Friday, March 22, 2013

Arias Jury Wary of Dr. Samuel's Assessment

The jury had plenty of questions for the defense's "expert" witness, Dr. Richard Samuels yesterday. I didn't write many of them down, because many of them were long and similar in nature to one another - but there was a common theme. The jury doesn't seem to share Dr. Samuel's opinion that "it's irrelevant" that accused murderer Jodi Arias took the PTSD test while still lying about two armed intruders killing Travis Alexander. Dr. Samuels has repeatedly stated that it wouldn't effect the test results because trauma is trauma - and he still believes her trauma was real and it triggered the PTSD and "dissociative amnesia".

I've heard enough about Jodi Arias's supposed mental and memory problems. I quite frankly don't understand why this even matters - this all started with her "fog", her lack of memory during the time she was stabbing and slashing Travis Alexander's throat. She did these things, what difference does it make why she doesn't remember doing it? I find it awfully convenient that she had the presence of mind after this savage act to attempt to clean up the crime scene, look through the photos on that digital camera and delete only the photos that would implicate her - there was a decision making process involved in those acts. She carefully removed her socks and gathered the bedding and put it in the washing machine in an effort to remove all traces of her DNA. Are those the acts of somebody in an amnesiac state of mind?

She had enough forethought to take the gun, the rope (I still don't believe there ever WAS a rope) and either put the knife in the dishwasher or take it with her - she was clear headed enough to know she needed to call Ryan Burns and come up with an excuse as to why she was running so late. She was thinking clearly enough to pull over and clean the blood off of her hands and change her clothes or ditch her bloody clothes before hitting a security checkpoint near the Hoover Dam. It's awfully convenient that the only thing she doesn't remember is stabbing and slashing his throat - those happen to really be the things that make this murder heinous, cruel and depraved. Very convenient.

Dr. Samuels threw out some statistics that also give me reason to pause. He stated that approximately 30% of people convicted of homicide report having some sort of amnesia - how very convenient for them. The jury questions zeroed in on the errors and omissions on Dr. Samuels reports, his reason for not re administering the PTSD test once Kirk Nurmi informed him that Jodi Arias was now admitting she killed Travis Alexander, but in self defense. If you are being paid $250.00 per hour, and providing testing and reporting to a court of law in a death penalty murder trial, wouldn't you want to be absolutely sure your records and reports were beyond reproach? Wouldn't you want to be certain the test was accurate, there were no "typos" or "omissions" - and if there were, wouldn't you want to amend your report or add another addendum? The errors he made on those reports is completely unacceptable. 

Dr. Samuels rambled on for 2-3 minutes at a time during the jury questioning, in my opinion he dodged many of the questions and wasn't providing clear answers, which may explain why they have so many questions. He clearly seems to be a fierce defender of Ms. Arias, he comes across as being biased towards this defendant when he should be impartial. He seems a little bit too invested in the fate of Jodi Arias. He met with her 12 times and talked with her 25-30 hours, during which time he formed these opinions about her and about Travis Alexander. His testimony is flawed because it is based on the words of a proven and well documented liar. His reporting is sloppy, Juan Martinez was quick to point out another error in the doctor's scoring of one of the tests he gave Jodi Arias. He showed two exhibits of the same report, one of which showed one score, and the other showed a higher score. The doctor didn't disclose this "re-scoring" while answering earlier jury questions, and probably wouldn't have brought it up if Martinez hadn't found it.

His explanations for the two different errors in the testing is not believable. He told this jury that while he was preparing for this trial, he wanted to review the test and the test score but didn't have a copy of his own report - so he "re-scored" the same test. Don't most people make COPIES of their work, especially a document that is going to be scrutinized in a court room? During his "re-score" he came up with a different number? This is absolutely mind-boggling that a professional would be so sloppy. He seems to believe that his 35 years of experience should be evidence that his work was complete and accurate. Juan Martinez had an absolute field day with Dr. Samuels. It's clear that these two do not like each other. At one point, Dr. Samuels began to have memory problems of his own, and Martinez asked him "do YOU have memory problems?", and Samuels snapped back "no I don't, do you?". It got pretty heated in the courtroom.

