Tag Archives: Jodi Arias Summary

Jury selection for the Jodi Arias penalty retrial

I find it hard to comment on this. What kind of crazy justice system plasters a case all over the news, with 24 hour prejudicial TV coverage, and then expects to retry the case soon after and find a set of jurors who are not biassed.

Never mind that Jodi is innocent.

Are they serious?

Jodi Arias Appellate Issues

Arias in court MondayI was asked what I see as Jodi’s appeal issues. There are so many, but I think the #1 issue has to be Dr Horn’s claim regarding a typographical error in the autopsy report.

After that, anything that proves Jodi only used two gas cans when she filled up at Pasadena.

Then all kinds of other issues relating to ineffective counsel, trial by media ( which Bill Montgomery and Sherry Stephens have already implicitly agreed ), the conduct of Juan Martinez, the perjury of detective Flores, other issues with Dr Horn’s testimony, issues with the blood expert’s testimony.

This is just a very quick list. I am sure there are many more issues.

See also the motion filed 1st October, 2014 for information on prosecution misconduct.

A very minor, but stupid issue : Incorrect Diagram !

Added January 2015, there WAS porn on the computer. See Judge must dismiss charges in Jodi Arias case.

Beth Karas on the appeal process

Trial Index

Instrumental versus Expressive violence

Something I just came across :

Difference between instrumental and expressive violence
-Expressive violence: acts that vent rage, anger, or frustration
-Instrumental violence: acts designed to improve the financial or social position of the criminal

And then we have

Degrees of murder
1. First degree
2. Second degree
3. Felony murder

In the Jodi Arias trial, if you suspect or believe Jodi is guilty, it is surely clear that this was “expressive violence”.

  • Jodi was surely not trying to improve her financial position or her social position.
  • Supposing she accomplished the aim of her alleged secret murder mission, the objective was surely for the mission to remain secret.
  • The theft of Travis’ gun (supposing it was his gun) cannot have been designed to improve her financial position.

It seems to me that charging Jodi with Felony murder surely goes outside the intention of the law. The degrees of murder are meant to be mutually exclusive. Something is wrong here.

See also trial minutes and Women don’t kill unless

Could Juan Martinez fail to pass Go?

The crazy soap opera that is the Jodi Arias trial rumbles on, with revelations that Juan Martinez, the “PitBull” prosecutor has been conducting an affair with Jen Wood, one half of the “Trial Divas”. Comments were left on a blog stating:

Anonymous July 14, 2014 at 9:21 PM
Hey Sandra, this may be old news to you but I will take a shot anyway. Did you know that Teflon Juan and Mrs Trial Diva/Diaries Jen Wood are having an affair? It has been going on for about a year. This upstanding honest man is cheating on his lady with a married woman and Jen is cheating on her husband. On tonights spree she is no longer wearing her wedding ring. No wonder she gets so many scoops huh. This all came out when her ex business partners cell got stolen a couple weeks ago. Lots of screen shots out there of Jen admitting she loves Juan. Caused quite a twitter stir and fight between some at one time twitter friends, Jens camp bullied some who defended the ex business partner. No one denied it and now all seems hush hush. Just thought you might be interested.

Anonymous July 14, 2014 at 9:39 PM
Oh and if I knew how to contact you I would send you the screen shots of Jen’s texts to Sharee. That is why Sharee ended the partnership by the way and she made Jen refund donations because people were paying for her to meet up with Juan. I am just sick of everyone thinking Juan is some sort of God. He by cheating on his lady and with a married woman in my opinion makes him no better than some of the people he prosecutes who have cheated.

Subsequently, the screen shots were posted, and I confirmed with Sharee** that the story was correct, so there is little doubt that Juan has indeed committed adultery.

Historically, adultery has been viewed as a serious crime, in the Old Testament we find

And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Moreover Sharia law to this day indicates this punishment, and according to this article, in some countries it is regularly carried out:

Stoning to death for adultery has been a historical tradition in Islam that goes to the days of Islam’s birth and continues to this day in some Muslim countries, although many Muslim countries have abandoned this barbaric form of punishments due to Western secular-democratic influence. Stoning-to-death for adultery is a legal form of punishment in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria, Taleban-rule Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Islamists-controlled region of Somalia. Indonesia’s Aceh province legalized stoning to death of adulterers in 2009.

In Sharia-ruled Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, stoning being a form of legal punishment, offenders are killed by stoning on a regular basis, but those cases get little media attention to the outside world. Stoning adulterers and/or fornicators to death or orders to do so have also been reported in countries like the Sudan, Turkey, Nigeria, and Pakistan, perpetrated extra-judicially upon fatwa by local imams and village courts. In 1997, 23 Islamic clerics in Bangladesh demanded that former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad and his mistress of 14 years, Mrs Mosharraf, be publicly stoned to death for adultery.

However, in the New Testament, Jesus famously advocated against capital punishment for adultery, saying “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

But what of the law in Arizona? Perhaps surprisingly, adultery is still a crime. As recently as 2012, the Daily Mail claimed that “‘Cheating’ wife could face jail as husband urges police to enforce Arizona adultery law”. And here we find

13-1408. Adultery; classification; punishment; limitation on prosecution

A. A married person who has sexual intercourse with another than his or her spouse, and an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person not his or her spouse, commits adultery and is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor. When the act is committed between parties only one of whom is married, both shall be punished.

B. No prosecution for adultery shall be commenced except upon complaint of the husband or wife

So it turns out that if Jen Wood’s husband were to make a complaint, Juan Martinez could in theory be punished. In practice, it is very unlikely that will happen, but nevertheless the law does recognise that adultery is an offence, damaging to marriage and children.

Melissa Murray, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley wrote in 2012

“Now we live in an age when sex is not limited to marriage and laws are slowly responding to that,” she said. “But we still love marriage. Nobody is going to say adultery is O.K.”

Apologists for Juan Martinez may seek to place the blame on the woman, but the Go_to_Jailancient law and Arizona law make it clear that  both parties are guilty. I suspect that Juan Martinez will “Pass Go” and will not go straight to jail. Nevertheless it is in my opinion indicative of his general character, which was shown during the circus trial of Jodi, and this raises additional doubts about the safety of Jodi’s conviction. If a man lies and cheats in his private life, what may he do in public? This mirrors the argument Juan made at trial:

And I would only have to point out as far as the May 10th, 2008 conversation in terms of showing that she has no problems lying on the telephone where she says well yeah, I was faking it and you know what she said she was faking, even though you heard her squealing like a cat. No, no, no that’s just me faking it and you know why? Because I need two hands, that’s why she was faking it. Okay, if you can lie on May 10th of 2008 on the telephone to Mr. Alexander, what makes us think that you can’t lie about what you and he talked about on June 3rd, 2008?

However Jodi’s lie was told for the benefit of Travis Alexander, to bring him sexual pleasure. The lies that Juan must have told in his private life are of a different nature.

The issue of Juan Martinez’ conduct would normally not be my concern, however this is a serious business. Jodi has been wrongly convicted of first degree murder, and Juan Martinez and the State of Arizona are again seeking the death penalty. Adultery, stealing another man’s wife, destroying a family, is the act of an unprincipled, dishonest and selfish person. His conduct deserves public exposure and condemnation.

See also:

** Here is how my conversation with Sharee ( Trial Queen )  went:

16/07/2014 15:43 George Barwood
Is all this true: http://inconvenienttruthstv.blogspot.co.uk/p/is-prosecutor-rock-star-teflon-juan.html … ?

That is you split from Jen Wood because she had an affair with Juan.

“That is why Sharee ended the partnership by the way and she made Jen refund donations because people were paying for her to meet up with Juan.”

is what someone said anonymously.

If true, I think you acted rather honourably there, well done. I just wanted to confirm it.

