Jodi Arias’ case: Appeals court to hear prosecutor misconduct claims

Jodi Arias’ case: Appeals court to hear prosecutor misconduct claims

Replay Video
UP NEXT

Jodi Arias may get another chance to plead her case.

Loading...

Load Error

The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed to consider how numerous allegations of misconduct against Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez could overturn Arias’ conviction. 

Arias was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 for murdering Travis Alexander in his Mesa home in 2008. The trial, full of tales of sex and violence, made headlines nationwide.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office did not initially provide comment when contacted by The Arizona Republic. 

Separate from the Arias criminal case, Martinez faces a series of ethics complaints by the State Bar of Arizona and Arias’ lawyers for behavior in multiple criminal cases.

Among the ethics allegations that stem from the Arias trial: He provided information to a blogger covering the Arias trial, provided false testimony during an investigation and made sexual remarks to a Maricopa County Superior Court employee. 

The Arizona Supreme Court’s disciplinary panel will determine whether Martinez violated professional conduct rules. If the panel finds Martinez in violation, it will decide sanctions. 

Background: Arias defense attorney says she received death threats

Jodi Arias case: Victim’s family says, ‘There is no justice.’

Karen Clark, Arias’ attorney in the ethics case, said the disciplinary case and the criminal case seem to be converging on the same issue – whether Martinez violated the rules and if he should be held accountable for it.

“It appears that the court of appeals has focused on the issue of prosecutorial misconduct by Juan Martinez,” she said Thursday. “It’s appropriate … I’m encouraged that the court is focusing on his misconduct because the record supports it.”

Martinez was transferred out of the capital litigation bureau to the auto theft division of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to have more time to focus on the ethics complaints.

The Court of Appeals order in the Arias case stated that it will look at a series of issues concerning prosecutorial misconduct, including:

  • Is Arias is entitled to a new trial if there was intentional prosecutorial misconduct, and would double jeopardy play a role? 
  • What factors are relevant in determining whether Arias was denied a fair trial based on prosecutorial misconduct? Does publicity around the trial affect the decision? 
  • Was she deprived of the ability to present her defense to the jury? 
  • If there was prosecutorial misconduct, did it contribute to her guilty verdict?
  • Should the publicity outside the courtroom be considered when deciding if the atmosphere of the trial was “circus-like”? Can publicity outside the courtroom grant a reversal? 

The court has not scheduled a date for the oral arguments.

Follow Lauren Castle on Twitter: @Lauren_Castle.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Jodi Arias’ case: Appeals court to hear prosecutor misconduct claims

Published at Fri, 04 Oct 2019 14:03:00 +0000

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *