Category Archives: Jodi Arias Analysis

Invalid juror inference

In this audio interview after the penalty retrial, 14 minutes 20 seconds in, a juror concludes that Jodi lied on the stand.

According to the juror, Jodi testified that when she was looking for a house with Darryl Brewer, they wanted to purchase a house in a good school district, because of his son.

But in earlier testimony, it was stated they only had the Darryl’s son Jack during the summer time.

Juror : “So at that point I felt like, ok, she’s lying to my face, I can’t give any credit to any of her testimony.”

However, in Darryl Brewer’s testimony from the first trial, it was explained that Jack’s mother had plans to re-marry, and move to that area, to be close to Jack. There was shared custody , and Jack would live with Darryl part of the time. So in fact there was no reason to believe Jodi’s testimony was untrue.

Were these jurors fit to judge a case of this complexity?

 

Trapped with Ms. Arias

This blog is some observations about Kirk Nurmi’s performance as a lawyer for Jodi Arias, in light of some of the information he discloses about the pre-trial preparations in the first of three books about the case.

Although being a self-published book, presumably written without the aid of a professional editor, the first thing to say is I found the book to be very readable and engaging. Kirk explains his view of the law, the case and his feelings about Jodi Arias with great clarity. For anyone interested in the case, I would say this book is a “must-buy”.

I would also say this is a very honest book. It pulls no punches in making it very clear that Nurmi, before the trial began, did not like Jodi Arias and did not wish to represent her at trial.

There is a lot of fascinating information in the book, much of it new. For example we learn that the first domestic violence expert could not testify due to illness.

I have no criticism of the analysis Nurmi makes about the relationship between Jodi and Travis Alexander. I also agree with his assessment of the State’s professional witnesses. He observes that DeMarte was inexperienced, Flores was evasive, and suggests Dr Horn’s change of theory was suspicious. In addition Melendez was not a true expert, only having minimal training in the operation of Encase.

Now to some criticisms. I have to say Nurmi shows a lack of empathy. Of course an attorney must maintain some distance from his client, but by his own account he had a very poor relationship with both Jodi and her mother. He indicates he was unable to communicate effectively with Jodi at meetings, failing to adapt to any shortcomings she had.

He also jumps to early conclusions. For example he deduces from Jodi’s booking photo that she is mentally ill. According to my sources, the truth of the matter is that when the photo was taken, it was suggested to Jodi that she looked miserable, and so she smiled for the camera.

More seriously, he seems to assume that Jodi and not Travis was the aggressor in the fight that happened on June 4, 2008. I believe this mistaken belief meant that he did not closely examine the evidence at the scene to determine if it could be used to argue that Travis was in fact the aggressor.

He also failed to anticipate that the case would hinge on Jodi’s testimony concerning the gas cans, and failed to obtain evidence that would corroborate her testimony.

Ultimately I believe these failures contributed to Jodi’s wrongful conviction, but on the positive side, I also believe that the State’s case is utterly false, and Jodi should and will win a new trial.

I look forward to parts two and three.

Discussion here.

See also Raising the bar – but certainly not in Arizona by Lise LaSalle.

 

 

 

Juan Martinez Known for Misconduct

Robert J. Smith is a law professor at the University of North Carolina, whose work was cited in Justice Breyer’s dissent on June 29, 2015.

Jodi Ann Arias - Innocent in Arizona

“Gallagher’s colleague in the district attorney’s office, Juan Martinez, has a comparable record. He once likened a Jewish defense lawyer to “Adolf Hitler” and his “Big Lie,” a tactic the Arizona Supreme Court deemed “reprehensible.” One judge noted of Martinez: “You’re at war, almost nuclear war, the minute you come up against him.” The recent trial of Jodi Arias, a woman who claimed that she killed her boyfriend in self-defense, was a rare case in which Martinez failed to secure a death sentence. When defense counsel Jennifer Willmott asserted that the victim had been suicidal, he responded: “If Ms. Willmott and I were married, I certainly would say, I fucking want to kill myself.” The Arizona Supreme Court has found his behavior, like Gallagher’s, to constitute prosecutorial misconduct.

From America’s Deadliest Prosecutors by By Robert J. Smith, May 14, 2015

Note: Robert J. Smith is a law professor at the University…

View original post 24 more words

Another coincidence – impossible climbs?

Another coincidence in the eerily similar prosecution cases against Amanda Knox and Jodi Arias. For Amanda, they said Rudy Guede couldn’t climb up to the window without bending a nail, for Jodi they say Jodi could’t climb up to get the gun without disturbing something on the shelf. All nonsense!!

Some notes on Jodi’s climb:

From the photo below we cannot see what was on the back of the shelves or whether the items were disturbed. Depending exactly how Jodi used them to assist the climb, they might move by very little. The pins supporting the shelves are right at the front, Flores didn’t even attempt to do a realistic experiment with items on the shelf and a real person of Jodi’s weight and height reaching up.

Flores testimony, around 29 minutes in. Cross around 36 minutes,

ClosetFromTrialVideo

Discussion

See A light-hearted comparison of the cases of Amanda and Jodi for more coincidences.

A light-hearted comparison of the cases of Amanda and Jodi

Both are completely innocent : Jodi by self-defense, Amanda by not being present.

No credible motive is put forward by prosecution.

Both are good, gentle, artistic, thoughtful, introspective, kind people, non-violent women, both kept diaries ( Jodi’s diary , Amanda’s Prison Diary ).
The state confiscated and leaked their prison diaries to the press : Amanda’s shortly after she was detained, Jodi’s mid-trial .

Both felt shame for what they had done when put in an impossible position ( Amanda for implicating Patrick, Jodi for killing Travis when he attacked her ).
Jodi’s sense of shame was so strong that for two years she kept what really happened hidden, and planned to commit suicide to end everyone’s suffering.

Media trial – character assassination ( Italian and UK media / Daily Mail vs HLN / ABC news / Network Turner / Time Warner / Daily Mail etc. )
Witchhunt, Femme Fatale. Neither has any criminal record or had ever been violent ( with of course the exception of Jodi on the day she was attacked, and one or two episodes as a child, not repeated ).

Police visit the scene after it has been released ( 46 days for Amanda, nearly 5 years for Jodi ), used as evidence despite disturbance.

A shopkeeper comes forward long after the event with false evidence to testify against the defendant – Quintavalle for Amanda (1 year), Amanda Webb for Jodi (5 years,mid-trial).

The knife wounds were misrepresented. In Amanda’s case, 47 knife wounds were claimed, but there were only four.
In Jodi’s case, 27 stab wounds were claimed, but there were only three.

Amanda was alleged to have carried an enormous knife in her handbag/purse.
Jodi was alleged to have carried an enormous knife AND a GUN in her handbag/purse.

Both were accused of staging a burglary, with no evidence to link them to the burglary.

Both were accused of “cleaning” a blood pattern at the bedroom end of a hallway.

Amnesia due to acute stress : suggested to Amanda by Anna Donnino, actually occurred for Jodi due to extreme terror when Travis attacked her.
( Actually, Amanda did have a form of amnesia during the interrogation )

Both were attacked for their sex life – partners for Amanda, everything imaginable for Jodi.
Amanda had 7 lifetime partners. She experimented with casual sex and found it unsatisfying.
Jodi had 4 lifetime partners, all of them long term relationships. She never had casual sex.

Both were described as “Foxy”. For Jodi see The Madness of Crowds.

Both turned off their mobile phones, and this was used as evidence against them.

Amanda was accused of turning a mobile phone on, Jodi did turn her mobile phone on, breaking her so called “alibi” – but it didn’t help.

Amanda allegedly did a cart-wheel, Jodi stood on her head.

Meredith’s friends testified for the prosecution, Alexander’s friends testified and appeared on HLN to bolster the prosecution case.

Prosecution witnesses lie or misrepresent evidence.

The defendant lied at one point – no legal counsel ( Amanda’s interrogation – no video vs Jodi’s interview – video available ). Therefore everything she says in court is a lie.

Both were bullied in jail, but learned to stand up for themselves.

Both were convicted on the basis of some invalid physical evidence they were unable to fully explain at trial, which made little(Amanda) or no (Jodi) sense.
For Amanda, the DNA on the knife blade, for Jodi the Walmart Return.

Suppression / destruction of evidence ( DNA electronic files, hard drives for Amanda. Texts,emails,letters for Jodi. )

Intimidation of defence witnesses ( Conti-Vechiotti for Amanda, Alyce, Samuels, Mr X and many others for Jodi )

Intimidation of Counsel ( Anne Bremner vs Jennifer Willmott for Jodi )

Judge friendly with prosecutor – cosy relationship.

No sequestration of jury whatsoever.

Jurors observed crying after rendering guilty verdict. Crowds rejoicing wildly after the guilty verdict, in Jodi’s case a carnival atmosphere, chanting “USA,USA,USA”.

Prosecution keep changing their theory ( Time of death for Amanda vs. order of wounds for Jodi )

Both contemplated suicide, but Amanda only while in prison, Jodi before the Travis was killed, in jail and immediately after sentencing ( by suggesting death was preferable to life without parole ).

Comparison of HLN with TJMK/PMF. Suppression of dissenting views.

Jimmy Wales got involved in wikipedia article re-write in both cases…

Nancy Grace slandered both of them.

Blog posters theorised that the motive was money from writing a book ( re Amanda it was me trying to be funny, re Jodi it was some bloke on a male-supremacy blog…apparently serious )

Both made an allocution – Amanda asked for her life back, Jodi asked to spend the rest of her life in prison.

At the end of the trial, both packed their bags. Amanda hoped to fly home the next day, but stayed in prison, Jodi hoped to go to prison sentenced to life without parole, but stayed in jail.

Both cut their hair – Amanda as a form of protest after she was convicted, Jodi three times before she was convicted, donated to Locks of Love ( see Allocution ).

In both cases, counsel received death threats. In Jodi’s case witnesses, supporters, journalists and jurors also received death threats.

Both Amanda and Jodi were the subject of a “lifetime” movie and other movies.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/jodi-arias-lifetime-movie-due-june-article-1.1340480

Both trials were Witch-hunts mediated through Trial by Media.

And finally … both were born on July 9th! ( no, I don’t think this has any great significance, although children born in late summer may be young starting school, hence slightly more likely to be bullied, but the other items are quite striking ).

Original article here.

Jodi Arias – Did you know he was married in 1999?

Drama 1 hour 3 minutes in.

Kirk Nurmi: But it really is impossible for Mr Thompson, an unmarried Mr Thompson to live with you in the fall of 2000? Was it?

Bishop Parker: Pardon?

Kirk Nurmi: Did you know he was married in 1999? Did you know that?

Bishop Parker: [Unresponsive]

Kirk Nurmi: Let me show you… [ shows Jake Thompson’s marriage certificate ]

The point being that means Jake could not have been responsible for the porn pop-ups.

Jodi Arias – the pre-trial hearing on October 16

It seems to me there is reason to believe Jodi did forge the ten letters excluded from evidence.
The defense state they are not going to rely on the letters in any way, but Juan wanted to bring them in, and to have testimony that there was evidence of Jodi practising TA’s handwriting.
Kirk mentions “collateral estoppel” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collateral_estoppel.
 
Kirk also mentions Juan asking defense witnesses hypothetical questions about the letters in interviews.
 
If Jodi forged the letters, this could be one reason Kirk didn’t like Jodi 9 days out of 10!

Amanda Webb doesn’t know

Summary: Amanda Webb, who worked for Walmart folding clothes in 2008, doesn’t know if the records were complete, or whether they put new computers in the new store, when it relocated in 2010.

Rough transcript:

1:28

JM: Your name please?
AW: My name is Amanda Webb
JM: And who do you work for?
AW: I work for Walmart.
JM: And what do you do for Walmart?
AW: I’m an Asset Protection Manager, umm..I [some description of job omitted] I investigate thefts.
JM: How long have you been working for Walmart?
AW: It’s been 7 years now.
JM: Did you have occasion to deal with exhibit 237. Are you familiar with this?
AW: I am
JM: This is a Walmart receipt, correct?
AW: Yes.
JM: And the Walmart that’s involved, where is it located?
AW: It’s in Salinas, at this time it was on Davis, North Davis, it’s now moved to, it’s not Monterey Road, it’s Veronda now. It’s the same store, same information, different locations.
2:22
JM: And this particular.. do you live around Salinas?
AW: I do, about 45 minutes maybe from Salinas.
JM: And this particular receipt …at the bottom?
AW: So that’s a gas can. Our system tells us it’s a gas can, it doesn’t tell us too much more than that. [some omitted]
JM: What is it?
AW: It’s a gas can.
JM: Did you also have the chance to research whether this gas can purchased on this receipt was ever returned, or a refund given?
AW: I did.
JM: How did you go about researching, finding out whether this gas can purchased on this receipt was ever returned, or a refund given?
AW: So when you process anything the through registers at Walmart they have a journal on everything that’s under it, whether it’s been returned, purchased, gift receipt, any other information is going to show up on that journal, and what I did is I took the UPC, the universal price code that’s right there next to the description of it, and I put that in my system and I searched it. So, I was asked to search for a specific day, when I did that, I didn’t find anything other than this receipt. And then I searched the entire week and I did not find this item was returned or purchased other than that at that time.
JM: So you researched trhe entire week of June 3, 2008?
AW: I did.
JW: And you didn’t find any return of this gas can?
AW: I did not.
JW .. and you were the person that prepared exhibit 634?
AW: I am.
JW: Did you check every register that Walmart had back in June 2008?
AW: I did
JW: And you checked very single one of them to see if this exhibit had ever been refunded.
AW: I did
JW: Had it been refunded?
AW: It had not.
JW: I don’t have any other questions.
4:32
JSS: Cross examination
KN: Morning Maam.
AW: Good morning.
KN: Tell me, you mentioned you were an Asset Protection Manager for Walmart, correct.
AW: Correct.
KN: Do you work at a particular store, or region?
AW: I specifically work at this store ..[2458]
KN: And your store, now there’s not an address on here, but you said it was at a different location.
AW: It moved from one building to another.
KN: And the process of moving from one building to another, so.. let’s put it this way, when subsequent to when we see June 2008, what was the address of the Walmart in Salinas in June 3 2008?
AW: I do not know the address itself, I know it’s on Davis road, they opened up a new one
6:29
KN: Ok. [..] Walmart on Davis, that’s where this receipt came from?
AW: Yes.
KN: And you know that because that was where that store was located on 6/3/2008?
AW: I believe so, yes.
KN: You believe so, you’re not sure?
KN: You don’t know which building this came out of, right?
AW: I do not.
KN: … where’s the new location?
AW: .. Verondo Road.
KN: It’s the same store number?
AW: Yes it is.
KN: And were you employed with Walmart at this location at this point in time?
AW: No, I was not
KN: Ok, So you were employed at another Walmart?
AW: I was.
KN: And were you an Asset Protection Manager then?
AW: I was not.
KN: Ok, What were you doing?
AW: I believe at the time I was a sales associate folding clothes.
KN: Ok.
KN: So on June 3rd, 2008, you were a sales associate, folding clothes, and you were asked to come in her by the State, and tell us what this receipt means, correct?
AW: I was asked in 2013.
KN: Ok. And you were asked about that, I understand you were asked in 2013, you were asked by the State?
AW: Yes
KN: Ok Maam, and .. the two stores use different registers, correct?
AW: yes
KN: So, at some point in time, when this store location was moved from Davis to Verada, the new store did they use new registers?
AW: Yes
KN: And a new computer system, correct?
AW: Err.. I don’t know. I don’t know if the computer system switched. I know the data from that store was moved to the new store.
KN: And how do you know that? Do you know every piece of data.. how do you know every piece of data came from one store to the next? How do you know that?
AW: Because it’s in an electronic journal. So it’s on the computer. Some [..] we use that for our registers, it doesn’t get transferred from one store to the next, it doesn’t get reprogrammed.
KN: Are you a computer expert Maam?
AW: I’m not.
KN: You don’t know if every piece of data transferred over during this transition?
AW: I cannot say that, no.
KN: You cannot say that, right?
AW: Right.
KN: You don’t know if these records, 634, are complete or not, do you?
AW: To my belief it is.
KN: To your belief, but you don’t know, right?
AW: I cannot be 100%.
KN: So you don’t know? Correct?
AW: Sure.
KN: Thank you.
JSS: Redirect.
9:46

KN:

25:15

JM: Were these all the registers that were operational back in 2008 at the Walmart store 2458?

KN: Objection, lack of foundation.

JSS: Approach please.

25:58

KN: On June 3rd, 2008, you were working in another location, [indistinct] correct?

AW: Yes.

KN: So you weren’t working as an Asset Protection Manager on June 3rd, 2008, when this receipt was generated, correct?

AW: Correct.

KN: And you weren’t trained as an Asset Protection Manager when this receipt was generated on June 3rd, 2008, correct?

AW: Correct.

26:23

KN: And Maam, we talked about the store moving location [indistinct] right?

AW: Around that.

KN: So this ?Veronda Street location? you weren’t working at either location when this store moved, correct?

AW: Correct.

26:45

KN: So, you weren’t there, you, do you know whether the registers, the registers were hooked up to a computer system, right?

AW: Right.

KN: And the registers themselves are seperate in that computer system, correct?

KN: Do you have any knowledge of whether the new store, did they take the registers from the old store? Or did they put in new registers? Do you know?

AW: I do not know.

KN: And the computers that tabulate this information, computers that you have been trained to use, do you know whether they used those computers, excuse me, the same computers that tabulated the information, were those transferred to the new store, or did they put new computers in the new store?

AW: I believe they transferred it.

KN: You believe but you don’t know, right?

AW: I’m not a technician, so I don’t know if they moved it.

KN: You don’t know whether they moved or bought new computers,you didn’t work there, right?

AW: Correct.

KN: You don’t have an basis of knowledge, you are just guessing, right?

AW: I would say [indistinct]

[ small omission ]

KN: Did they, or did they not, put new computers in the new store? Do you know?

AW: I couldn’t tell you, I’m not a technician.

KN: Thank you.

28:20

JSS: Mr Martinez
..

[ Redirect Transcript supplied by others ]

JM: How is it that U went about putting this file together?
AW: I went into the COMPUTER SYSTEM, and I went register by register and printed every transaction that happened on the register.
KN: The registers are hooked up to a computer system, right?
AW: Correct.
KN: And each register is separate than that computer system, correct.

AW: Any register that process any transaction. And, there is information in there as well that shows the registers that were just not operated nothing on them, nothing purchased or returned through that register.
JM: Is this information r/t to the week of June 3rd, 2008
AW: It is
JM: And all that information r/t June 3rd, 2008, is it located outside of the register, in your office, where is it?
AW: The information? It is located ON ALL COMPUTERS IN THE STORE If you have access to it, you can get into it.
JM: And, you went to the computers in the store, right?
AW: Yes

JM: Did the INFORMATION from the computers change or alter in any way when the store moved from one location to the other?
AW: No.
JM: Ma’am, you indicated that the information is the same whether the store moves from one side of the street to the other, correct?
AW: Correct.
JM: How is it that you know that the information is the same. Have you worked with this information in the past?
AW: I have.
JM: And, as being part of an asset protection manager you’ve worked with this information on a daily basis even though years before you did something different
AW: Yes.
JM: And, having worked with this system, you have an opinion as to whether the information is the same now as it was back in 2008, right?
AW: I do
JW: And what is that opinion, is it that it is the same information as it was across the street in june 2008 that was available then, is it still available now?
AW: yeah, I would say it is. I don’t feel that Walmart would alter their information for any reason, so.

See also Jodi Arias – the gas cans revisited

Jodi Arias’ motive for murder, according to the penalty retrial jury

300x300(4)
Jodi premeditating murder?

Jen Wood of Trial Diaries has published an interview with the jury foreman in the penalty retrial. This statement particularly caught my eye:

We once again discussed how Jodi made phone calls just hours after murdering Travis and even went to see Ryan Burns. Most of us felt Jodi had to get rid of Travis Alexander so she could move on. Juror 17 agreed with this theory as a motive.

Is this a realistic motive for murder?

Firstly, it is not the motive offered by the prosecution, which was apparently that Jodi was jealous that Travis was not taking her to Cancun for a Pre-Paid-Legal conference.

Instead, the idea seems to be more: “Travis made Jodi miserable, and abused her, so she murdered him.”

I can see why they would come up with this theory, there was evidence that Jodi was miserable, and evidence that Travis was abusive, but I don’t think it has any precedent in the history of crime. Of course, the prosecution would not like this motive as it would concede that Jodi was abused.

In a way it has some truth : Jodi killed her abuser. Abused women sometimes kill their abusers to escape from them (with their children), or in self-defense when attacked.

However Jodi HAD escaped already, sitting in Yreka in complete safety. So like all the other motives for premeditated murder, it really doesn’t fit with the idea of murder premeditated by a week.

If Jodi wanted to move on, all she needed to do was to go and see Ryan!

It is not the fault of the retrial jury that they settled on such a preposterous and implausible motive, the alternatives are equally implausible. They must surely have been very puzzled. Their job of course was not to assess guilt, but accept the original verdict.

Jodi escaped death row, but it was apparently a chance event, a juror who didn’t see death as appropriate in this case. The difficulty for any innocent defendant in a penalty phase is the impossibility of showing remorse, this was picked up by the jury as an important factor, even though Juan may have been precluded from arguing it.

And that’s the memo. On to the appeal process to Free Jodi!