Arias defense reaches to court of public opinion - New York News

Arias defense reaches to court of public opinion

Posted: Updated:

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias' attorneys have tried motions for mistrials, allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, appeals to higher courts, even efforts to quit the case entirely.

Now, after losing every time inside the courtroom, this week they took their case to the court of public opinion as prosecutors consider whether to continue to pursue the death penalty.

"It is solely for them to determine if continuing to pursue a death sentence upon Ms. Arias, who is already facing a mandatory life sentence, is a good and proper use of taxpayer resources," defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott wrote in a statement provided only to a valley newspaper.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, declined to comment Wednesday on the defense lawyers' statement, and said no decision had yet been made on how to proceed.

However, San Francisco-area criminal defense lawyer Michael Cardoza said the move by Arias' attorneys to reach out to the public, specifically through Arizona' largest newspaper, was strategic and canny.

"They're definitely doing the right thing by pandering to the public and calling a new trial a waste of resources," Cardoza said. "They're hoping someone will lean on the prosecutor's office. And unfortunately today, many DA's (district attorneys) are very much affected by public opinion."

Nurmi and Willmott did not return telephone messages from The Associated Press.

A jury convicted Arias on May 8 of first-degree murder in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her lover, Travis Alexander, in his suburban Phoenix home. About two weeks later, the same jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence the former waitress to life in prison or death.

While her murder conviction stands, prosecutors now must decide whether to try one more time for the ultimate punishment or simply take death off the table. Removing the death penalty option would leave a judge to determine whether to sentence Arias to spend her entire life behind bars, or give her life with the possibility of release after 25 years.

Under Arizona law, if prosecutors insist on death, a new panel must be seated to hear arguments and testimony before deliberating once again on a sentence. That process could take several months and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Last week, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he is confident an impartial jury can be seated for a second penalty phase, despite the widespread media attention of the salacious case.

However, Montgomery also indicated he is open to input from defense lawyers and the victim's family about possibly scrapping a new trial in favor of a life sentence, noting he had an "ethical obligation" to consider a potential deal.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 2 upper level GWB east lanes closed for repairs

    2 upper level GWB east lanes closed for repairs

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:19 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:19:59 GMT
    Workers have closed two upper level eastbound lanes on the George Washington Bridge for emergency repairs. The closures affect New York City bound motorists. Officials expect the lanes will remain closed until 3 p.m. Tuesday. Motorists heading into New York City should use the lower level or consider alternate Hudson River crossings.
    Workers have closed two upper level eastbound lanes on the George Washington Bridge for emergency repairs. The closures affect New York City bound motorists. Officials expect the lanes will remain closed until 3 p.m. Tuesday. Motorists heading into New York City should use the lower level or consider alternate Hudson River crossings.
  • FAA bans all flights to Tel Aviv airport

    FAA bans all flights to Tel Aviv airport

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:59:29 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. carriers from flying to Israel's main airport for 24 hours. The FAA made the announcement at about 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday. This comes after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice following a rocket landing near the Ben-Gurion Airport earlier in the day.
  • White flags raised at Brooklyn Bridge

    White flags raised at Brooklyn Bridge

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 16:52:11 GMT
    Police responded to the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday for a major security breach at one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City. Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the span connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. It is not clear who raised the flags that had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes or why.  The American flags that are normally up at the bridge were removed.
    Police responded to the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday for a major security breach at one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City. Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the span connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. It is not clear who raised the flags that had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes or why.  The American flags that are normally up at the bridge were removed.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices