On the seventh day of Ms. LaViolette’s testimony, a senior producer for Jane Velez- Mitchell’s HLN news program noticed something interesting occurring in the courtroom. Before court started, on a day in which Ms. LaViolette was scheduled to be cross-examined by prosecutor Martinez, she was being “prepped” by her supporters. The producer noticed that Ms. LaViolette had an “entire row” of supporters. Two of the female and one of the male supporters, were rubbing her shoulders and giving her pep talks, assuring her that she can “do this.” During testimony, the producer noticed that one female in particular, was pleased when Ms. LaViolette didn’t allow prosecutor Martinez to “back her into a corner.” She would nod her head and smile each time Ms. LaViolette “beat” Prosecutor Martinez.
During her testimony, Ms. LaViolette inadvertently confirmed the fact that she had supporters in the courtroom. In response to a juror question about why Ms. LaViolette would continuously look and smile at Jodi and her defense team during cross-examination, Ms. LaViolette responded that she may not have been looking at Jodi or her defense team. Rather, Ms. LaViolette stated that she might have been looking and smiling at her elementary school friends who were sitting in the front row behind Jodi and her defense team. Why would Ms. LaViolette’s elementary school friends, come to a murder trial to watch Ms. LaViolette’s testimony?
The question could easily be answered if her elementary school reunion had been planned for the lunch break at the courthouse cafeteria. Anything short of that, would seem not only unprofessional but also childish. Why does an adult, professional, with 30+ years of experience need or desire the presence of friends and family in the courtroom while she testifies?
In response to another juror question about her limited involvement with males, Ms. LaViolette also stated that her father was in the court room.
Alyce LaViolette was hired by the defense team as a professional expert witness. Why would a professional expert witness need a support team to prep her before testimony? Her role in this case is to tell the truth about her opinion and her observations about Jodi, and Jodi’s relationship with Travis. It borders on bizarre that she would feel the need to bring a team of old friends and supporters into the courtroom or even allow them to attend.
She is supposed to be there to state her professional opinion and to answer all questions with candor and honesty.
Why would her father feel the need to come and watch his daughter testify? Was he there to see her first at-bat in the major league? If so, it would mean that until this trial Ms. LaViolette was a minor-league player.
Was he there to protect her from the mean, abusive, male prosecutor? We know that prosecutor Martinez, is intense. Some commentators see this as aggressiveness. This writer does not. I see him as intensely sincere in his approach to his job. It is his job to reveal the truth and more so than the police officers and more so than the judge, it is his job to enforce justice. If he does a poor job or simply goes to work and does “just enough” until he collects that government pension, justice is not being done.
Think about it. What would you have thought about the professionalism of Dr. Richard Samuels if he came to court each day with a team of friends and old elementary school buddies? What if during breaks or before his testimony we saw him getting shoulder massages and pep talks from these supporters?
For a liar or anyone who is trying to be deceptive in some way, a day with Martinez is not going to be any fun. That’s not because prosecutor Martinez is mean, unfair or abusive. It’s because he makes it very hard for a liar to lie or a deceiver to deceive.
It is my deepest belief that no one who sits on that witness stand, who has taken that seat with the intention of answering each question with honesty and candor and who will not attempt to deceive or mislead, needs a support team or neck massages.