Did anyone get the plate number off of whatever ran me over-somewhere on earth
Hai everybody. Well, let’s just all agree that I never do that ever again mmmmmkay? Seriously. You hear about drug interactions but you just assume the doctor in charge maybe checked the eleventy five pages of fucking medications you were already on. Your Judge/Law Professor/Dean of Fuckery/ Queen of the Region of Mean could have killed her damn self. Fuck me. Mad? Yup!! But it seems to be at least sorted now and I don’t feel like I’m slowly drowning anymore and my head has cleared so. HAI!!!
Before I post today I want to REALLY thank Blue and Paul for having my back, but Blue, thanks for the concern, and for keeping everybody posted and mostly for the Skype check ins to make sure I was okay. I’m hella tough but that scared me just a little bit.
So, on with the show. Today we have another Guest blog from Paul Sanders. It’s a day or so late, but it’s worth the wait I promise.
The Jodi Arias Retrial: A Juror’s Perspective
“DR. CHUCKLES CHRISTMAS PRESENT”
A diamond would not be valuable were it easily discovered. The Defense Team handed one to Juan Martinez. It was wrapped in coal and hidden from sight. It was subtle and became the jewel that the Jury will take with them on their time off until next year.
It would be the fourth day of testimony from Dr. Geffner, the trial experienced Psychologist. It is also the eleventh day in a row of hearing psychological testimony. It has become two Doctors who have said almost the same thing but with different affectations. It can get tiring but Jennifer Willmott kept a good pace today by constantly presenting new documents for the Jury to see. This was a continuation of yesterday’s timeline of the life of Arias and Travis Alexander seen mostly from Arias’ eyes through the continual presentation of pages from her journals.
Simultaneously, Jennifer Willmott would query the Doctor on a timeline he created based, again, on mostly Arias’ journal. It was lightly seasoned with some loose corroboration and a touch of nastily worded e-mails. Much of this had been visited through the testimony of Dr. Fonseca.
It is the note takers that I watch on the Jury since the rest of the Jurors carry stoic faces that reveal nothing of what they may think. I see particularly five note takers. I take notes as I did as a Juror on the capital murder case of Marissa DeVault in the premeditated murder of her husband. Our second of three verdicts reached qualified DeVault for the death penalty. We had fourteen days of Psychological testimony throughout the three phases. My book, “Brain Damage: A Juror’s Tale” (available on Amazon.com) is the story of this recent and similar trial.
The note taker on a Jury, once started, realizes that he or she has to be quick with the pen. They want to make sure that nothing is missed because he or she never knows what is going to become critically important. The note taker learns to write in outlines instead of paragraphs. They find that dates and times are important and they focus on writing exhibit numbers down and what the exhibit refers to. At the time, they don’t realize how important the writing down exhibit numbers is.
The Jury will not get transcripts of the trial in the deliberation room once they are reduced to twelve members. They will, however, have access to all the evidence including that of the previous first and second phases. When the Jury deliberated in the first two phases, the evidence was in the Jury room, at least the pictures and documents. They could always request additional items. The third phase is different because the evidence must be requested by the Jury and requested by Exhibit numbers.
It is from one of the note takers where the eventual Jury Foreperson will arise.
Throughout the morning, Jennifer Willmott rotated between the showing of Dr. Geffner’s objective timeline and the writings of Arias directly from her hard bound diary. Her writings were careful written and accented by rounded letters. The penmanship was deliberate. It was written with particular care to the styling of the letters and their grace and flow. It was something the Jury would see all day. I think the Defense Team was trying to humanizer her. Days and dates abounded for the note taking Juror even though much of the testimony was tired, worn and redundant.
The Jury was dismissed for lunch and Judge Stevens stayed the Court. We were given a treat that the Jury missed.
Juan Martinez stood up and took a few steps in front of the Prosecution table, facing Dr. Geffner. He wore a gray suit with yellow shirt and a spotted design gold tie.
“Did you interview Travis Alexander?” Mr. Martinez pointedly asked.
Dr. Geffner nervously laughed. “Well, no,” he said. “I couldn’t do that.”
“Did you speak with Mr. Alexander?” Juan asked as he took a step forward.
“That’s kind of ridiculous,” he answered. “He was already gone.”
