the exception!! LOL

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              • Jessie

                That’s just pre-trial detention. The person is NOT considered guilty at that point. (Though I think John’s point — and I completely agree — is that once charges have been filed, there’s an underlying feeling that “they probably did it,” which damages the presumption of innocence and gives the prosecution an unfair advantage.)

                But, no, formally, they are definitely not considered guilty at that point and it’s defamatory for the media to say they are. Our system leaves a lot of wiggle room for statements of opinion, but declaring guilt is not a statement of opinion. The question of guilt or innocence is falsifiable: Prior to conviction, the defendant is presumed innocent — period.

                I’m probably being too hard on defense attorneys. Not only do they have too much work already and often not enough money, but they’d probably have an uphill battle proving damages since the jury isn’t supposed to be consuming media about the trial anyway. They’ve certainly got bigger fish to fry than slapping Nancy Grace with defamation suits that she would just use to her advantage. Nurmi got it on record, over and over, that there was excessive press coverage and an angry mob outside. Now it’s up to an appeals court what, if anything, to do with that. It’s just aggravating to see the press abuse defamation laws that I consider very fair and well balanced with free speech and free press rights.

                Speaking of US culture, one of the aspects of it that I think is very prominent in this case is our obsession with honesty. Not that honesty isn’t a positive trait, but Americans place too much predictive value on it. Hence, the guilters keep coming back to, “She lied! She lied!” And rather than keeping that in perspective (it hurts credibility, might speak to a state of mind, etc.), it’s taken as evidence in itself of guilt. She lied, ergo, she is not only capable of murder, she must have committed murder.

                Even knowing that’s not logical, I struggle to step outside my own cultural framework to keep lying in perspective as far as how much it can indicate. It’s not meaningless, but it doesn’t carry the kind of weight Americans tend to place on it — not just in criminal trials, but in many aspects of life (“My partner LIED! He must be cheating on me!”) Funny thing is, it’s not like Americans are any better at honesty than anybody else. We just don’t have a lot of subtlety in the way we interact with other people, so “taking somebody at face value” is disproportionately prized.

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              • Jessie, actually the jury instructions I am used to are pretty fair on this topic. The basically say that if you think a witness has lied, you should reject the lie, but you can accept any other testimony from them that you think is the truth. But frankly, the way it really works and is intended is to save police officer testimony. Sometimes a cop is definitively shown to have lied. But they want to leave it open for the jury to believe everything else the cop says. Thus the instruction.

                In practice, once a defendant is shown to have lied, or for the most part even any of the defendant’s witnesses, it’s game over.

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              • Heather

                I agree, Jesse, to put someone in jail before their trial Does give the prosecution an unfair advantage and IS a presumption they’re guilty. It is just so wrong and planned that way of course, its sickening. How I wish the judge. Sheriff and prosecutors were on the wrong side of themselves, it’d be a far different kettle of fish then.
                They call it pre-trial detention, but how many people see it that way? All they see is the person incarcerated, and therefore must be guilty; being in jail doesn’t shout innocence, at least not to me. Its all a very sick game.

                About the obsession with honesty, I wholeheartedly agree..
                obsession with guilty is more like it! Why oh why won’t such people see further than their own nose.

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  7. Please read my article posted yesterday called Jurors Gone with the Wind at babelbooth.com
    Detailed look at post-trial behaviour of alternate on Twitter. Says lot abt what kind of scary people are “stealthing” their way into the criminal justice system.

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  8. Dennis

    How is Nancy Grace being defamatory by saying someone is guilty, if she even actually said that? Her show is opinion.

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  9. Dee Andrews

    The woman who shot her boyfriend in Florida just walked even thought she told him (after they had a fignt) that if he came back she had a gun and its loaded. She was only charged with manslaughter and didn’t even get that. That is the problem with our justice system, it varies too much from state to state

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    • Heather

      Dee, what you say is just too true, its a State Lottery, which to say is obscene, is an understatement.
      We have in the UK, or should I say more accurately, London, a postcode lottery – for schools and social housing – but when its life threatening? Good God, No.
      I’m disgusted with the US Judicial System. To me they are no more than animals, they’re straight out of the Middle Ages; how Anyone can agree with it just goes to show how brainwashed they are; its not normal human behaviour, and yet too many do.

