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Jodi’s Appeals – Latest News & Updates

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Here’s where we are right now with regards to Jodi’s Appeals.

Many thanks to Alan for this informative post.

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At SJ’s invitation, here is a slightly expanded version of my earlier post about Jodi’s appellate process.  I welcome any corrections if I am wrong.

First, as Justus noted, appeals are almost always about law – whether the defendant did or did not get a fair trial – not about the facts showing guilt or innocence.  Those would only get reexamined in a new trial.

Second, the main aim of Jodi’s appeals is to overturn her conviction, not to reduce her sentence.  According to a Michael Kiefer article last year in the Arizona Republic — (click here to read the full article at AZCentral.com) — in 2013-15 Arizona did not even have a life-with-parole sentence option for first-degree murder, though many lawyers and judges believed that it did. Since then, the Arizona Revised Statutes seem to have changed, but I’ve been unable to determine whether and how the changes might allow Jodi to request a sentence reduction to life with possible parole.  At any rate, the primary goal is to nullify Jodi’s conviction.

Parole possible for some Arizona murderers because of flawed sentences - Michael Kiefer AZ Republic

There are six courts that could overturn Jodi’s conviction. First, after at least two more briefs are filed, the Arizona Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments later this year and eventually rule. If that fails, the next step is a Post-Conviction Relief petition, which goes back to the trial court.  Some or all of the issues in the PCR petition will be different from those raised in the CoA appeal brief.  For example, that is the venue for raising claims against Nurmi of ineffective assistance of counsel.  Both the CoA appeal and the PCR are handled by Jodi’s state-paid lawyers.

After PCR, Jodi would need to hire a private appellate lawyer to take her through the last four possible steps.  First is the Arizona Supreme Court.  Then, if she can persuade the federal district court to take her case, there are three levels of federal courts:  the district court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court. She is lucky in that the 9th Circuit is notoriously liberal, and a few years back, a panel of it wrote a scathing opinion throwing out another Maricopa County murder conviction (Debra Milke’s).

There may also be extra steps in this process if any of the four appellate courts uses a three-judge panel to make a decision, since such a decision may then be appealed to the full court.

To hire a private appellate lawyer, the working assumption has been that Jodi needs about $250,000 as a retainer. However, I’m not convinced the full $250K will be required. Her appellate trust currently has about $104,000.

Finally, if any of these six courts throws out her conviction, Maricopa County will have the option to retry her. My bet would be that at that point it would instead accept a plea bargain with a reduced sentence, allowing her eventual freedom.  But you never know; they could choose to retry her, at a cost of many more millions if she were by then indigent again.

One last point:  in two weeks or so, we should be able to read the state’s reply to Jodi’s initial appeal brief.  I will be very interested to see how the state’s lawyer tries to evade the second argument in that brief:  that Martinez, over the repeated objections of the defense before and during trial, built his case for premeditation mainly on hearsay evidence.  Since the hearsay evidence was Jodi’s own grandparents’ statements to Yreka police about the burglary, this may not motivate an appellate judge to want to throw out the conviction.  But it seems to offer an ironclad hook to hang a reversal on, in case such a judge is motivated by something else, such as the first and sixth arguments (prejudicial publicity and prosecutorial misconduct).  We’ll soon see what the state has to say!

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UPDATE: The JAA Appellate Fund total currently stands at $104,938.70 — so let’s be sure to keep the momentum rolling so the fund total can push on towards the ultimate target of $250,000. That in turn will help towards covering all the legal fees associated with appealing Jodi’s wrongful conviction.

All donations via Justice4Jodi.com go directly to the fund. It is also the ONLY website authorized to collect donations.

In addition, please DO NOT, under any circumstances, donate through any other website or Facebook page/group claiming to be “official” and/or acting with Jodi’s approval or authorization. The same applies to any “Jodi Membership Clubs”, groups or fake Trust funds that have been set up. These sites are bogus – they continue to steal money from Jodi’s future – and they should be actively avoided. If you are aware of any such sites, please help Jodi by clicking here and reporting them.

And remember… each day that passes takes us one day closer to Jodi’s release date…

we are team jodi - and we will be victorious

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Leave your thoughts & comments below.

SJ
Team Jodi #WINNING <<<

Click the banner below to read Jade’s post – “Justice Denied: Why The Jurors Got It Wrong & How The Facts Decimate The State’s Case Against Jodi Arias.”:

Read - Justice Denied - Why The Jurors Got It Wrong & How The Facts Decimate The State's Case Against Jodi Arias

23 Comments

  1. I have always been curious what Jodi’s grandparents actually stated to the Yreka police after the burglary. It seems that a large part of the public still believes that Jodi committed this burglary and stole the .25 cal handgun which had different bullets than the .25 cal gun that Travis had in the house and the one that Jodi used against him. Would Jodi’s grandparents statements as well as the fact that Jodi was never considered a suspect in this burglary be able to counter all of the noise that she arrived in Mesa with any weapons? it does seem that their statements and the Yreka detectives decision to not charge her would keep Jodi from having to try to figure out how to obtain the date-stamped pictures of her and her sister at the Buddhist temple in far northern CA near Oregon at the time of the burglary.
    I believe that if it is firmly established that both the knife and the gun were not brought but were “weapons of opportunity” and already in the house.

  2. Am I the only person that thinks that this statement is incredibly odd for legal professionals in a particular state?

    in 2013-15 Arizona did not even have a life-with-parole sentence option for first-degree murder, though many lawyers and judges believed that it did.

  3. http://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/aacc/appella/1CA/CR/CR150302.PDF

    As the last entries in the case-history list show, on Tuesday the state filed its answer to Jodi’s lawyers’ opening brief filed July 3. As soon as it’s available online, I’m sure SJ will post it here.

    The state has also moved to strike practically all of the massive documentation in Jodi’s opening brief (Appendices 3-8 and 11-29). On what grounds, I have no idea. A lot of these appendices are just collections of quotations from the trial record.

    Jodi’s lawyers now have a certain amount of time to write a reply — I’m not sure how much.

  4. “While the prosecutor unsurprisingly made some mistakes during Arias’s 69-day trial, those errors did not prejudice the jury in light of the court’s curative actions and the overwhelming evidence of Arias’s guilt,” wrote Terry Crist, an assistant attorney general.”

    WTF, like really? Poor little man syndrome bully “Breast Man” Martinez couldn’t be concentrated and focussed enough, and follow the law because the trial was too long, like 69!!! days?
    I seem also totally missed out the “court’s curative actions” – did anyone notice them by any chance?

    And about the evidence – there is no evidence that goes beyond reasonable doubt, if Jodi is guilty or not.

  5. I found this statement to be a little odd…

    “Mike Black, a Phoenix defense attorney who isn’t involved in the Arias case, said he believes Arias’ conviction will be upheld. Overturning a case on a publicity argument is “an extraordinarily high bar,”

    I had thought that most of Jodi’s appeal was based on fundamental issues with Martinez’s courtroom and outside the courtroom behavior and not just with the excessive publicity. It still appears like Arizona cannot get past Jodi’s post-arrest behavior and her extensive pretrial statements of her innocence while not mentioning the private details of their relationship when the prevailing belief is a defendant should “remain silent” and consult with an attorney. Jodi’s panic in the immediate aftermath obviously has been weighted very heavily. Juries don’t want to hear that a person didn’t call 911 and ask for an ambulance and stay on the scene and allow officers to arrest them and read them their rights etc.
    Hopefully, Jodi’s attorneys have a strong response to this!

    • Yeah, stupid comment. As if he just read the headline of the appeal brief lol.

      They aim to strike almost everything regarding the inappropriate and dishonest hood rat behaviour from our lil boy “Breast Man” Martinez though.
      I am pretty curious on what grounds and it will be actually granted – if yes, you can tell how corrupt this so-called justice system is.

  6. AZ has turned s blind eye throughout this abusive corrupt mess. The jury should have been sequestered. They were definitely swayed by the media and the family and friends of TA. Remember how they lined the hallway where the jury was deliberating. Remember how they wore blue during the sentencing to show support for the Alexanders. They were allowed to go home and watch Nancy Grace nightly. The judge was an idiot and shouldn’t be allowed to even serve in a traffic court. Everything about the trial was corrupt and made into a media circus. Martinez is a corrupt tiny little frog. What a wee little man he is! Still praying for Divine Intervention!

  7. Michael Kiefer, longtime reporter on courts and crime for the Arizona Republic, has now retired from the newspaper. Though not a Jodi supporter, he was the only local or national reporter to treat her case objectively and fairly. After her trials ended, he continued to write articles about her civil legal actions, most recently a long piece summarizing the various bar complaints against Martinez. And some years back, he published a terrific multi-part series about prosecutorial misconduct, with one part devoted entirely to Martinez. In general, he has been a crusader for justice, due process, and prisoners’ rights. His presence at the newspaper will be sorely missed.

    • I thought the guy from the local Fox 10 who made the interview after the verdict for instance was very fair too. This other guy from ABC I think, Ryan Owen or something?, who made one of the other jailhouse interviews was as pathetic and unprofessional as the Fox 10 supporter was professional and fair though.

      • If you mean by the Fox10 guy Troy Hayden, he later broke a promise to Jodi, I think about a recording of her singing. He isn’t a straight shooter like Kiefer. All the local TV people acted like parasites, though perhaps not as much so as HLN.

  8. Hey Alan,

    Michael Kiefer’s voice will definitely be missed at the AZ Republic. He shed a light on some major injustice and incredible bias against Jodi as well as the AZ court system. I would bet the haters consider him a supporter due to his objectivity and fairness. Please wish him the best in his retirement!
    I believe Frank is referring to Troy Hayden, the local AM Fox anchor. I remember the raw interview where Jodi acknowledges receiving his postcard while in Estrella jail.
    I would assume the bar ruling is already been released???

    • Yep, this guy. I have linked the interview I was talking about above. Jodi was so fragile and obviously shocked after the verdict, yet she behaved very brave in this interview. And Hayden was very fair and professional in this interview at least.

  9. I am hoping that Jodi’s desperate situation in Perryville will get improved by the appeal process.

    But might for the worst case the result even be that she will get DP after a retrial?

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