Trial Queen 16/07/2014 15:59
I did split with Jen for this reason. I also did offer refunds for people after I found out. Thank you for your support, I appreciate it. I tried to work it out before we split, but my reputation, image and everything else was on the line. It was unfortunate but necessary and I don’t regret it.

My venture onto HLN

I have been observing the system of online criminal justice now for some time: News organisations, journalists, anchors, pundits, PR companies, judges, attorneys, cops, jailors, investigators, expert witnesses, defendants, criminals, convicts and victims, their relations and supporters, trial watchers, fans of “True crime”, trolls, conmen and of course people may be many of these at the same time. Distinguishing who is which can be a non-trivial exercise.

Recently I received an invitation to appear on Time Warner’s US television channel “HLN”. The subject was Jodi Arias, an innocent woman convicted of first degree murder, currently facing a retrial on the question of whether she should be executed.

As in any intrigue, motives are not easily ascertained. What drives an individual or an organisation to make decisions? I am often unsure of my own motives, let alone those of others, but I said I was interested, and after some consideration, and contrary to the urging of some including Jodi herself, I decided to accept the invitation.

The technology employed was Skype, however the integration was slightly cumbersome, and somewhat to my surprise, remote participants are not visually connected to those in the TV studio. After some anxiety caused by the rapidly evolving schedule and a producer being caught in a meeting, around 4pm GMT (12am Eastern time) on 19th March, I was connected, listening to discussion of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in South Africa and then the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The host was ex-attorney Vinnie Politan, six years my junior, the Stanford educated son of a judge, and now an experienced anchor-man. The discussion panel was Judge Glenda Hatchett and  Attorneys Ebonik Williams and Loni Coombs.
Nerves rather got the better of me, I spoke too fast, and managed to say  ‘physician’, corrected to ‘physics person’, instead of ‘physicist’, doubtless  a sign of approaching senility. Still, I feel I made some solid points, albeit they were not as clearly stated as I would like.


Rough transcript.

Vinnie: Jodi Arias has been convicted of murder, right now the only thing to be determined is what is her sentence is it going to be life in prison or will it be the death penalty. September 8th the is the new date for that, we will be keeping an eye on that, but any of you who have been on social media know that not everyone in the world agrees with that verdict and everyones entitled to their opinions, but … people kindof get, you know, excited about this stuff and really let their opinions be know so we found a facebook page jodi arias is innocent and we said ok, someone thinks she’s innocent, we’ve got to talk to these guys, let’s bring him in, his name is George Barwood he’s joining us all the way from the UK, George nice to see you , let me just say from the outset that I don’t agree with your assessment of Jodi Arias, (me right) but I will be civilised her and we’ll have a vigourous talk about the facts of this case, let me start right here: why did you start the Facebook page “Jodi Arias is Innocent”?

George: Well, that’s not my page, but I made a page, Why Jodi is innocent, a Facebook page, it’s to allow anyone with a smart phone to read about the key physical evidence in Jodi’s case which proves her story is true.

Vinnie: Tell me one reason why Jodi Arias is innocent.

George: Well, the prosecution kept changing it’s theory. It’s a sign they don’t have a good case isn’t it. I mean, the medical examiner is claiming a “typo” in the autopsy report, you know, that’s not credible, have a look at that, there’s lots of things in the autopsy report, there wasn’t any damage to the brain. So, there’s another explanation for that.

Vinnie: Let me jump in, you say the prosecution changed their stories, why did Jodi change her story three times?

George: Well, Jodi got off to a very bad start didn’t she? She lied and lied, she didn’t want to admit to what had happened. She was afraid, frightened ( Vinnie: of what ) frightened she’d committed murder I think. She didn’t know what happened did she.

But, I mean, let’s consider it on the physical evidence, that’s all fluffy stuff isn’t it, you can’t prove anything from that, you know Juan Martinez had a theory didn’t he, it was a different theory, originally the gunshot they said the gunshot was first.

Vinnie: You strike me as a very normal, reasonable guy, you married, you got kids, give me a thumbnail sketch of who you are?

George: Yeah, well I’m a pretty bright guy, I went to Cambridge University in the UK, I had a scholarship to do physics and maths, I’m a physician [oops!] a physics person, a mathematician, a scientist.

Vinnie: Someone tweeted us, they wanted to know if George had a crush on Jodi Arias.

George: (laughs) I support a lot of different people you know Vinnie, and more than half of them are men.

Vinnie: Give us another reason why you believe Jodi Arias is innocent.

George: Well, the motive’s not credible. I mean, Jodi was on a trip to see a new boyfriend, why would she be jealous of Travis, crimes of passion are not premeditated by a week are they, you know? This is all wrong. This doesn’t make sense.

Eboni: He’s clearly not a woman Vinnie, he doesn’t understand how methodical some of us could be. A week is absolutely not unreasonable if you really want to get that element of surprise going, sorry George…

Glenda: You didn’t address the fact that she was jilted, I mean he was on his way, on a trip out of the country, with another woman. Let’s remember that, he changed the ticket from Jodi to the new woman.

George: Jodi was going to see her new boyfriend?

Glenda: That was a fake.

Vinnie: The boyfriend was an alibi. Right Ronnie?

Loni: That was a cover, that was a set-up.

Loni: But George, let me ask you, just to get it straight, do you buy Jodi Arias’s story that she went into a fog, the moment that she started stabbing and shooting Travis.

George: Sure, that’s a proven fact, if the stress levels rise beyond a certain amount, you can’t remember anything. That’s a medically proven fact.

Loni: Why would she never call the police at any time after that?

George: She was terrified.

Loni: If she was totally innocent, and it was in self-defence, why would she not call the police.

George: She was putting it off, she didn’t know what to do, did she, she put it off and put if off, and, you know, would you hand yourself in?

George: Another thing, you know they say Jodi lied about returning this gas can to Walmart, what’s that got to do with anything? I found out Amanda Webb didn’t work at the physical store Jodi shopped at. That’s nonsense that evidence.

Vinnie: the significance of the lying about the gas cans is that she lied in front of the jury. She was explaining…

George: (breaking in) but she didn’t lie! She didn’t lie.

Vinnie: you should send an email over to Kirk Nurmi then.

George: well they know about that, that’ll come out in the appeal, Jodi’s going to appeal.

Vinnie: everyone appeals in this country. How much time do we have left? How much?

Vinnie: We gotta wrap. George, it’s great meeting you, and I’d like to speak with you in the future as we get closer to the new trial.

George: you’re welcome.

Vinnie: he was at Cambridge, he’s got credibility to a certain extent.

George: I’ve had two successes this year, David Camm’s trial I followed that, I represented him, he was exonerated on his third trial, I followed Debra Milke very closely, she’s out of

Vinnie: We’re out of time George! Thank you…

On 24 April, 2014, I received a letter from Jodi, thanking me for going on HLN and standing up for her, when everyone was telling me not to. Jodi’s objection was simply that she did not want to benefit HLN.

Jodi’s letter to me was hacked and leaked after I scanned it and sent it to another supporter, so here is the text ( I regret this happened as Jodi asked that her letters be kept private ) :