Juan Martinez also questioned Dr. Samuels motives for giving Jodi Arias a gift, the book on self esteem. Dr. Samuels had answered a jury question by saying that he was a compassionate man, and he felt that Arias may benefit from reading the self-help book, which would ultimately make his job easier if she had more self esteem. Does this make sense to anyone? Turns out that Dr. Samuels gave this book to Arias after their first meeting. That tells me he developed this fondness for her very early on. I am convinced that he truly likes or liked Jodi Arias - he either bought into her stories hook-line-and-sinker, or he simply didn't care that she was lying and manipulated the scores to have the most positive outcome for Jodi Arias.

To me, her memory problems are really a non-issue. It's only a very small piece of this puzzle and doesn't effect her culpability in this murder. She pulled the wool over this doctor's eyes, but it doesn't look like she's fooling the jury - they still seem very focused on what Travis Alexander must have went through while he was under attack at the hands of Jodi Arias. What's next? I believe the defense has another expert in the area of domestic violence. Another PAID expert. Naturally, they wouldn't employ an expert that wouldn't bolster their case, so expect to hear that Jodi Arias suffered emotionally and physically at the hands of Travis Alexander. That will be difficult to sit through. 

I hope and pray that the jury keeps Travis Alexander in their thoughts and their minds - and they don't buy into Jodi Arias as a victim in any way, shape or form. I see no remorse in the eyes of Arias. I really believe that Arias is glad that she no longer has to worry about Travis dating or marrying another woman. These thoughts were consuming her, she became obsessive and when she moved back to Yreka, she lost the ability to keep close tabs on Travis. The defense has made a big deal out of Arias moving back to Yreka, claiming that it proves she was getting on with her life without Travis Alexander. I think Jodi Arias moved back to Yreka because she HAD to. She could no longer afford to live in Mesa, she wasn't making it there professionally or financially - she had to move in with her grandparents, and in that little room that was shown in the robbery crime scene photos was a stark contrast to the home she had become attached to where Travis lived. Her life was changing alright. I can picture her sitting on that little twin or full sized bed, thinking about how many times she's been wronged by Travis Alexander - he was excited about the direction his life was going in, he had so much to look forward to. 

And Jodi, what did she have to look forward to? She was 28 years old, and back in Yreka living with her grandparents and financially strapped. She failed in Arizona, she failed in having a meaningful and real relationship with Travis - all that remained between her and Travis was their sexual relationship. That was the one weapon she had in her arsenal that he wasn't getting with the other women in his life. And she used that weapon to lure him to his own death.  I can see it plain as day. They can put 10 more expert witnesses up on the stand to testify about Arias suffering from personality disorders, it doesn't matter. She knew what she was doing when she was killing him. She knew what she did after she killed him. She tried to cover up her involvement, she lied and ultimately she got caught. That is the only source of her remorse. Have a great weekend!!

4 comments:

  1. Another great article, My Forte. No knife in Travis' house was sharp enough to have delivered the ear to ear slicing. It was a very sharp knife - equivalent to what a surgical knife would accomplish. She brought the knife, IMO. Just hopeful that Juan will introduce in rebuttal, the 2 knives & the 9mm gun, which the jury already knows of; that were found in her getaway car at the time that she was arrested.

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  2. https://twitter.com/stark3923/status/314920387483930624/photo/1

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  3. My Forte, I love LOVE this blog entry. Thank you! I had a post written out and lost it. On my iPad. I need to remember not to write posts on this iPad!

    The gist of what I said was the jury asked what else Samuels had diagnosed Arias with. He mentioned a personality disorder. Hmmmmm, like maybe sociopathy? That would go a long way to explaining why she killed Travis and her actions after than PTSD does. PTSD seems to be all the defense has and it is weak. I hope Martinez asks what PD Arias was diagnosed with....that could open a nice can of worms.

    Sue

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  4. Unknown - During rebuttal Juan's expert PhD psychologist may just get into what testing she did and whether JA scored high as a psychopath, anti social personality disorder as you mention. Yes, that would be great.

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