Juan Martinez stood his ground as he stared at the Doctor. “Did you use the word ‘Manipulative’ in regards to Travis Alexander?”
The Dr. answered and there was the slightest undertone of nervousness. “No. I don’t remember saying that.”
“Aren’t you labeling his conduct by using the word, ’Manipulative’?” he asked, obviously ignoring the Doctor’s memory loss of testimony he had just given minutes before the Jury was dismissed.
“It could be interpreted that way,” he relented with a shrug of his shoulders.
Willmott stood up in her deep aqua colored business skirt suit. “This is discovery and not a cross-examination!” she said vehemently.
“Go on,” Judge Stevens motioned to Juan. Jennifer Willmott remained standing, waiting to pounce.
Juan Martinez did not look at her. He looked at the Judge before he continued his cross examination. He opened his arms with his palms opened and slightly turned outward, looking at the Doctor. “Is saying a ‘Manipulative’ relationship a diagnosis?”
Dr. Geffner looked toward the Judge and saw no help being offered. He looked back at Juan Martinez as if he understood his semantics mistake. “I was looking at all the information. So, no. It’s a general behavior I may have perceived. It is not a diagnosis.”
Juan Martinez did not thank him. He turned on his heel and went back to the Prosecution table while Jennifer Willmott glared at him.
Judge Stevens recessed the Court for lunch. It was really an early Christmas gift from the friendly Doctor seeing Juan take a sample of his eventual prey. Dr. Geffner collapsed like a house of playing cards. His confidence seemed weak and his laugh was nervous with an artificial hollowness. It was going to be a bloodbath.
The Defense spent the return from lunch and the rest of the afternoon presenting a line by line repetition of Jodi’s journal entries. The Jury was fed hours of it while it was interchanged with the kind Doctor’s objective timeline. There may have been those who tired of hearing Arias’ words but they worked not to show it in his or her faces.
The Jury heard of trivialities in Arias’ life and the drama she produced. They saw some of the harsh words of Travis and it reminded them that they still did not know what made him so angry with her on May 26, 2008. Certainly, I think the idea was to present her as a victimized angel but something else happened. The date of this Gmail is also the last communication they knew of between Arias and Travis Alexander.
That was until Jennifer Willmott’s started presenting communications after May 26, 2008. It had my interest and that of the Jury. They still want to know what happened. They will recreate the murder in spite of a decision being reached by another Jury. They need to know themselves because it is natural instinct. It will be an easier path in the Jury room to put it back together. The timeline and her Journals are the closest we get to his death thus far in the retrial phase. Just because the lawyers and the prior verdicts say premeditation existed will not stop them from looking to answer the questions they never got to see in the first phase.
As they sit in the Jury box, they are trying to answer in their minds why the Defendant in the chair, and the words they have heard read aloud, could have done such a horrific act. They become detectives, especially the note takers.
“So, Doctor,” Jennifer Willmott began, “we are reading from her journal of June 1, 2008.”
“Yes,” the Doctor agrees as he reads the projector screen while she reads aloud. It is the same large screen that is in front of the Jury. I notice that Juror # 17 is looking forward toward the screen and I can tell he is writing down quotes just as I am.
“Anyway, after San Diego, I’ll drive to Utah,” Willmott reads from Arias’ journal, written only three days prior to the brutal killing of Travis Alexander. “I’m not sure what we’ll be doing there. It will be nice to get to know Ryan (Burns). I think cuddling is definitely on the list. After some dinner. Maybe after a nap.”
I notice something. It is something about the writing. It was the handwriting. We had seen the bulk of what amounted to two days of seeing her hand written journals. They had always seemed the musings of a teenager of sorts with their care in being written with round and flowing cursive letters. It was something you no longer noticed because you hand seen so much of it.
This journal entry was different. It felt different and its penmanship seemed rushed. There did not seem to be the particular care normally taken in the hand writing. It is speculation and it will be dismissed as speculative that it is different from the rest of her hand writings.
Willmott continued reading Arias’ words, “I mentioned my road trip to Travis. He didn’t sound all that thrilled to me. As far as I know, he knows nothing of Ryan. I asked Zion not to mention it to him so I wouldn’t have to explain anything or hurt him further. It would only be a repeat of our last blowup,” Jodi finishes writing.
“Tell me, what does this mean to you, Doctor?” Willmott asked.
