Arizona Appeals Court Upholds Jodi Arias’ Murder Conviction
The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld Jodi Arias’ first-degree murder conviction and life prison sentence in the 2008 killing of her former boyfriend.
The nationally known murder will stay behind bars, despite the prosecutor’s “egregious” misconduct during the trial, the Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled. The court also stated that a “pattern of intentional misconduct saturated the trial” and that it was referring Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez‘s behavior to the State Bar of Arizona, where Martinez is already facing a formal ethics complaint on other matters.
Martinez was dismissed in February by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and he is appealing the dismissal. The prosecutor has faced numerous allegations of sexual harassment inside the office. He has denied all allegations.
The appeals court came to the conclusion that Arias was convicted of her guilt of the situation and Martinez’s actions. Arias’ lawyers had argued that a prosecutor’s misconduct and a judge’s failure to control news coverage during the case deprived her of the right to a fair trial.
“Arias was convicted based upon the overwhelming evidence of her guilt, not as a result of prosecutorial misconduct,” Judge Jennifer Campbell wrote in the opinion.
The panel condemned Martinez’s “argumentative phrasing of questions” to defense witnesses, adding that his “aggressive tone and combative, bullying behavior” were recurring issues in the trial and Arias’ attorneys moved for a mistrial six times.
“We strongly disapprove of his actions, we are compelled to follow the well-established principle that we do not ‘reverse convictions merely to punish a prosecutor’s misdeeds.'”
Arias was convicted of killing ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander at his home in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. Prosecutors have said Arias violently attacked Alexander in a jealous rage after he wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.
Arias has acknowledged killing Alexander but claimed she acted in self-defense after he attacked her. He was stabbed nearly 30 times, had his throat slit and was shot in the head.