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  10. GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

    I agree that it seems to be arbitrary in terms of who gets what charges and what sentences. I also do not disagree that the system needs to be revamped. I have never been pro death penalty. But I do admit in this defendants case (Arias).. she has tested my feelings about it. I’d be just as satisfied with Life w/out parole. But to me its remarkable how those who seem to support Jodi Arias do not see how she had sooo much to do with why her case became so high profile. Yes, a young pretty girl, with lots of sex involved would be irresistable to the media. But that same young pretty girl has attempted (and sought OUT herself) to use the media to escape accountability from the very beginning and at every turn. I really doubt this case would have been anywhere near as high profile had she NOT given those 48 hours interviews etc. And to blame the media on that is again, to excuse this defendant. A LOT of why people get so angry is when people REFUSE to take accountability. She all by herself incurred so much of the wrath laid upon her with the decision to go after the victim and portray him as a monster. And to think that she continues to imply its everyone else’s fault with her statements about she wanted to avoid trial with a MUCH reduced plea deal makes her sound nothing if not NON remorseful. (Who would NOT want to plea out to a ridiculously reduced charge?.) Many people are following the trial. Many people know exactly what she said in that plea deal and the threats she used that everyone knew she could not substantiate. We do not negotiate with a terrorist. Unfortunately nobody seems to be telling Jodi Arias the truth about what her trial uncovered. The only “hypocrite” is Jodi Arias. If I was this girl’s father or mother I would be begging her to stop blaming Travis Alexander as it does ZERO good and get on her knees to beg for mercy.

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    • Heather

      Guilty, what I glean from your post is that you, like so many people in the US, do NOT believe a woman who says she was abused and who was forced to kill her violent abuser to save her life. What? Tell the truth? She’s lying! She Must be lying, ( heaven forbid that she should blame her abuser) she should ”get on her knees to beg for mercy.”

      What ”threats” did she use ”that everyone knew she could not substantiate”?

      Tell me, if you were under threat of Death, would YOU lie? (not to be confused about her initial lies, we know about all that, she said she initially lied and explained why, so no twisting. please)

      If you were to receive the DP and ‘had’ lied, you would wish you had told the truth. So why is it so inconceivable to believe that Jodi (who is under threat of death). is now telling the truth?

      Answer: Because you, like so many people in the US, simply Refuse to believe a woman who says she has been abused. That is saying that No man ever abuses a woman.

      One thing that stands out very clearly from people like you who harp on that she’s a liar; you choose to believe what she says, Only when it suits you.

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  11. GUILTY beyond a shadow of a doubt

    Heather-

    To be clear, I’m not someone who normally would dis-believe a woman who claims to have been abused. I take that very-VERY seriously. It happens pretty rarely from my perspective. I know that there are more women than what I am exposed to that DO lie about it- I just have not had the pleasure. I have been working with women who have been abused physically, mentally, emotionally and/or sexually for over a decade in a woman crisis support shelter. If anything, I am MORE pre-disposed to give someone who claims abuse MORE of the benefit of doubt than not. I have only one other time doubted someone who claimed abuse by their partner and it took awhile for me to get there. It was later verified this person was lying and had NEVER been abused-not by their partner anyway. It was also verified that the only person in the relationship that was being abused -was the partner. With Jodi Arias, I have paid very close attention to this case from the very beginning, ever since I saw her on 48 Hours. Jodi Arias is a classic textbook case of a person who is using a claim of abuse for secondary gain. I do not know how it could get any more textbook.
    I watched Alyce LaViolette get on the stand and behave far more like an advocate than a professional unbiased expert. She COULD have been a witness that helped Jodi while still maintaining a semblance of professional non-bias. But some of the things she said were just completely surprising and it went a long way in hurting her credibility. When the juror question was asked: “On the one hand we have demeaning multiple verbal slurs, a slap to the side of the face, a choke hold, a broken finger (and something else I cant remember) by Travis. On the other we have 29 stab wounds, a shot to the head and a slit throat. Isn’t the greater perpetrator of abuse Jodi”? LaViolette at first would not answer the question directly. She started talking about Domestic Violence overall as if people were not sufficiently enough informed yet after all those days she was on the stand. After an objection that was sustained by the state, the judge instructed LaViolette to just answer the question. LaViolette looks at the jury, pauses and says “NO.” IOW, in her opinion, Jodi was NOT the greater perpetrator of Domestic Violence. That, in combination with the fact that she completely misled the jury with her claims about stalking led me to completely disregard her ability to objectively evaluate whether Arias was truly a victim of DV or whether she was lying for secondary gain. She basically even admitted this herself when she kept repeating that she was hired specifically to LOOK for domestic violence. I believe she admitted then that she looked at this in an extremely myopic way and really never considered whether Arias was lying and why. And CERTAINLY if one were to myopically LOOK for DV – believe me- you can find Domestic Violence present in almost any relationship. Does not mean that one of the partners though is really a batterer or truly a victim. Context is critical. But when LaViolette (clearly..in my mind) misled the jury when she was asked whether Travis was not simply mirroring certain behaviors victims of abuse do when they do not run to get help, LaViolette said “No, STALKING is a very different thing and a very scary thing. She said that victims who are being stalked almost ALWAYS report the stalking to the authorities because they are afraid.” ……I was dumbfounded by that statement. Doing what I do, I was VERY surprised to hear her say that. I certainly do not have the kind of qualifications she has in this field but even I knew that was absolutely wrong. I even looked the research up after to make sure I was correct. I WAS. 50-60% of victims who are stalked do NOT report their Intimate partner stalkers to the authorities. And of that 50-60% HALF of them, say the stalking behavior was going on for a full year before they got sufficiently afraid to report to the authorities. And this is INTIMATE partner stalking. When someone is being stalked by their spouse or lover. Someone they may currently be living with. It is no joke. So why did an “expert” mislead with such an untruth???
    I have paid very close attention to this entire trial. In order for me to get to a point where I was to believe in Jodi’s story, I would have to imagine that innumerous things happened in this relationship (texts, ims emails, phone sex, other testimony, diary entries, etc etc) and they ALL conspired against Jodi Arias to unfairly paint her as the abuser NOT the victim.

    To be clear I have never agreed with this fiction that Travis Alexander was a saint. Not because I think the phone sex tapes or written documentation paints him as an abuser or a deviant, but more because the reality is VERY FEW PEOPLE on earth are a saint. Sex is sex though and fantasies are just that..fantasies. Ask a sex therapist about whether sexual fantasies can tell a person whether they are sick or not. On the contrary. Having an adventurous sex life in no way makes you a deviant. The research says when it comes to sexual FANTASIES, it does not mean you want to actually act out those fantasies with anyone OTHER than your adult partner. Fantasies are shared in a context that is SUPPOSED to be safe. And to ignore Jodi Arias’ active encouragement and equal participation in the sex talk and blame it all on Travis is beyond hypocritical and discriminatory. Just becs she TELLS you she was not comfortable with all that when we can HEAR her sounding MORE than comfortable, is to show that you are not looking at this phone call in an honest way. OF COURSE she would say she was uncomfortable with some of it NOW. Because it would back up her whole defense. I agree that their relationship was dysfunctional and toxic. Travis was responsible for that as well as Jodi. But how many people on earth find themselves in toxic relationships? LOTS. The difference is that very few end up with someone dead. Of course it happens-but it isn’t the norm. I believe Travis did not understand until it got too late, how dangerous and mentally unstable Jodi Arias was.

    Every single thing about her story makes no sense. None. It does not add up. One or two things sure, they can paint a picture perhaps not quite accurate. But NO witnesses that can come forth to say that she ran to them in a time of fear or needed comfort because she was scared physically, emotionally? NO witnesses that can come forth to say Travis WAS this monster she painted him as? NONE. THAT just doesn’t happen Heather no matter how hard people want to say ‘yes it does and that is exactly what happened to me’. It does NOT. Every single woman (and in 4 cases men) in ten years that I have come across DID have some sort of sad evidence or argument or demonstration that established or helped to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.that they had been abused. Maybe it was only that they talked to their mother, and their mother knew, or maybe it had been a friend, who saw the black eye and heard the excuses the victim made for the abuser, maybe it was the batterer’s exes who had very similar experiences with the abuser.
    Jodi Arias has nothing. We will never know the truth about Matt McCartney because for some strange reason Jodi Arias’ defense never subpoenaed the ONLY MAN ON EARTH who could testify to corroborate what Arias claims on the stand. Yes, Gus Searcy said Jodi Arias called him crying- needing to get away from Travis and was upset and that she went to him and he heard Travis yell at her on the phone and saw Jodi “duck” as if she felt Travis was going to physically hit her. But the problem with that is that we already know Jodi Arias is extremely cognizant of how she wants to be seen by other people. This is undeniable. And by the way, someone who lied like Jodi Arias lied in those early media interviews, concerned with makeup, her appearance, etc when the topic was of a serious horrific event and did so with the steel nerved confidence of someone who was telling the truth- does not JUST start to “lie” THEN. This type of person has been lying for a very long time and is confident in their ability to get you to believe them. I don’t know how much you know about the pathology of someone who lies incessantly but Jodi Arias exhibited every single affect of a pathological liar. Not a liar who just felt trapped by her circumstances and, was scared and needed to keep up some false pretense. And this is exactly why you CANNOT just say “enough with saying Jodi Arias is a liar, that has nothing to do with now”. OH, but it has everything to do with it. And Jodi Arias never ONCE looked scared in any of those interviews. In fact she clearly seemed to be enjoying the attention.

    This is how I saw the Gus Searcy event when taking everything else into context that we knew about Jodi Arias. Jodi and Travis had been arguing yes, more than likely over some invasion of privacy or manipulation that Travis felt Jodi had done. We heard testimony that every single time he spoke badly to her it was in RESPONSE to her stepping over the bounds. Jodi has admitted to you on the stand she over-stepped bounds, but surprisingly she wants you to believe that this was not unusual behavior. NO, what she did is NOT normal in any sense of the word. People do NOT often break into a partners email or facebook or text /phone and then send messages to other girls as if they WERE the guy (or gal). So ..Jodi is hurt by Travis’ anger towards her (yeah, people who are obsessed with someone and get caught over-stepping often cry and see themselves as the victim) -even though she caused the problem. She runs to a man who has clearly let it be known he will be her shoulder to cry on. She needs an ally. She needs someone outside the inner circle (and Gus was OUTSIDE the inner circle of Travis’ and Jodi friends despite what he says) that she can cry to and complain about what TRAVIS is doing to HER. Textbook… Heather- this is what manipulators do. And Gus to me is a CLASSIC “mark” for a manipulator. Gus Searcy seems to have either been unwittingly taken in by Jodi or he knew it but did not care. And he is CLEARLY enjoying the attention he is getting in this case… when his role has really been sooo irrelevant. He absolutely inserted himself into this case. Had he been important and if what he said had ANY truth to it, the defense would have CERTAINLY called him in as a witness to discuss the “telephone call he received by Jodi”. He spends a lot of time bashing the prosecutor for not talking to him about this call or…anything and yet is completely silent on the fact the defense did not use him at trial for this issue either. As you know- Jodi on the stand also says nothing about calling Gus that night.

    I read AA’s post about her experience with her abuser. Actually I have read several women’s stories of abuse that believe Jodi is telling the truth. But there is always some link of corroboration in those stories that I have found. They for some reason don’t see that, but it’s there nonetheless. I am absolutely so thankful AA got away from that mad man she used to be with. But AA claimed her situation was like Jodi’s in that she did not have any “proof” of abuse…but I beg to differ. She wrote that her ex had left a trail of women behind that he had been abusive to. That is exactly the kind of thing we see NONE of -when it comes to Arias. There is absolutely nothing. Every single claim of abuse that she told about on the stand, ultimately requires us to take Jodi’s word for it -in terms of what the context was about. And I am sorry- because she is a known chronic liar- you MUST be suspect of what she says because she has a MOTIVE for telling the story she now tells. There are many many many many reasons I believe without a doubt she is lying about her relationship w/ Travis. It would require writing a book because of everything that has been testified to. What I really, truly feel bad about, is that there are women, like yourself, who believe her simply because she says she was abused and has a few nebulous things to point to that she says is proof. Even though we all know that the “proof” could very easily be explained in another way. How do you NOT see that this is a particularly evil sort of lying? She is not only lying about Travis but she is using women’s real pain to paint a story that never happened. So that she can be punished less severely for a horrific slaughter. But its taking it all together, that I looked at, and I am sorry that you think I am denying an abused woman, but everything all together does not add up to anything other than she is and was lying about Travis in an effort to change the conversation, get peoples minds off the horrific end result of her actions and say she was forced to kill him. With all due respect Heather, she is manipulating you. She chose (with obvious help) what she KNEW would be an extremely emotionally charged and politically sensitive defense, that would be difficult to disprove. And had the benefit of being able to point her finger at anyone who did not believe her and call them callous. But..there is a reason why so many women who have suffered real abuse do NOT believe her and have spoken out against her.

    In terms of your comment about my saying I believe Jodi some of the time and other times I do not…of course. People who lie often add part of the truth in with their story. Don’t you agree with that??? The justifications I have read in this are quite extraordinary.

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