This is not anything new being reported by kpopstarz.com, but they confirmed yesterday that attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott are pushing hard to get the new jury sequestered for Jodi Arias' penalty phase re trial. The lawyers are asking Judge Stephens to shield the jury from the intense publicity surrounding the first trial. The motion filed by Nurmi cites thousands of television news shows and news articles about Jodi Arias throughout the trial. Did Nurmi cite Jodi's self-initiated interviews, including the one that famously was given minutes after her guilty verdict? Hmmmm.....
The motion also makes mention of the 3.1 viewers who tuned in to Lifetime's "Dirty Little Secret: The Jodi Arias Story. Attorneys for Arias fear the second trial will be just as sensational and interfere with her ability to get a fair trial. If I were Judge Stephens, I would just feel a need to call Nurmi and Willmott on their media allegations and question the effect Arias' own actions have had on her ability to get a fair trial. She seemed to bask in the limelight, oblivous to the fact that so many people believe that she perjured herself on the witness stand, completely fabricated the claims that Travis Alexander was a pedophile and exaggerated greatly or lied altogether about the abuse.
If you are going to point fingers at the media, I really feel strongly that Arias played a big role in making sure the media remained interested in her story! Arias' attorney wrote "This integrity is in the most danger of being compromised when the process is contaminated by outside influences. Given what took place during the last trial and the propensity for history to repeat itself, it is certainly beyond legitimate dispute that the threat to the integrity of the retrial is severe". Also at issue is where the retrial will be held. Attorneys for Arias have filed a motion for a change of venue, in addition to a motion to compel the seated jurors to disclose Twitter account information. Who is going to be charged with monitoring juror Twitter accounts? While they are at it, Ms. Arias has a little disclosing to do as well.....
With the next status hearing approaching next week, we should be hearing the prosecution's response to these motions. How long will Judge Stephens take to rule on the remaining issues? How long will it take before a new jury is seated? There seems to be a lot of work remaining before this thing gets going again. There's the matter of jury questionnaires, individual voir dire? I'm sure they will battle tooth and nail over every last detail - they may actually get their January 2014 start date, as they originally requested. Stall, stall, file a motion - stall, have a hearing where nothing is resolved and set a new date for a status hearing. This is our justice system? Please tell me this will end at some point. The jury decided Arias killed Alexander, it was premeditated and committed in a cruel, heinous and depraved manner. Yet they were split on a life sentence or death.
Yet in the same county a former death row inmate walked free on $350,000 bond recently - after being found guilty and sentenced to death for her alleged role in the execution style shooting death of her young son. Of course, I'm speaking of Debra Milke - one of 3 women who were on Arizona's death row. Milke's conviction was thrown out after she was imprisoned for nearly 25 years. Milke has always denied having anything to do with the murder of her son, yet she was convicted in part due to testimony from Detective Armando Saldate. Saldate had a less than stellar conduct record and says Milke confessed to him. There was no audio or video recording of the interrogation or the confession - rather, the jury had to rely on the word of a law enforcement official who they more than likely believed. His testimony undoubtedly held a lot of weight with the jury that convicted Milke. Two other men were found guilty of the actual shooting of the child, however the state's theory was that Milke had her son killed to collect on a $5,000 insurance policy, and because the child was an inconvenience to her.
Sounds like a very circumstantial case here,yet she was convicted and sentenced to death for her alleged role. It goes to show how different the outcomes can be when it comes to murder trials.
Regardless of whether you believe Milke was involved in this tragic murder, it appears she did not get a fair trial. The jurors were not given the benefit of knowing the officer's questionable conduct record. This is something that may have given them pause to consider whether the alleged confession ever happened, or if this was an over zealous detective who railroaded Milke onto death row. Milke has asked that Saldate's testimony be disallowed at her retrial, and she still professes her innocence and says she never confessed to Saldate or anybody else. Her next court date is slated for September 23rd.