Dear George,Hello there my dear friend & supporter. I just want to say thank you for bravely standing up for me. I know you were heavily criticized by both friend and foe. I didn’t agree with it only because I dislike the idea of enhancing any of ‘Hateline News’ programs, but I’m definitely not your boss and anyway I heard you did very well. Maria De La Rosa said the Facebook hate group was quite vocal about it so that is an indication you did well. So hurray! I just wanted to make sure you knew I wasn’t mad at you in case anyone indicated I was. I feel blessed to have someone so level-headed in my corner. Of course, you were asked if you had a crush on me! Stupid show host. If you were a woman, you probably still would have been asked that. Also I was told that my drawing (your drawing) was hanging up behind you during the interview. Is that true? If so I’m very flattered. Someone said it was “Legacy”, but I thought you owned “Wistful”. Please don’t listen to your retractors try to tell you that b/c you are a Briton you couldn’t possibly make meaningful commentary on the American (in)justice system. That is a small minded thing to say and simply untrue. That’s like saying a marine biologist knows nothing about dolphins because he doesn’t live in the ocean, or the UCLA professor of anthropology knows nothing about the Dogan tribe b/c he’s not African or the world history major with a focus on 20th century Europe knows nothing about the Nazi occupation b/c he’s American. Nonsense. You know more about the U.S. criminal justice system than most Americans. So tune out the garbage and pat yourself on the back. You did well. Be proud of yourself. I’m grateful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you are doing on my behalf and others! Please take care and write me soon through Jodispage.com Deep & Sincere Gratitude – Jodi Arias

The search for the Femme Fatale ( a.k.a. Witch )

Femme Fatale
Pretty witch
Pretty Witch

Over many centuries, women have been put on trial, accused of “witch-craft“, or in more recent times of being a “Femme Fatale” – having the ability to control men and to commit heinous crimes for no plausible reason. Debra Milke has spent 23 years on death row in Arizona. On the flimsiest evidence, people are still readily convinced that an instance of this elusive woman has been found. A woman who leads a blameless life, but then one day turns into a savage, calculating murderer for no good reason. The evidence is just some vague suspicion : the actual killer makes a suggestion, not repeated in court. A burglary with nothing taken, a gun is stolen.

Let’s be clear : “Femme Fatale” is simply the modern word for “Witch”. It serves to make discussion more plausible, but no less irrational. How many billions of women have lived on the planet? Not one “Femme Fatale” or “Witch” has ever been identified with certainty. It is extraordinary that the myth lives on. Harry Potter is fiction not fact. Every child knows this.

In a witch-hunt trial, the prosecution focus on tiny details, remote from the scene of the crime – a missing mark on a receipt, a telephone call placed at an odd hour, a mobile phone switched off, a mobile phone switched on. These tiny signs are interpreted as evidence of the accused’s guilt. If something does not fit, it is because the accused has cunningly manipulated or cleaned the crime scene, with infinite foresight.The accused is cunning and intelligent one moment, but makes stupid mistakes the next. A single phrase is picked out from thousands of pages of writing, taken out of context. If no mark can be found, an expert is brought in to find what is not there using some contaminated source. Detectives and Doctors are called by the prosecution to give any testimony that is needed.

No expense is spared. When evidence is disproven, a search for fresh evidence is conducted. Above all, the witch is required to prove her innocence beyond every doubt, an impossible task. She is thought to be a great liar, somehow she has an answer to everything, but every explanation is deemed to be pure invention. A hundred reasons for suspicion are laid against her, if a single one cannot be innocently explained, in that instant, she is doomed. The more she struggles, the more she explains, the more scorn is placed on her efforts, the more she incriminates herself in the mind of the mob. The burden of proof is reversed, the woman is guilty unless she can prove herself innocent. A succession of trials may be held. The general public become prejudiced, because they only have to believe in one bogus piece of evidence to become convinced of guilt, and often the innocent explanation is never heard – suppressed in the general condemnation “why would anyone want to defend this woman”.

The demeanour of the accused is confirmation, looking into the eyes allows a diagnosis to be made. If she cries, these are tears of self-pity, guilt, or an act. If she doesn’t cry, she is cold-hearted. These gentle women are often described as frightened rabbits, caught in the headlights of a rampaging lynch mob. No mercy is to be shown, the lack of a criminal record counts for nothing. The mob insists on the maximum penalty available – solitary confinement, life imprisonment with no parole, execution. Some even call for the woman to be executed then brought back to life, to be killed again and again, subjected to every imaginable torture.

In fact these cases can and should be easily resolved by simply checking that the woman is non-violent and gentle with no criminal record. That should be sufficient proof of innocence. It cannot be stressed too much – a woman of this type does not, cannot, never has and never will commit heinous murder for some implausible reason, such as “freedom from parental responsibility”, “revenge” or “jealousy”. If a woman of this type is alleged to have killed someone, it is either an accident, self-defense or simply not true, it is never murder.

The witch-hunters are quite sincere in their mistaken beliefs. They are consumed by the fear that the accused might escape punishment, even as they are aware of her charming appearance. I believe it is some kind of psychological imbalance – they know they must not be influenced by the pretty girl, but over-compensate, and ignore the obvious evidence in front of them. They genuinely do not want to believe, but they feel it is some civic or religious duty, and they really do believe. They are locked into a state of confirmation bias, oblivious to the lack of decisive evidence.

Any witness who might support the accused is attacked, threatened with death, perjury and slander charges, until nobody will testify for her out of fear. Anything can be twisted, because the end justifies the means, her guilt is never doubted.That is the tragedy. Once can forgive the family of the person who has died, grief clouds judgement. But people who administer justice should know better. In the internet age, the odds against the accused are even more staggering, with social media used to manipulate thousands of dedicated haters in an instant.

All the parties are losers – especially the accusing family, their faces twisted with mistaken hate, as they dedicate their lives to the futile hunt, refusing to even hear the accused. The prosecutor storms and rants, displaying any gruesome photographs available. He argues maybe this, perhaps that. The jury is cowed into the fear of error, openly weeping with horror, confusion, stress and exhaustion as they reach their verdict. Even the judge may weep openly in court, her face twisted with conflict, convinced of the witch’s guilt, but determined not to allow any avenue of escape.

You may not believe that the search for the Femme Fatale is still pursued using Witch-hunts in the Western world, but consider the following quotes:

“Death-row Debbie: No one wanted to believe she could kill her child” Paul Rubin, Wednesday, Apr 10 1991.

“We knew she was guilty of murder without physical evidence.” Edgardo Giobbi, Investigator, November 2007.

Raffaele Sollecito had probably given her that knife for reasons of self-defense, a knife which she could transport in her capacious purse.” Motivations report, Giancarlo Massei, March 2010.

“She was a diabolical, satanic, demonic she-devil. She was muddy on the outside and dirty on the inside. She has two souls, the clean one you see before you and the other.” Carlo Pacelli, September, 2011.

“The word “probable” (or “improbable”) occurs some 39 times in the course of the motivation.” Presiding Judge Dr. Hellman, Motivation report, December 2011.

“I really hate to be saying that she is guilty but sadly, she is as guilty as it gets.” Donald Trump, May 3, 2013.

“Alyce LaViolette, she had a motive to lie. I mean, um, maybe perhaps it was her reputation that she was interested in, or things like that.” Juan Martinez, closing argument, May 3, 2013.

“If you believe what the defendant is telling you, then all of these arguments then do begin to make sense.” Juan Martinez, closing rebuttal, May 4, 2013.

“I don’t have all the information, but I think she’s guilty.” Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, May 7, 2013.

God gives us big warning signs that something is very wrong with people. That witchcraft thing was it.” – Nancy Grace

On 8th May 2013, Jodi Arias was found guilty of premeditated first degree murder. The jury was not sequestered.The televised show trial broadcast nightly to millions of Americans was nothing less than pornography, thrilling the audience with the possible execution of an innocent Christian woman, the modern day version of the Christian martyrs slaughtered in the Colosseum. There was no attempt at fair, balanced coverage, the defense case was never fairly discussed in the live coverage. Cheerleaders for the prosecution were feted, the occasional supporter was mocked mercilessly, after showing just a few hand-picked seconds, while jurors followed the public mood on twitter in the jury room.

Please see also:

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay, 1841.

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary evidence – Carl Sagan.

A version of this article was also published at ground report in June 2013

See also: