|Judge Sherry Stephens and Prosecutor Juan Martinez|
Phoenix, AZ—Let me begin by saying I’m not now nor have I ever been retained as the defense investigator for Jodi Arias. I’m not her friend or one of her supporters.
I have however been greatly alarmed by the conduct involved with her journey through the Arizona criminal justice system. How the Arias case became such a high profile circus defies all logic.
This was a no more than passionate event of one lover killing another. This is not really unusual as homicides go.
How this became a Capital First Degree Murder Case makes no sense to me at all. Had there been financial gain involved I may have supported a murder charge.
Arias has already been behind bars for over six years and has served adequate time for a more realistic crime such as Manslaughter.
She’s been convicted of Capital Murder and now a second jury is going to be wangling with her punishment. We now know that any attempt at fairness of her murder trial and sentencing phase has been terminally compromised
The prosecution and trial of Arias before Judge Sherry Stephens, was nothing less than a judicial nightmare. The prosecutor Juan Martinez has substantially lowered the acceptable prosecutor's behavior bar and Judge Stephens has miserably failed to rein him in.
Judge Stephens succeeded in raising her own celebrity star along with Martinez by making sure national TV cameras were unobstructed as they mugged for them.
The media circus created one more unintended monster; legions of pathetic trolls that formed a media fueled lynch mob. The results were constant death threats to each and every witness that was called by the Arias defense. Undoubtedly that influenced testimony and perhaps caused defense witnesses to restrain their testimony or refuse to cooperation.
The threats were discussed today before the Arizona Court of Appeals and they are the apparent reason Judge Stephens has sealed the courtroom. This sudden attempt to deal with this mess all comes too little and too late.
The decision to allow cameras into courtrooms for live and contemporaneous broadcast was a bad one. Video is fine as long as it is broadcast or otherwise published after the trial is concluded.
Too many things and do go wrong including the now apparent unbridled witness tampering in the Arias proceedings.
Arizona has now more than adequately demonstrated that protecting Arias’ rights became impossible. This cannot be somehow cured or remedied now. Now there is only one fair thing to do and that’s to cut the losses and free Arias.
There is a valuable less here for future trials.