Ironic: Jodi Arias Requesting No Media At Retrial

By | August 24, 2013

Jodi’s attorney’s filed a new motion for “individualized voir dire in sequestered proceedings”  (i.e. have extended time to personally question jurors) and to prohibit cameras in her retrial.

JodimentalillPart of their argument, regarding the sequestered proceedings, reads as follows:

“…Jury selection began in Ms. Arias’ initial trial on December 10, 2012. Approximately 275 potential jurors were summonsed to court. These jurors were time screened by the jury commissioner and then brought into court in large groups for further preliminary questioning. Those who remained were then given questionnaires. After the questionnaires were reviewed groups of approximately 12 to 18 jurors were then questioned by the parties, Prior to questioning jurors were advised that if any of the questions were too personal they could answer them privately. Apart from those few exceptions, over Ms. Arias’ objection, no other individual voir dire took place.

At this time, few jurors had heard of the Arias case or had any familiarity with counsel for either party. However, at that point in time the media coverage about the case was minimal. CBS aired one special on the case and only a few local stories mentioned the case. Obviously these reports did not cover the content of the trial since the trial had not started. Since that time the media coverage exploded in both quantity and content.

Between January 4,2013, two days after opening statements and May 31, 2013, eight days after a mistrial was declared, the media reports are beyond numerous. The Data disc (Exhibit A) that serves as an exhibit to this motion provides the following data for news coverage relating to Maricopa County for four months:

Television News Stories: 2,540;

Print Media: 205 stories;

Intemet pages related to Maricopa County Publications AZCentral.com: Jodi Arias

9.600 links;

Travis Alexander: 1,200 links;

AzFamily: 875 results related to the trial.

These numbers are for Maricopa County local news only. They do not account for the national media reports. Many national media repofts were aired on HLN and were highly critical of and biased against Ms. Arias.

Other forms of media are also relevant to this motion. The Lifetime Network aired its own movie several different times “Dirty Little Secrets.” Per the Nielsen Rating System “Dirty Little Secrets” had 3.1 million viewers. Of concern to Ms. Arias as it relates to jury selection is that this particular movie contained mostly false information about the relationship between Ms. Arias and Mr. Alexander, such as Ms. Arias following Mr. Alexander into a restroom in Las Vegas and that Ms. Arias killed Mr. Alexander after she became enraged because Mr. Alexander received a text message from a woman shortly after Ms. Arias had sex with Mr. Alexander on June 4,2008. As it relates to publications, it appears that at least 4 books will be published about the trial and/or Ms. Arias before her retrial will begin.

In  a related motion Ms. Arias will be requesting that prospective jurors be provided with a questionnaire that inquires about what, if any media reports or productions, they have seen about the case. Should a prospective juror admit to having seen anything or having read anything related to the case, Ms. Arias will want to enquire related to what they have reviewed and whether they believed the information that was presented to them. The validity of this area of inquiry is beyond question. There is obvious danger that one juror who had seen a report about the case or some other form of fictitious media might taint the other member of their group with this “information” if they are questioned in groups.

Interwoven amongst all these facts is the reality that the next jury seated to judge Ms.Arias will be seated for one purpose and one purpose alone, to determine if Ms. Arias is to be sentenced to life in prison or to death.

With regard to Arias’ motion to limit or prohibit live media coverage in the sentencing phase, part of the issue involves the fact that neither Alyce LaViolette nor Patricia Womack are willing testify on her behalf : “Neither are willing to participate in future proceedings.”

They also claim that nearly “every witness who spoke on Ms. Arias’ behalf was threatened to some degree and that counsel for Ms. Arias was also threatened. In this regard, Ms. Arias would point out that these threats were serious and included a bomb threat made against the entire courthouse on or about May 10, 2013 and while certainly the arrest of David Lee Simpson occurred after the initial proceeding were concluded, Mr. Simpson’s threats against media members, at a time when he had the means to carry out his threats exemplifies the kind of fervor that live media coverage of this trial generated. …The fact that these types of threats are occurring and that attempts to actualize these threats could be made during any retrial; Ms. Arias takes the position that restricting coverage will at the very least minimize the fervor that has seemingly motivated these threats.”

You can read the 35-page motion here.

What do you think? Have they made their case?

18 thoughts on “Ironic: Jodi Arias Requesting No Media At Retrial

  1. NERN

    Absolutely incredible! No where that I can see has she listed her contributions to the media stories – twitter, eBay, but most importantly, ALL of her interviews during the times she has mentioned (Jan. to May). 48 Hours and another interview while in jail.
    Nor does she acknowledge that SHE contacted interviewers! On the eve of her conviction and following.
    She does not remind anyone that she stated “I feel betrayed by the jury” on national television.
    She knew full well that she was on camera while being interviewed and subsequently arrested. She knew full well that these interviews would be made public.
    She used the media to what she believed would be to her full advantage from being arrested to the day she was convicted. She tweeted during her trial. She has not stopped tweeting.
    To now say that media presence would not give her a fair trial is absolutely ludicrous.
    These motions now being filed are for the sole purpose of stalling and trying to force the prosecution into a deal.
    Her excuse in not wanting to continue to spend more of the taxpayers’ money when she is clearly a candidate for not receiving the death penalty and can contribute through the programs she wishes to set up are utter crap!
    I reiterate, she is stalling and wanting a deal and will continue to file motions to this end.
    What she does not realize is that Juan Martinez is going to make mincemeat out of her and her measly efforts.

    1. Dawn

      Nern, Thank you. You covered all the bases re Jodi Arias bringing the attention all on herself. I add, Jodi on the stand. For (((19 days))) she spewed her sex with Travis…graphic, detailed & lots of lies. Then the censored, graphic photos. As for LaViolette, she brought all the massive media attention on herself. What did she think would happen with her disgusting testimony & so obvious lying & loving a sociopathic butcher?

  2. bellkurve

    The defense team needs to grow a pair. If they are intimidated by being threatened, then they are in the wrong field. If they’ve never been threatened before, they haven’t done their job.

    Yes, pre-trial publicity is problematic in this case, as it has been in every other high profile case. We can remedy that problem in local situations by a change of venue, or bringing in a jury from another jurisdiction. No such remedy exists with these types of cases, and these types have been around since at least the Lindburg baby kidnapping.

    As a result, this motion will fail. It will again work its way down from a large pool to smaller and smaller pools. Going one at a time in camera is a total waste of time and an attempt by the defense to get enough time to data mine social media as well as do a bit of intimidation.

    In camera is necessary – there’s no need for a specific juror to admit in open court that he’s suffered a TBI and has short term memory problems, but most exclusionary reasons can be sussed out via questionnaire and public questioning. Doesn’t take much to strike a person for cause because that potential juror lives next door to Defense counsel or has a daughter going to prom with a State’s attorney’s kid.

    Nice try. It does go to how difficult these cases are, but that’s about it.

    1. wolfsden

      Hi bellkurve! *waving* I think Nurmi is probably VERY used to being threatened. ANY body who makes it their forte to defend those who are accused of committing SEX offences SHOULD be used to threats, and dirty looks, and people pointing and staring, and dirty looks, and being flipped off, and having rotten fruit thrown at them, and being called dirty names, and, and, and………
      http://maricopasexcrimes.com

      1. myredpony

        Hello Wolfsden! Fancy meeting you here! There have been numerous allegations of threats against the DT, LaViolette, and, of course, Arias’ childhood best friend who couldn’t testify during Arias’ mitigation portion because of threats made against her and her child. Of course we know that the truth is that she wouldn’t be able to stand up to Martinez’ questioning.
        When David Lee Simpson was arrested after threatening to kidnap Nancy Grace and Jane Velez Mitchell, Sheriff Joe was questioned about others who had been threatened during the trial. He told reporters that no reports of threats had ever been filed. I agree that threats are just part of the job for Nurmi. His clientele just begs for threats, being the scum of the earth that they are. The other ‘threats’ are just words. Even Nurmi would be outraged if these threats were real, and would demand that all threats be investigated fully and charges laid. If I believed that Arias was a victim of DV and killed Travis in self defense, and wanted the jury to know what a truly kind and loving person she was, and then had my life threatened if I took the stand, I’d be on the phone to LE as fast as you could say 911. In Simpson’s case, his car was full of guns, ammo, knives, and all sorts of accessories including twist ties. His was no idle threat. He obviously had every intention of carrying it all out. I would never ever take the chance that someone like Simpson would carry through on a threat against me. The fact that no complaints were ever made tells me that this is just more lies and posturing from the DT. I don’ believe for one second that Arias doesn’t want cameras in the court room. She is far too much in love with herself to only talk to the jury. She wants the world to hear every word she utters because she is so important. She wants her fans to be able to watch her testify and be able to take screen grabs in order to make new desktop backgrounds. I believe that Nurmi filed this motion for one reason and one reason only: $250 per hour. His other motion regarding monitoring the Twitter accounts of jurors is just as ludicrous and was done for the same reason. He can’t control his own client but he expects a judge to rule that citizens who are willing and able to perform their civic duty as finders of fact to be subject to this type of culling. Ridiculous. It’s time for JSS to rule on these ridiculous motions quickly and get on with the sentencing trial. Travis was murdered over 5 years ago. Arias obviously doesn’t care about her right to a speedy trial but Travis and his family deserve better. Much better.

  3. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

    She’s not going to get no media at retrial because its constitutional that trials are open to the public and the Supreme court has already ruled that includes the media, cameras, live.

    But Judge Stephens should look carefully at not denying the extended voir dire request. There’s nothing wrong with what they’re asking there. Cases with less risk of a tainted jury pool implement one-on-one voir dire in private chambers all the time. It happened when I was called for jury duty and it happened when a friend of mine was called.

    I agree with Nern and Bellkurve how conveniently they fail to mention Jodi created the media sensation by calling reporters and press conferences from 2008 onward. Kirk Nurmi irritates me so much, even his writing is boring. Who writes such convoluted stuff: “the media reports are beyond numerous…Ms. Arias will want to enquire related to what they have reviewed and whether they believed the information that was presented to them. The validity of this area of inquiry is beyond question…?” Lets do a rewrite in plain english man: “There have been many stories about the case in the media. The defense wishes to ask jurors what they have heard or read and whether they believe any of it. This inquiry is necessary to determine their impartiality.” Jodi needs to get to work helping Nurmi out with sentence construction.

  4. Uppity

    Ironic is the perfect word. Jodi plastered herself all over the media and created the image of the lying psychopath she really is. Apparently, everybody else was supposed to just shut up and take it. Now she’s worried that the sentencing trial won’t go the way she wants it to go, and if she can’t be in control, there can be no publicity. The Social Media Queen is worried about social media and the Publicity Queen is suddenly worried about publicity, unless of course it is she who is using social media and personally garnering publicity. This way, she can lie in court to her heart’s content and after the trial, no matter how it goes, Jodi and blab all over the networks her own lying rendition of what occurred. From what I have seen of her control obsession, and complete lack of conscience and her self-absorbed behavior, I can’t even imagine all the ways in which she manipulated Travis. I believe it when others say he was afraid of her. He didn’t call her a sociopath for nothing. You can bet she tried to blackmail him with that sex tape she pretends he knew about.

    Gawd, I so want somebody to finally stifle this crazy subhuman monster once and for all. She is like a blast of toxic fumes every time she inhales and exhales or shows her face. I feel like I need a shower every time she forces herself into the public eye again. She isn’t just taunting the family of Travis, she is taunting our justice system and anyone in America who isn’t a psycho like she is. The closet comparison I can come up with is back when Charlie Manson was plastered all over TV with his special brand of psycho wisdom, making contact with every Crazy in the country just like him. It was rattling. She gives me the same feeling – that the world is not a safe place with her in it and she’s really thrilled that we all know it.

    This judge is not in control as far as I’m concerned. I can see being conservative to avoid a reversal of an outcome, but I cannot see a judge being controlled by a psycho. It’s embarrassing enough to watch her control her own attorneys. I say let the trial be publicized so we can all get one more glimpse of Juan skewering her with those photos — while she declares her part in Travis Alexander’s “Passing Away” as a Snapshot In Time that shouldn’t Define Who She Is.

    1. Brigid

      Speaking of Juan Martinez, I have a hunch Arias knows her interviews will be scrutinized in the penalty phase. As I recall she gave interviews immediately post-verdict before the jury deadlocked in the penalty phase? So she wasn’t expecting a whole new penalty phase w/new jury.

      Good luck to “Ms. Arias” seating a jury with no social media awareness that she’s a ruthless killer of Travis Alexander. She’s so out of control she has to nitpick about everything including details of the Lifetime movie that annoy her. Nurmi’s just calling it in at this point, letting the defendant do what she wants and writing motions so awkward they read like a middle school English project.

      I wonder if Judge Sherry will rule this Monday.

      1. Linda K

        Brigid, you’re correct. Her post-conviction exclusive interview was given at the courthouse immediately following the guilty verdict for premeditated murder. And as for the Lifetime movie, did you see it? It was pretty hilarious. Docudrama? Not even close. I don’t think the writers bothered watching the trial, they just made it up as they went along. So yeah, I bet Jodi does have issues with it. ROTFL

        1. NERN

          Arias’ antics are backfiring on her and she is scrambling.
          As far as the movie is concerned, LIFTIME should have been admonished for doing it in the first place before this debacle was finished. Poor taste. I told them what I thought. But from their perspective, they were just cashing in on the ratings and notoriety of this case. Arias didn’t like it cause it implied everything she said she isn’t or wasn’t.

          1. Linda K

            It’s no surprise Lifetime made the movie. They exist solely to make money — nothing wrong with that if you believe in capitalism as most Americans do. A stable of Lifetime is original docudramas. Docudrama is a worthy form of entertainment when done equitably with due deference to known facts about the subject matter and when no more poetic license than necessary is used.

            Although not docudramas, both “Fatal Attraction” and “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” covered a similar storyline and were exceptionally suspenseful — both memorable movies with re-watch-ability. The Arias movie could have been equal to those but, instead, lacked any element of suspense whatsoever. The story was twisted and contorted until it made little sense to even those of us who followed the trial and only the final scenes were recognizable as “documentary” material.

            My grandfather used to say, “Do it right or don’t do it at all.” So, yeah, Lifetime probably shouldn’t have made that movie.

          2. Linda K

            Heh, make that “A staple of Lifetime is original docudramas.”

            Why can’t I ever catch this stuff before I click the button?!

  5. Linda K

    I don’t begrudge Jodi’s defense team making as many motions as they can dream up to save their client’s life. It’s their job. It’s how our adversarial system works. And as much as I dislike both Nurmi and Willmott on a visceral level, they do seem to be blowing a lot of needed hot air in an effort to keep their alleged mitigationless blimp aloft.

    They keep reiterating Jodi’s right to a full and fair presentation of mitigation. If the implication with this media motion is that Womack and LaViolette (and perhaps others?) will suddenly agree to testify if the re-trial is not televised, who among us really buys that argument?

    It all reminds me of this:

    Picture a guy, standing on the street corner, holding a cup full of No. 2 pencils. The sign on the cup reads:

    Pencils
    Today Only
    $1,000 Each
    Get a Free Eraser!

    From the seller’s point of view, his sales strategy is at least worth a try. Okay, I’m not buying. You’re not buying. But, sooner or later, some sucker is going to buy one because he’s a true believer in the old adage “you get what you pay for” and he’s convinced those must be extra special pencils, worth every penny.

  6. NERN

    Today – 3 minute hearing in court – delayed to hear motions until September 16th!
    Arias will be happy that this is going to drag on and on.
    Ya know what? What I want is that regardless of what the judge rules regarding media coverage and social media and jurors, I want Juan to address Arias’ role in feeding the frenzy with all her media coverage and social media comments right from the beginning of her incarceration to the present. I want her to be stopped!!!
    Also, I saw an interview with Alyce LaViolette and despite my total disagreement with her assessment of Arias and her testimony in her defense, it is despicable and horrible that she has had to endure the hatred of others for stating her opinion. I feel real empathy toward the woman who lives always looking over her shoulder. NO ONE deserves the treatment that she has had to put up with and still does. It is vile and threatening and those doing such things should look in the mirror and see if they truly like what they see looking back.

    1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

      Nern, where did you see the interview? Was it an interview with her personally or written up? I’m torn about Alyce. It’s very disturbing that a small number of people watching the Arias trial tried to influence the trial by contacting witnesses. (On the Justice for Travis facebook page, they proudly posted a letter from a victim of domestic violence faxed to Jodi’s expert Robert Geffen the night before he was to testify saying that he is betraying all victims, that he has a “responsibility” to the real victims not to support Jodi, blah, blah. This stuff is witness tampering pure and simple. I became persona non grata over there when I pointed it out.)

      I know some people contacted Alyce making similar ridiculous demands. But I’m not sure I believe she’s been personally harassed as much as reported. I think her supporters have mixed the attacks on her professional judgment and personal contacts.

      I know that during the first days of her testimony a petition circulated (which I signed) asking the organization that promoted her as a speaker on behalf of victims of domestic violence to remove her. It was started by someone who was a victim and was responding to Alyce’s statements in her testimony that she speaks for other victims and got her ideas from them. She also promoted a facebook page calling herself “A Voice for the Voiceless.” Based on that, it seems to me a very valid request that she not be promoted as one speaking for victims or getting her “knowledge” from them.

      She also invited critique because on the stand she said that she wished everyone would read her book and see her youtube videos. People did. And they (we) then expressed our views on her work.

      On the other hand, if she was personally threatened or even contacted to be scolded that makes me sick too. I’m just not sure I believe her spin because I noticed in an article claiming she ended up in the hospital with anxiety over the weekend between Juan’s cross examination that it left out something that was obvious. She had brought trial to a standstill claiming to be sick on the second day of her testimony when the world was still under the spell that this was an amazing expert who would turn the tide for Jodi. Court was abruptly canceled for the day after testifying for about an hour because Alyce wasn’t feeling well. It was before she had said anything that anyone could criticize, while she was getting good press, even Nancy Grace singing her praises. Criticism of her began a few days into her testimony, not yet at that point. More than a week later things heated up when Juan got 15 minutes to cross examine her before the weekend. She then ended up in the ER for anxiety and blamed harassment. In fact, she was already sick with a preexisting condition that made her cancel court BEFORE anyone had done or said anything disagreeable to her.

      But I do agree she should not be harassed. If you know of any interviews with her personally, please post them.

      1. NERN

        To Maria C.S. – Unfortunately, I periodically still turn on HLN when there are updates to things about Arias. Several times yesterday, they aired excerpts from an interview with a CNN reporter and Alyce.
        I have a number of thoughts about this interview and its timing:
        1.
        Alyce reads the threats (some of them) that she has received. Hit with a baseball bat comes to mind.
        She emphatically states that she will not return to any trial for Arias as she does not want to because of threats on her life and her family and her family does not want her to.
        She is reduced to tears when talking about these threats and it is obvious that they have hurt and frightened her.
        She also stated that she had never in her life had any trouble with anxiety to the point of hospitalization before the trial. I believe her.

        NO ONE deserves this kind of treatment. One can disagree and critique her position regarding Arias BUT threatening is way out of bounds. Trying to destroy someone’s career because of their opinions is also. I have great empathy for this woman and the threatening harassment she has experienced because of her opinions.

        2.
        She stands behind her diagnosis and comments regarding Arias that she testified to.

        I still disagree with her.

        3.
        My concern over the timing of this interview is that it comes right on the heels of the motions recently put forward by Arias to the court. Because of media and social network, Arias states that witnesses will not come forward in the new trial to testify on her behalf. The threats have scared them off, just as Alyce stated in her interview.
        However, I find that she is indeed testifying on Arias’ behalf by reiterating that she stands by her diagnosis that Arias was a victim of DV. She stated in the interview that no friendship or closeness resulted between her and Arias but rather a “relationship”. She stated again that yes, Arias lied many times, until she began telling the truth in trial. She alluded to the fact that all the media attention while threatening for her, was also bad for Arias.

        So….while I feel empathy for Alyce for the threats she has received and why she is not testifying in court once again, I cannot see that this interview was not timed to coincide with the motions that have been put forth.

        I would check HLN/CNN for any info on the interview conducted.

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          Thanks Nern. I saw it now cause Dr. K posted the link to the interview. I totally agree people should not reach out to contact her at all. I got banned from the Justice for Travis facebook page for pointing out that a letter posted to one of the experts is witness tampering and the calls for investigating the jurors is harassment. No one should be treated personally with hatred. The public has no right to influence trials. I agree!

Leave a Reply