Will misconduct allegations against a prosecutor sink the murder conviction of Jodi Arias, 39? Defense lawyers are trying to achieve just that in a hearing on Thursday before the Arizona Court of Appeals. Court is scheduled to begin 10 a.m. MST / 1 p.m. ET.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) October 15, 2019
Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez has faced allegations of misconduct in office for a while. Claims include sexual harassment, and revealing a juror’s name to a trial blogger. He was recently reassigned from death penalty to auto theft cases.
His situation caught attention because he was the lead prosecutor who helped put Arias away in the 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, 30. The defendant’s story changed, but she eventually alleged self-defense.
Jurors didn’t believe that. Judging by the details of the case, Arias pretty much killed him several times over. She stabbed him at least 27 times, slit his throat, and shot him in the face, authorities said.
Arias was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now, however, her appellate attorneys see an opportunity in Martinez’s troubles. The question is whether those troubles are enough to justify a retrial.
Judges are expected to examine issues including double jeopardy, the effects of the alleged prosecutorial misconduct, and whether the trial publicity prevented the defendant from getting a fair chance before the jury. It’s worth mentioning that her defense tried to keep cameras out of the courtroom for Thursday’s hearing.
[Mugshot via Arizona Department of Corrections]