The Doctor rambled on about Jodi moving on in her life but she cannot escape the cycle of abuse. She sees new beginnings while he is exercising control…
I had just finished taking notes of her journal on the screen of June 30, 2008. I stopped writing to ease a cramp in my hand and as I was doing that, my eyes happened to fix on Juror # 17. My Juror acumen from my experience as a Juror kicked in.
He stands about six foot, two inches. He has a shaved head and a long handlebar mustache that runs down the side of his jawline. The mustache is always impeccably trimmed. It takes away from looking at his cleanly shaven head. His shirts are always pressed and he always looks comfortable in his position. He is a note taker but does not work hard at every single detail by writing as furiously as I might. He seems to write when important issues are presented. He flies under the radar but I feel confidence in his walk without being over bearing.
The Doctor was talking but most of the note takers had stopped taking notes. Juror # 17 had his head cradled in his hand. He was looking downward and writing. I could tell he wasn’t listening to the Doctor. He would look up occasionally his look was distant and pensive. It was something I think few would notice unless you have sat in the Jury box.
One can write anything they would like in their Juror- issued folders with legal pads inside. The words in these notebooks are the property of the State and remain in the Jury room for the duration of the trial. Eventually, when the verdict is finally reached, each Juror book is destroyed by the State.
The note taker will sometimes write thoughts that he or she will want to bring up later in the Jury room.
I could tell with his thoughtful looks into space that he was working something out and then writing it on his Juror pad. I saw him flip back a couple pages and then return to writing.
It took one journal entry by Jodi Arias to render the prior two days of testimony as useless. He was putting pieces together. He was looking at dates. I was doing the same thing. It was beginning to dawn on him that the journal entry from June 1, 2008 was manufactured for people who might look at it the future and the future was here.
The letter was staged. There was no trip to San Diego planned. It was a lie. The Journal had impeached itself in the craftily placed words of Arias. The entirety of the journal would be dismissed in deliberations.
The Defense Team wanted to humanize Jodi Arias in the presentation of her journals but instead revealed a killer of the utmost evil.
This is the mitigation and aggravation phase. The Doctor spent four days on the stand and the bulk of this past two days fell into the Prosecution’s hands as the Journal entry gave rise to premeditation instead of mitigation. The Jury will have a Dry Erase board to work with when they get back to the deliberation room at some point. They will draw a line down the center making two columns with one for aggravation and one for mitigation.
Premeditation will go into the aggravation column among many other factors the Jury will see at the start of the New Year. They will see the Cross Examination of Dr. Geffner. They will eventually see Dr. DeMarte when Juan Martinez presents his side of the case.
We may or may not see Jodi Arias on the witness stand but we will eventually see her make her “Statement of Allocution”, as is her right, to the Jury.
We will not see her take ownership of this brutal murder nor will we not see the remorse she needs to show if she wants to stay out of the death chamber.
We close out the year in the Jodi Arias Retrial with hope and not just because of my speculative musings on what a Juror is thinking. It, however, is becoming clearer by the day that there are no mitigation factors.
This Jury will find Justice for Travis Alexander and his family. But, first, Juan Martinez will present the sword as Lady Justice watches…
I wish the family the most blessed of a Christmas Holiday and hope the New Year finally brings them some resolution and the Justice they so richly deserve…
I wish all of you, my Dear Readers, a rich and warm Holiday Season with great Hope and personal growth in 2015. I am humbled by the great amount of support as we collectively search for Justice for Travis…
“Every good relationship that develops as a result of this Trial is the manifestation of the Spirit of Travis Alexander.”
Justice 4 Travis Alexander…
Justice for Dale…
Paul A. Sanders, Jr.
The 13th Juror @The13thJurorMD (Twitter)
From me to all of you, thanks for sticking around on this sometimes very weird ride, thanks for the concern and the friendship and most of all for making me feel like I have a family. I hope you all have the best Holiday. I know it’s going to be my best ever. I will be around, but I’m really trying to follow orders and rest. Since the trial is on hiatus, I’m kind of leaving things in the very capable hands of Blue and Paul and if I feel like writing I will write. I promise you all I WILL be here for 2015 and many years to come.
Thank you for a great 2014. I’m thinking about you all.
RBMD peacing the fuck out!!