Friday, May 17, 2013

Juan Martinez: A Prosecutor's Success

by Women In Crime Ink

As the jury determines in the next few days whether convicted killer Jodi Arias should serve life in prison or get the death penalty, we thought we'd take a look back at this sensational case and voice our opinions on what went right.

If you've followed the case, you know that after a four-month trial, 32-year-old Arias was convicted of killing ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in his Phoenix townhouse. It was a particularly grizzly murder, with Arias stabbing Alexander 29 times, most of which were in the back, slitting his throat, and shooting him once in the head. Alexander, 30, didn't stand a chance.

While the final phase of the trial -- the sentencing -- winds down, this seems like the perfect time to take a look back and ask this question:

During the trial, what did Deputy District Attorney Juan Martinez do best to win a guilty verdict?

Here's what some of our WCI bloggers had to say:

Donna Pendergast: The facts in the Jodi Arias case speak for themselves. In terms of a prosecution case, it doesn't get much better than this. Her story of self defense was negated by the physical evidence, her false statements and her manipulative testimony, which came across as very calculated.

Jurors are not stupid and they don't like to be played like they are. Although we have seen a few high-profile cases in the news where the verdict seemingly was inconsistent with the evidence, in most circumstances jurors try to do the right thing. They saw right through Jodi Arias and delivered a verdict consistent with the overwhelming evidence. As a prosecutor, I think that Juan Martinez overdid the histrionics, but I can't quarrel with success.

Gina Simmons: Jurors had a chance to witness Jodi Arias lie frequently and with incredible detail over a long period of time. Psychopaths can create detailed pictures with their lies. These self-serving pictures can appear so convincing that jurors might find it hard to believe that they were completely created from imagination. Jurors got a close-up view of a pathological liar. Psychologically, this close-up view might make it difficult for some jurors to give her the death penalty. 

Robin Sax: If this case shows anything at all it's that the public (even post-OJ) has an insatiable appetite for a good crime story. This had it all: Sex, lies, photos, and a frighteningly smart narcissistic defendant. While Juan Martinez was certainly passionate, he did not make the same mistakes many high-profile prosecutors have made in the past, and that is he didn't drink his own Kool Aid. He spent the time proving each element, painting a picture, and presenting a strong case. Of course, Jodi helped with unbelievable lies, horrific evidence and narcissism that spoke volumes.

Katherine Scardino: As a defense attorney, I agree that this was a dream case for the prosecution. I would have handled her defense in a much more realistic manner. First of all, she would never have spent a minute on the stand much less 19 days. Bad lawyering for her. But seems like Guilty verdict is the right one.

Cathy Scott: The interesting thing in this case was how Martinez brought the pieces of the puzzle together for the jury in his closing. Some things he brought out didn't make sense during the trial, at least to me, until he laid it all out in the end. It was brilliant, and it worked.


A Voice of Sanity said...

> Jurors are not stupid.

Really? How do you explain the long, terribly long, list of people who have been exonerated after being convicted on little or no evidence?

Don't ever bet on a smart jury. It's very rare.

> It was a particularly grizzly murder

Unless he was killed by a bear, not so much. Perhaps grisly?

> As the jury determines in the next few days whether convicted killer Jodi Arias should serve life in prison or get the death penalty.

So she won't get 30 days like Claudine Longet or 60 days like Susan Cummings? It pays to be a little smarter and a lot wealthier, or to have connections doesn't it?

Some system. Some justice.

rob said...

I'm so glad to see some 'experts' bragging on Juan Martinez. He did a wonderful job on this case, and I became so tired hearing the talking heads on tv trying to find fault with everything he did. I think for the most part, the public loves Juan, and if ever I need a spokesman in a trial, I hope that I am lucky enough to have an advocate like Juan!

Finnstein said...

Visit the new Juan Martinez Website for archival purposes at: