I mean, I hope they don’t go down that road, but the Maricopa County Attorney’s press release is not too reassuring.
To a lawyer, this benign sounding copy appears to be a veiled reference to an “investigation” focused on prosecuting juror #17, the sole hold out on sentencing Jodi Arias to death.
After the obligatory disclaimer that of course they do not want to single any juror out for their “decisions made in the process of jury deliberations” “[whether] those decisions are in favor of the prosecution or not…” – and that’s an odd way of phrasing the idea already suggestive of bias – the press release goes on to say:
“In instances where there is credible information of misconduct, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will review the matter, request an independent investigation and then seek an independent review for any potential charges and then for prosecution.”
What is “credible information”? That’s up to them to decide. But don’t worry, any investigation will be “independent” not to mention “independently reviewed”. How do you know? Well, they’ve said so in a press release, and surely the Maricopa County Attorney’s office can be trusted, right?
Seriously, there is little that could happen at this point that would make the Jodi Arias fiasco even more important, but this is one. And it’s not a good thing. We at Lawyers on Strike don’t think we have ever seen in our lifetime a more dangerous threat to the right to trial by jury than would occur if juror #17 were now put in the dock, even if she was guilty of some kind of misconduct.