ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW??
Hai. Regular blog is in the process of being prepared. It will be posted sometime before midnight. Here is The 13th Juror’s latest.
The Jodi Arias Death Penalty Retrial: A Juror’s Perspective
by The 13th Juror MD
“ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO BACK”
There is a decision that the jury will one day have to consider. The law that is given to them when they enter the deliberation room states, in part, “If there have been past acts of domestic violence against the defendant by the victim, the state of mind of a reasonable person shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person who has been a victim of those past acts of domestic violence.”
The defense team will do everything it can to prove domestic violence to keep the defendant out of the Arizona death chamber.
Judge Stevens smiled at the jury as they took their seats to begin the day. Martin Luther King Day weekend did much to leave the people in the courtroom refreshed and ready to attack the task at hand. She first asked the jury if they had heard anything from the news or if anyone had contacted them or spoke with them regarding the case. Heads nodded negatively as she told the jury that the lunch recess would be shortened to accommodate a half day scheduled for tomorrow. Court would not start until one o’clock for a conflicting court issue. Heads in the jury box nodded that it was fine.
Dr. Robert Geffner, the defense team’s second psychologist, appeared on the stand to complete his testimony he had begun last December. He was wearing a conservative, loose fitting gray suit with white shirt and a shiny soft blue tie. He looked toward the jury as he sat and smiled at them enduringly as if he was happy to see them again.
“Good morning, Dr. Geffner,” Jennifer Willmott said in greeting. “The last time we were up here, we were talking about the journals of Miss Arias and we had gone up to June 1, 2008. Do you recall that?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“You are aware that the Travis Alexander attack was on June 4, 2008?”
“Yes, I am.”
“When you reviewed this case, you said you wanted to consider not only the account of Miss Arias but that of other people as well?” she asked.
“Of course,” he answered affably. “I like to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and I like to get a well-rounded account.”
“You looked at texts from other women?”
“You also looked at Instant Messages from Travis Alexander to others?”
“Let me ask you, Doctor, do you see consistencies between statements of Miss Arias and that of other people to support them?”
The Doctor looked toward the jury. “I looked at domestic violence and the relationship with Travis Alexander. I look for such things as abuse, power, control and a pattern of behavior. At the same time, I have to recognize that victims of domestic violence have a tendency to minimize actions in a relationship.”
Jennifer Willmott was dressed in a black business skirt suit. She walked toward Dr. Geffner as if trying to be closer to hear him. “Are you looking for patterns that play a role in this relationship?”
“Certainly. I looked at two to three years of reactions in their relationship so I did not rely on one source. I really took a look at Travis Alexander and his multiple relationships with other women and identified consistencies between all of them. There was a lot of manipulation, sex and control displayed. I had to ask if these things fit into a pattern of abuse. Mostly, I wanted to know if these things were consistent with the things that Jodi Arias has said.”
“Can you tell us what exploitation means?” Willmott asked.
Dr. Geffner looked toward the jury again. “Exploitation is how one person uses another to get their needs met. This is something similar in all of his relationships”
“Okay,” Willmott responded. She moved her perfect hair off the front of her shoulder. “So, you looked at relationships with other women. Did you also look at how Miss Arias was with other men?”
“I did,” Dr. Geffner answered. “I looked for those corroborating patterns that made her relationships. I also referred back to her childhood.”
“You said earlier that domestic violence victims do not see themselves as victims. What kind of problems can this create?” Willmott asked.
“Oftentimes,” Dr. Geffner explained toward the jury, “Behaviors in a relationship will reveal what domestic violence victims won’t say.”
Willmott walked back to a table next to the podium and glanced at her notes. She picked up a sheet of paper and put it on the projector. The timeline of Jodi Arias appeared on all the screens for the court to see. I do not think there was one person in the room except for the defense team and Dr. Geffner who wanted to see its reappearance from before the Christmas holiday break. Jennifer Willmott’s fingers straightened the timeline on the screen. One could see sparkles reflect from her black painted fingernails as they adjusted the paper.
“We see here that Jodi Arias begins dating Travis Alexander on February 2, 2007. Exhibit number 814 is an email of Travis to women.” Will you explain for us the overall picture?” she asked. “Travis and Jodi were formally dating at this time?”
“Yes, I would say they were formally dating.”
Jennifer Willmott marched over to defense table and put number 814 on the screen over the timeline. “This is an email to Jacqui Jardine. Is it not?”
“It is,” Dr. Geffner said.
“What conclusions can you draw from this?” Willmott asked.
“Dr. Geffner looked toward the large projection screen that hangs down across from the jury. “We can see here that Travis is good at manipulating women and exploiting them. For example, in this document, he tells this woman to pick five qualities and to come over and make out with him. He mentions such things as having been stabbed in the chest five times and was once trapped under water for three minutes. He boasts of having never been to jail and simultaneously communicates that he has read the Book of Mormon seven times.”
I look toward the jury as he is speaking and am surprised that I do not see one juror taking notes. This sent me an interesting message.
Doctor Geffner continued. “He notes that he is writing a book, owns a clothing company and that he reads two hours a day. He also mentions he doesn’t own an alarm clock and he was an orphan. He uses these things to entice this woman and to exploit her.”
The jury can read that Jardine answers the email from Travis by saying, “Oh my God, I feel so close to you.”
Jennifer Willmott nods her head. “But this isn’t the only girl while he is with Jodi Arias, is she?” she asks as she struts back to the defense table for another document. The sparkles on her black fingernails reflect in the light as she places a black and white photo of a girl on the screen. “Do you recognize this woman in the photo?”
Dr. Geffner opened his mouth to speak.
“Objection!” Juan Martinez suddenly said. “This is not in evidence. The witness could not have seen this evidence.”
One of many sidebars is called as Judge Stevens motions the attorneys to the front of the courtroom. They discuss the legal issue as white noise hisses in the background over our heads. Finally, the Judge releases the attorneys after admitting Exhibit number 572.
“This email was written on September 11, 2007. It reads, “Send me pictures. I need something to drool over all day.” The picture you see was sent by this lady the next day. What does this tell you, Doctor?” she asks.
“I think this particular girl was from Sweden. Travis Alexander was contacting other women while he was dating Jodi Arias. He was also dating Miss Andrews. This is a pattern of seeing a lot of women at the same time,” he explains to the jury.
“In reviewing your records, you see other similarities and patterns, don’t you?” Willmott asks.
“Well, yes,” Dr. Geffner answers. “He has continual contact with at least a dozen other women while being with Jodi Arias for sexual contact.”
Jennifer Willmott goes back to the defense table, obtains another document, removes the black and white picture and puts an email text on the screen. “I am showing you exhibit number 385. This is an email from Miss Andrews to Travis Alexander dated September 23, 2007. This is only twelve days after his contacting the woman in Sweden. Can you tell us the gist of this particular email?”
Dr. Geffner straightened himself in the witness chair and peered up at the screen. “She’s saying that she kissed Travis too soon and that they had made out for too long. She is feeling guilty and realizing the depth of Travis’ care. Miss Andrews felt she was being used for her body. She even mentions that she did not like him touching her behind. She feels like a sex object and she is now demonstrating her discomfort with her relationship with him. She is feeling exploited by him.”
“Are you aware that he was having sexual contact with other women from your research?” Willmott asked.
Dr. Geffner chuckled. “It depends upon how you define sexual interaction.”
“Can you define it for us?” Willmott asked motioning toward the jury.
“It could be anal, oral or vaginal,” the Doctor explains. “Kissing is not necessarily sexual contact.”
“Let’s look at the timeline again,” she said as she removed the email from the screen. The timeline was exposed underneath. “Can you explain what is important for us to see in reference to what we just spoke about?”
“Sure,” he answers. “Travis Alexander shows a number of emails sent over a two week period. He has contacted at least three women for a sexual interaction. They do not know about each other until Miss Arias and Miss Andrews figure it out. This leads to Miss Andrews breaking up with Travis.”
“On this timeline, it shows that he was also travelling with Jodi Arias as seen from September 2007 through December. Albuquerque trips and so on. Do you see that?” Willmott asks.
“Yes. That is right.”
“But Miss Andrews is still in the picture, isn’t she?”
“She is. These are some of those puzzle pieces that I try to put together. It shows there is a dichotomous interaction between the two. She wants to break up with him and then gets back together with him. She sees no future with Travis Alexander but continues to get back together with him. It is as if she cannot get away. This is the same interaction we see in his relationship with Miss Arias,” he explained as he looked at the jury.
“There is another break up with Miss Andrews on December 7, right?” Willmott asks as she changes the exhibit on the screen. Her black fingernails disappear from sight after she straightens it.
“If I recall,” Dr. Geffner answers.
“I draw your attention to Exhibit number 794,” Willmott continues. “This an email from Miss Andrews to her parents regarding Travis. She tells her family not to be alarmed as she professes her love to Travis Alexander only weeks after they were broken up. What does this mean to you, Doctor?”
“Again, this is an on and off relationship. It may be an example of one woman but it mirrors his relationship with Jodi Arias. He was still having multiple contacts at one time and he was manipulating and exploiting women for his own needs without regard to their feelings.”
I was furiously taking notes, much like I did for six months as a Juror in a similar trial. I took a second to glance at the Jury and noted that all were staring straight ahead yet not one juror was documenting the evidence they were seeing. I wondered if the defense was aware that they were losing the jury the longer they continued to hear the testimony of the psychologist.
“I am showing you exhibit number 815 dated February 10, 2008. This an email from Travis Alexander to Talle Gluff. They are talking about sex and Travis states he is horny. Can you explain why this is important?” Willmott asked.
“Again, there is a pattern with him of reaching out for sex. He is also conveying that he is a thirty year-old virgin on multiple occasions with multiple women. It is this repeating pattern of manipulation and exploitation of women,” he explains.
We spent the rest of the morning reading texts and emails from Chaitanya Lee and their brief relationship. The Doctor points out that she was snared into many conversations of sex. Of course, it was generally the same repeating stories of the other women and how he was dating Jodi Arias at the same time. He draws attention to his saying he is a virgin and that he gave her the Book of Mormon to read early in their three month relationship. This is a replication of what he did with Jodi Arias.
There is a point in time when Jennifer Willmott makes a point of Travis saying, “What if I promise not to be dead in the garage when you get here.” She and Dr. Geffner share an exchange where it is drawn out that Travis is making multiple suicide references. She brings an example of his saying that he told Jodi Arias that “he wanted to put a gun to his head” and Jodi Arias began crying.
“What does this tell you, Doctor?” Willmott asks.
“It clearly demonstrates an issue that continues to surface. The question I have to ask is, was Miss Arias the victim of domestic violence and abuse? Domestic violence is always kept in secret to the victim. The control and sexual abuse by Travis Alexander is a pattern repeated over and over again.” He straightens himself in his chair and focuses on the jury.
“I must see if we can put the puzzle pieces together based on all these accounts of relationships. I look at the abuse Jodi Arias suffered as a child and it conveys itself in her behavior in her adult life. It created a vulnerability in her future relationships.”
Judge Stevens interrupted and broke the courtroom for a shortened lunch. She had said earlier that she wanted to make up for lost time.
The courtroom reconvened from lunch an hour later and the Jury waited in the deliberation room. Juan Martinez stood and looked toward Judge Stevens. He was slightly bent over as he looked at some papers in front of him on the prosecution table. He would look down and then back at the Judge. He did not look happy even from the view of his back.
“I am objecting to the affidavit of these four witnesses,” Juan stated.
“Please continue,” Judge Stevens said.
Juan raised a packet in the air and pointed to paragraphs. “Paragraphs number one, two and three are objected to based on relevancy. Paragraph five needs to be eliminated with reference to the witness who claims fear of social media. Also, on witness number two, with regards to paragraphs number one, three and nine, threats from Travis Alexander supporters is not founded,” he said as he placed a stack of papers down and picked up another stack.
“We cannot accept paragraphs number one, three, four, five, seven, eight, eleven and fourteen. These need to be excluded. There is lack of foundation and speculation. I want the word, “brainwashed” removed. Also, paragraphs seventeen, eighteen, nineteen and twenty three must be removed.”
Judge Stevens nodded her head and made notations from her seat.
Juan Martinez dropped the packet down and picked up the next one. He was no less kind in his objections to having a multiplicity of paragraphs removed. “Maria de la Rosa affidavits are irrelevant. She is the mitigation specialist and this cannot be admitted. If we do admit it, then we need to remove paragraphs one, two, three, seven, eight and twelve. These are all residual doubt,” he stated emphatically.
“It appears that all these witnesses are afraid to testify?” he questioned. It was clear that he was irritated with the affidavit approach.
“Anything else?” Judge Stevens asked him.
“Nothing for now,” Juan answered. He remained standing when Kirk Nurmi presented his short and brief argument.
“Your honor,” Nurmi began. “We object to these deletions. The state is asking us to preclude mitigation! Apart from hypocrisy, rules of evidence do not apply. These witnesses are afraid of repercussions when testifying.” He looked toward the prosecution table and then back at Judge Stevens after taking a breath. “As this applies to assertions, the witness’ credibility stands to the veracity of their statements. Rules 401, 402 and 403 are not a proper foundation,” he said looking back toward Juan Martinez.
He continued. “Maria de la Rosa’s background is relevant in finding grounds for mitigation. This jury has a right to know why witnesses will not appear!” he demanded.
“Please approach,” Judge Stevens said to the attorneys.
Nobody knew it then but we would be going into the longest sidebar of the trial. It was continuous and unending as they discussed what would remain on the affidavits and what would not.
Dr. Geffner sat in the witness chair and occasionally turned his chair looking toward the empty jury box. Finally, he looked at the Judge. He wanted to excuse himself. The Judge nodded it was okay to step off the stand and he left the courtroom. He returned five minutes later after an apparent restroom visit and made his way back to the stand. He straightened his jacket and made himself comfortable in the witness chair while the sidebar continued.
At one point, I saw Detective Flores glance at his watch and leave the courtroom.
I knew the jury was on the other side of the door behind the jury box wondering what was happening. For the jury, the good thing was that they were in the jury room allowing them to be relaxed in each other’s company. I am sure many of them wondered why they were asked to return for a short lunch only to wait seventy five minutes for the unending sidebar to terminate. They would entertain themselves by making small talk amongst each other. Some would play games on their I-Pads while others would partake in the snacks that are always left in the jury room by the Judge. It was better to be in the jury room than to suffer in silence in the jury box where the juror is always on stage.
Dr. Geffner was listening to the sidebar and casually turning in his chair filling his idle time. I saw Juan Martinez look at him and raise his hand. He looked at the Judge and Judge Stevens looked toward the interested Doctor. She excused him from the stand and told him to take a seat by the defense table.
The sidebar ended after an hour and fifteen minutes and Judge Stevens finally called the jury back in. They filed to their seats remarkably devoid of emotion on their faces.
The demolition of Travis Alexander continued for the rest of the short afternoon with the presentation of the defense affidavit witnesses. Their testimonial statements were shown on the projection screens. Most of the papers had the witness names blacked out with black Sharpie lines. Some of the sheets had blank spaces where witness names should have been.
Jennifer Willmott spent most of the time reading the affidavits to the jury with a periodic question to Doctor Geffner. His answers did not vary from the morning and became repetitive and tired.
One witness statement claimed that he had seen Travis holding Deanna Reid down with a restrained wrist and a knee in the stomach by Travis. He had screamed at her that he was not going to marry her. The witness then confronted Travis about what he had seen and Travis had run away.
In another affidavit, it was claimed that the witness had been on a shared computer with Travis. The witness was looking for some engagement photographs and discovered Travis had made a child pornography folder which caused the computer to crash due to attached viruses. He said he had confronted Travis or Travis had told him that he owned the photos because he was sexually abused by a man when he was twelve.
Another witness in hiding, who worked as a dishwasher for Arias’ father, said that when Jodi Arias worked there she was friendly as well as artistic. He claimed he saw Arias’ father be abusive to her brother, Carl, at this restaurant. He further claimed to corroborate Bobby Juarez and his coming out with a Samurai sword when confronted about hurting Arias.
I looked toward the family who always sits in the front row, who are masterful at not showing emotions on their face despite what they are hearing. Their body language displayed that of being uncomfortable in their seats as they constantly adjusted their positions. Samantha always sits on the end and can usually be seen jotting some notes in her book. I did not see her jotting notes today.
I observed the jury and still no one was taking notes. They looked forward and their faces looked emotionless but I know what they were feeling inside. A jury almost expects that time when the defense is going to throw the victim under the bus. They were served a plate of evidence that did not look like evidence. It looked like witnesses who were hiding from them.
The jury has been tired of the psychological testimony. Dr. Geffner’s opinion sounded nothing like evidence and reeked of subjectivity. Further, they are hungry for information on Jodi Arias and have long sickened of victim bashing.
This jury is composed of reasonable men and women. They are starving for mitigation factors but only receive factors that strengthen aggravation. They care for Travis Alexander and they cannot connect the puzzle piece of why this murder was so heinous in nature. They are also wondering why Jodi Arias was called to the stand without the presence of public or media but four witnesses for the defense could do nothing more than appear in edited affidavits. They do have the option of considering all, some or no part of witness testimony. They wonder why these witnesses could not appear over a telephone speaker if they did not want to testify. As a former Juror, I can comfortably say that the witnesses will be discarded like a candy wrapper in the wind. It does not seem like evidence and instead feels suspect.
Their opinion of Dr. Geffner is the same as that of Dr. Fonseca. They hear words but lack the evidence that juries love to touch, see and feel.
The Judge closed the day with the jury by asking them to stay later for the next day’s proceedings along with a shortened lunch the day after. They are irritated by the slow pace and the delays. They are weary of abiding to a schedule that seems to constantly change. They are most irritated by the attempted destruction of Travis Alexander and the words of the defense continually defiling him and making it seem like murder all over again in a different context.
There is a great hope on the horizon that the jury does not realize. Juan Martinez has not stepped to the plate to present his case. It will be passionate and it will be without deference to human emotion except for the rebirth of Travis Alexander and who he was. Juan knows the defense has built a wall but it has the strength of a house of cards once the verbal wind of Juan Martinez blows.
The jury will know when they go into the deliberation room that the law states, “The State has a burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act with (Domestic Violence) justification. If the State fails to carry this burden, than you must find for the defendant.”
This story has not reached its conclusion. Juan Martinez will carry the flag of Travis Alexander and raise him from the dead for the jury to see. He will attack artfully and powerfully. Juan understands the burden on his back and he is responsible to not only Travis Alexander but to the survivors of his murder who resolutely sit in the front row. He knows he has Dr. DeMarte in his corner and he has one hundred and fifty pieces two pieces of pictorial evidence that the jury has not forgotten from Day number two.
The fact that I saw no jurors taking notes for almost the entirety of the day tells me they are learning nothing new as they walk down the path of justice.
A good number of Jurors are not going to sleep well tonight because the images of Travis Alexander will not leave their minds eye and they know it is he who they are responsible to more than the fate of the defendant…
“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)