We can see why it might be proper, even laudatory, for a lawyer representing a private individual or company to write a book or give interviews – with the client’s permission, of course – about a case, or the client’s story, or whatever. But for a prosecutor to do that? Strikes us as trading on their public position for personal gain.
Apparently today’s prosecutors see nothing wrong with it, though, so now we give you bull dog prosecutor Juan Martinez, writing all about his glorious triumph in the Jodi Arias fiasco:
A juror in the Jodi Arias murder trial fell head-over-heels in love with the convicted killer during the proceedings, according to a new book by one of the prosecutors in the sensational case.
Indeed, a sensational allegation in a sensational case. One little caveat, though: the ‘evidence’ supporting this allegation is, well, laughable:
“I’ve never seen this book, but just based on what I felt at the time, I believe it was Bill. Absolutely,” Tara Harris Kelley, 32, told The Post Monday from her Arizona home.
“Whenever we had to go to the principal’s office, as I called the judge’s chambers, he would make eye contact with her, going in and coming out. The rest of us didn’t even want to look at Jody,” she said.
Kelley said she and Zervakos often ate lunch together and she could tell from his comments that he had a crush on the defendant.
“We’d have lunch together and he’d tell me how back in the day he was a womanizer. He thought she was young and attractive and he didn’t see how somebody that young and attractive could kill anybody,” she said.
So, a juror commented that Jodi Arias was young and attractive, made eye contact with her on occasion and expressed skepticism about her guilt.
Obviously, he was “lovesick”.
Sheesh. What does the juror have to say about it?
“I’m 71 years old, for God’s sake, I’m not going to have a crush on her or anybody. Of course not. That’s ridiculous,” he told The Post. Zervakos accused Martinez, whom he said he “never liked,” of sensationalizing the case to make a buck.
“People can say what they want to say. I haven’t read it, I’m not going to read it. I don’t have a whole lot of respect for him,“ he said. “I just want it to be over.”
You might think that rushing to a conclusion about a juror based on extremely thin evidence is not something a prosecutor would like to in such a public way. Then again, it’s not like he need have any fear of being called on it.
The legal profession in Arizona needs to re-think how it does things. Martinez’ boss isn’t worried, though:
But the publication has stirred controversy in Arizona legal circles, with some experts questioning Martinez’s ethics for spilling the beans while her conviction is being appealed.
But Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Martinez’s boss, defended the prosecutor.
“We received appropriate assurances that Juan Martinez’s off-duty activities will not violate state statutes or restrictions on attorney conduct,” he told the Arizona Republic.