…” Something happens to ordinary citizens when they get into the jury box. All of them become defenders of the Constitution. Every single time. Very difficult…”
-Roy Hazelwood, Former FBI Behavior Analysis Unit Section Chief R current co-founder The Academy Group.
Hanged v Hung
The death by hanging option is not a consideration in the event that the Jury in the Jodi Arias trial finds her guilty of murder in the first degree, or felony murder. The jury cannot “hang” Jodi Arias.
However, they can hang themselves. I am not referring to what they must have felt like to sit through four months of testimony in the heinous butchering trial in the murder of Travis Alexander. No doubt 18 days on the stand – the poster child of the girl your mom told you about that guys will f*ck but not marry, Arias’s own words and convenient selective “fugue” state should be considered cruel and unusual for regular folk doing their civic duty.
I could not end my pre-verdict coverage without an editorial that lapses into first and third person.
Hung can be a good word. Some examples:
- Relating to a portion of male anatomy for those not buying of the indifference to size
- He hung my new Mom’s Day necklace around my neck and it is super-sparkly.
- I hung my child’s first abstract-impressionist masterpiece on the wall in my office.
- We hung the ribbons for first place on the mantle.
- When the jurors in the Aries trial could not reach a unanimous decision on the first degree premeditated-murder and felony charges Judge Sherry Stephens announced the jury had hung and declared a mistrial.
Consider the alternatives before hurling the maters my way, if you will.
The fact that the judge ordered a manslaughter or “heat of passion” instruction at the last minute should be telling that there is great concern that the state has not offered the slam dunk serve-up for these triers of fact.
The trial started with the State disputing its own theory of the sequence of events between the Medical Examiner and the lead detective. It is followed by evidence that disputes the contention the victim was immediately incapacitated by having him standing over the sink after injury. Waa?
Hell, let’s just say it. There are 2 separate and distinct areas of a clear and unambiguous attack closely resembling a slaughter house with a substantial absence of blood in others.
Not to mention a picture of a severely wounded but not yet with a fatal neck slit injury of Travis one minute and two seconds later.
One minute and two seconds. Two hundred pound prime-fitness Travis and 115 lb. Jodi in a battle for life and limb and the State says she stabs him FATALLY first in the chest. Again, this contradicts the ME testimony. Travis Alexander was shot first, period. Whether or not that will make a difference to this jury I have no idea.
Considering this fatal wound was to his chest and NONE of the wounds to his back were even life threatening and clearly inflicted upon an individual who was not in motion- this makes zero sense. The whole macabre mess goes down in one minute and two seconds if the pictures are to be believed.
One minute and two seconds.
Whether someone believes Arias is guilty or not, as the state presented their alleged version of events, it is unlikely that all jurors are going to be able to conclude that the timestamps on the pictures and the state’s versions of events can both be true.
As an example- to my knowledge, socks do not leave what is called a footwear impression. There is clearly a “footwear impression on the bathroom floor in blood. There was a pair of Travis’s gray socks in the washer. They are the same color as the ones seen what appears to be over a shoe in one of the pictures in evidence. Doesn’t that mean she was there long enough to do 2 loads of wash? Possibly.
There are more unexplained incongruences in the State’s case than there are journal entries of this defendant. It gives me great pause. Juan Martinez’s closing argument stated theory that is medically unsupported in this case and overall. Pause layering.
In a murder case with more forensic evidence than any one of the eight seasons of Criminal Minds has featured in a one hour episode, it is unsettling to see how much of it presumably not tested nor introduced as evidence was.
I have never seen juror questions in a capital case following re-direct before but I paid very close attention. There were many prospective deliberating jurors asking what I would consider questions indicative of folks with forensic knowledge.
… “How Do I love thee, let me count the lies…” Juan Martinez
Juan Martinez alleged that Arias deleted only pictures that implicated her, however, Michael Melendez testified there were roughly 90 pictures remaining on the camera that WERE NEVER introduced into evidence. It was a juror who asked that question among others regarding the highly prejudicial and for my taste, unverified camera card evidence. This jury is paying attention to the details.
Which means they are paying attention to the painfully few details offered as well.
Add in the very embarrassing and contradictory testimony of Dr. Horn who while he “sees dead people” apparently is not so big on the reporting of same. We now we have a prosecution relying almost entirely on the testimony of the medical examiner to support its theory and he shows up in rebuttal with a 3rd version of errors he calls a typo. Not helpful when the “immediately incapacitated “and non-ambulatory terms were used to discount a struggle between Travis and Jodi.
Dr. Horn may not know it yet but his testimony was downloaded to viral status by every reputable law school or criminal justice professor following the trial. Not in a good way when the syllabus header is “What Your Witness Can Never do.” (more…)