It's day 53 of the Jodi Arias murder trial, for anybody out there who is keeping count - week #17. Should it come as a surprise to anyone that it's now 11:38AM PST and we are still seeing the Great Seal of The State of Arizona on the screen? Unfortunately we have almost come to expect this from the Jodi Arias trial.
The defense's request to allow the testimony of a surrebuttal witness has been bothering me. I'm not an attorney, nor do I have a legal background but it would seem to even a layperson that the basic rules of discovery around expert witness testimony would dictate that Arias' attorneys should not have been surprised by the borderline personality disorder diagnosis of the prosecution's expert witness, Dr. Janeen DeMarte. If this is the case, why is Judge Stephens even entertaining the thought of allowing in a third expert for the defense?
The development of Dr. Robert Geffner as a potential third expert witness seems like sour grapes on the surface. Could the defense team have a bad case of buyer's remorse with Dr. Richard Samuels and Alyce LaViolette's testimony and opinions - perhaps they didn't get the bang for the buck they believed they would? I can't help but feel that if this trial were being conducted in a state where jury questions were not part of the process, we wouldn't be talking about Dr. Geffner or surrebuttal witnesses at all. Didn't the defense depose Dr. DeMarte before this trial even began? I did a little digging on the topic of written discovery of expert witness opinions and found the following:
Rule 26(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the opposing party must disclose the identity of any expert witness. The mandatory disclosure must include the following, among other things:
- A complete statement of all opinions and conclusions to be expressed by the expert witness
- The basis and reason for each opinion
- The data or other information used by the expert in formulating the opinions
- The exhibits to be used as a summary in support of the opinions
- The qualifications of the witness
- A list of any cases over the last four years in which the expert has testified or been deposed
- A list of any publications authored by the expert over the last 10 years
What am I missing? Where is the new evidence Dr. DeMarte brought in? If you happen to know more about why they have filed this motion, please fill us all in. Again, I'd love to know when how and why Dr. Geffner became involved to begin with - given DeMarte just left the stand a few days ago. Who will we see taking the witness stand today when court finally resumes? There has been some discussion around Arias' bank account activity around the time of her road trip to Mesa/Utah. Did she have more cash on hand than she claims she did?
I've always wondered why Arias inquired about the check she sent to Travis shortly before his murder - early on in the investigation, she asked Detective Flores if he knew when (or if) that check would be deposited. Could it be that she never expected it to be cashed or deposited? Another tidbit to think about. I know if somebody I loved had been killed, or even died of natural causes, the last thing on my mind would be an outstanding check! There has also been talk about Arias stopping for an impromptu nail appointment, and why the appointment reportedly took more than 2 hours. I'm not sure who they will call to testify today, but it seems that Juan Martinez never calls an unnecessary witness. He always keeps the bigger picture in mind so I have to believe there's a good reason for whoever he calls in.
Will Judge Stephens allow the defense to call in another witness? If the state offered up brand new evidence via Dr. DeMarte that's one thing, but anything short of that would be unfair to the prosecution who has played by the rules and presented a fairly straightforward case. You don't get a "do-over" just because you feel you've failed to convince the jurors - even in a death penalty case! What will happen today? I noticed that for the most part during yesterday's testimony, Arias appeared unaware or uninterested in the proceedings until the questions to Travis Alexander's ex girlfriend Deanna Reid turned to marriage and sex. At one point she looked up and her eyes got wide, I thought I caught her smiling when Reid testified that she broke off her relationship with Travis because he wasn't ready for marriage and she was.
I believe court resumes today at 1:30PM (PST). Enjoy your day!