Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Go Ask Alyce" - LaViolette's Cross Examination Continues

My apologies, I accidentally inserted the pic of the Sony camera from a previous post - can't seem to remove it  now!)Juan Martinez continues to drill away at defense expert Alyce LaViolette who testified that she believed Arias was indeed in an abusive relationship. Martinez questioned LaViolette on her methods for drawing such a conclusion, calling her findings "subjective" - and noting that another person evaluating the same case could come to a different conclusion.

When I heard LaViolette was testifying and I looked at her background, I was struck that a woman with her years of experience in this field would put forth an opinion based on journal entries, text messages, IM's and 44 hours of interviewing of the Jodi Arias. If I were Juan Martinez, I'd ask her "would it be important for you to know that this defendant lied to her other expert while he was testing her for PTSD?"


LaViolette has been combative and in my opinion, unprofessional on the stand during cross. She doesn't like to be limited to yes or no answers, and the judge has allowed her to argue unnecessarily with the prosecutor. She may not like the questions, but Martinez has a right to ask. For $300 bucks an hour, she should just answer to the best of her ability. I don't have anything against LaViolette, she is entitled to her opinion just like everybody else but has she been truly fair in her evaluation? Was she privy to all of the information available in this case?

For example, Juan Martinez asked her if it raised any red flags that Arias had told two similar stories relating to two different boyfriends - one in California (Matt McCartney) and Travis Alexander. In both scenarios, Arias describes being approached by another female while she was working in restaurants and being told her boyfriends had been or were being unfaithful. What are the odds of this happening to one person TWICE?? LaViolette admitted to not knowing about the California incident. Point proven, Mr. Martinez.


Another point Martinez made is that LaViolette herself seems to have chosen which written statements she read that she believed - and she chose NOT TO believe Travis Alexander's IM to another woman that he was afraid of Jodi Arias because of her stalking behavior. Why? She said she made her decision based on the totality of everything she reviewed, still - it seems to be biased. Maybe if she actually had the chance to spend 44 hours with Travis Alexander, and hear some of what HE went through with the defendant, her opinion may have been much different.


There was also testimony yesterday that Alyce LaViolette apologized to Jodi Arias shortly after meeting her in jail. When asked why she did this, she stated it was to build rapport, and she felt having read Arias's private journals it would be a good way to build trust. LaViolette admitted this isn't standard practice with her, but this is an unusual case. She also admitted to giving Arias 4 books. Wonder what those were about? Could they have given Arias some symptoms or behaviors to mirror for her day(s) or should we say her months in court? I'd love to see those book titles.


I'm still at a loss as to why some of Arias's testimony about Travis Alexander's character has been allowed in. I found this piece on "admissible evidence" from Miranda Rights.org:


In a criminal case, evidence is important to both the prosecution and defense. When evidence is entered before the judge or jury, it is important that it is relevant, reliable and not prejudiced. If the evidence meets all of these requirements, it is referred to as admissible evidence.


In order for evidence to be considered relevant, it must prove or disprove a point being made by either party. However, if the evidence causes the judge or jury to look unfavorably at the party it is used against for a reason unrelated to the case, the judge may find that it is not admissible.


For evidence to be considered reliable, the party entering the evidence must be able to prove that the source of the evidence is itself reliable.  For example, if witness testimony is presented as evidence, the side that introduces the evidence must show that the witness is credible and has knowledge about the subject matter that he or she is testifying about.


Has Jodi Arias's information been reliable? The testimony Arias has provided about Travis choking, hitting and kicking her is unsubstantiated - and it may cause the jury to look unfavorably at him. So why allow it in while prohibiting other evidence deemed too prejudicial against Arias? I guess I don't understand the law, but it seems to me the defendant in this case has more rights than the victim. The defense doesn't even want Travis to be referred to as "a victim", that's how flawed this system is.


What will today bring? Will Alyce be able to keep her answers under a paragraph or will the judge have to get a buzzer to keep her on point? I'd like to see a "Gong Show" type contraption in place where Judge Stephens hits it when Ms. LaViolette begins to add qualifiers to her yes or no answers.


6 comments:

  1. I've been thinking along the same lines, that the defendant is so well protected--thus far--from prejudicial evidence, whereas Travis is not.
    I would also love to know what books LaViolette gave Jodi. We found out the title of the book Samuels gave her. Don't forget the magazine subscription: "Psychology Today" maybe?
    Do we yet know what tangible evidence Martinez will present for the prosecution? Will he call her parents to the stand,do you think? I dread the redirect of LaViolette; it seems endless before the other side gets to present. . .

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    1. Anonymous (4/9/13 at 9:59PM),
      Wouldn't it be so telling to know what books Ms. LaViolette gave Arias? I'm sure she gave her the book she wrote, "It Could Happen To Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay". This was probably a good template for Arias to study to nail down how her behaviors should appear to the jury, what "incidents" she could embellish and how to appear like a victim. I'm hoping that Juan Martinez has that list - he seems to have ALV's notes from her interviews w/Arias so hopefully he has that info and is just waiting for the right time to use it! I don't know that Mr. or Mrs. Arias will be called to testify. I thought that witnesses were not supposed to be in the courtroom hearing other people's testimony prior to giving their own testimony but I could be wrong. I'm sure Mom and Dad will be called during mitigation phase of the trial, if Arias is in fact convicted. The fact that Alyce LaViolette did not seek out input from this defendant's own parents is highly suspect, and it makes me question her integrity and professionalism. She probably feared the information they would give her would be conflicting with her "battered/abused" woman conclusions! Thanks for posting.

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  2. I worry that Martinez questioning Laviolette so long gives her more credibility. I think he could have asked about five questions and ended it and made her seem like the bias, old school, semi professional that she is.
    She is a fee for service witness, who should never have committed herself to a case like this. She is taking away from the integrity of the very cause she claims to support. Domestic Violence.
    Furthermore, so much of the evidence she is looking at relates to emails, IM's and Texts. This woman had repeatedly admitted she does not use those methods or understand them. Someone unfamiliar with their use cannot possibly understand the context in which they are used. Texting and IM and even email have taken on a language of themselves. I doubt she can effectively evaluate the nuances of those interactions when she cannot even differentiate the between the types of communication.

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  3. Frank Lee SpeakingApril 11, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    People are found not guilty in this country more times that people realize, our prisons also have a lot of innocent people wrongfully convicted. Our judicial system is a joke .

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  4. LaViolette appears to have twenty-nine years of spouting that only only women are victims, excuse me survivors of abuse and men are the abusers.

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