Sunday, July 6, 2014

Jodi Arias: Questions 6-20 Rebuttal

This blog is super long! Probably not something you want to read on your phone!

Continuing on with the rebuttal! Remember my initial responses come from the perspective of conjecture, I was asked for my opinion about Jodi's mindset. Of course, not being Jodi, I can only base my responses on a reasonable interpretation based on logic, common sense and the facts as we know them. Therefore my responses are subject to scrutiny and differing opinions.

6. Why does she fill the cans in Salt Lake City if their purpose was to hide her trip into Arizona? Was she also hiding her trip home to Yreka?

Justus you ask a fair question. There is a huge discrepancy that I wonder about. I wasn't suggesting Jodi was committing another crime, as a matter of fact, I hadn't even considered it. It's a pretty big discrepancy though. As someone on JAii mentioned, it could be that after 5 years Ryan forgot what time she left. 

Alexey I may not have been clear in my reply, I was trying to convey that Jodi had killed a man the previous day or so, she knew at any time his body might be discovered, and she also may have felt that she would be questioned, or that the police were on the lookout for her. Her mind may have been racing, her imagination working overtime, and in the event she had to make a run for it, she wanted full gas cans so she wouldn't have to stop off at gas stations. 

We also have to ask ourselves where she used the gas from the earlier gas can fill up. Had to have been in Arizona--there are no receipts from Arizona and this would explain why (the re-fill up in SLC). 

Justus that's why I make the joke about Clint Eastwood, that she could use backroads if necessary and fill up off the grid so to speak. Not a perfect plan, but as Jodi as stated about the 9mm, "better to have it and not need it...."

Interesting word choice there Maria ;)

7. Why tell Ryan she’s on her way if she’s already planning a six hour trip to Mesa and then at least another 10 hour trip to Salt Lake City? What kind of alibi is that?

You're both right. It's a puzzling question, open to many scenarios. It could just be that she didn't anticipate staying with Travis as long as she did and gave an estimate as close to the time as possible. Ryan did know she was on the way, so she had to tell him something. It's interesting to me that if Ryan was the love interest, she spent far more time talking to Travis or trying to contact him, then she did actually talking to Ryan. It's also interesting that during her testimony she stated she got to Pasadena and immediately called Ryan to tell him she was turning her phone off to save the battery, but then immediately afterwards called Travis to tell him she decided to go to Mesa after all (please note if Travis had 'guilted' her into going to Mesa, it was in a previous call where she told him she couldn't, and it was after some time that she initiated the call to him. She could have just left it as is, because Travis obviously wasn't harassing her at that point.

8. Why go to the trouble of removing license plates to hide her presence at Travis’ house when it would have been infinitely easier to just drape something over it or park down the street?

True, but they didn't. The car would have been identified as strange in the driveway. It was only a few days later the police interviewed the roommates, they would have remembered a strange car. That tells me the car was parked aways from the house. If Jodi did indeed meet up with Travis at 4 in the morning, and then sleep until 1:00 pm., there would be no opportunity for the roommates to see her in Travis's room or throughout the house. And they didn't. 

9. Why didn’t she kill him upon arrival at 4 am? She’s already going to be late getting to her so-called alibi by at least five hours.


10. Why didn’t she shoot him (or quietly slit his throat) during the night when he was sleeping? Why wait until he’s fully awake with the capacity to then kill her instead?

Alexey I'm not necessarily with the prosecution on this question. I can see an argument for either the gun shot first or the gun shot last. 

As for the the possibility of slitting his throat at 4:00 in the morning while he slept: true the knife is quiet, but that's not what she has to worry about. The knife doesn't make a sound, but a man who is sleeping and awakens to someone slicing his throat is not just going to lay there and allow it. So much could go wrong with slicing his throat, or trying to slice his throat. He could scream, he could fight back, he could do a whole lot that would alert his room mates. As it was, attacking him in the later afternoon worked out quite well for her--she wasn't detected. 

As for the 13 hour "nap"---that didn't raise suspicion at all with Ryan. He knew she had been on the road for several days, so sleeping half the day away wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. In addition, she claimed she got lost, so that could take another couple of hours to realize it. Again, this was a perfect plan for Jodi -- she had a perfectly reasonable reason for being late, and the plan worked, Ryan believed her. For pretty much any other person in this case, if they had used the same excuse as Jodi, under similar circumstances, the police would had noted the lateness, but without other evidence to support the person actually traveling to Mesa and killing Travis, they would likely just chalk it up to someone taking a nap and getting lost. It was Jodi other actions that draw suspicion and give the appearance of premeditation.

11. Why have sex with him and leave her presence all over the crime scene?

No comments

12. Why have him take time-stamped photos of her and then not think to take the camera with her?

The fact is, Jodi did leave the camera, she went through the trouble of deleting the photos of her and Travis, and yet had the wherewithal to save Napoleon's pictures. No matter what she knew, or what you  thought she knew about cameras, the fact remains she did leave it behind. She did a pretty good job of cleaning up the scene. For all that was going on, a partial handprint, a DNA profile and several strands of hair were all the evidence that Jodi left behind to identify her. She was very careful and methodical about removing evidence. If we are to believe Jodi, she was so methodical about cleaning up the scene that she took the two things that would have lent credibility to her story--the two lengths of rope she claimed were in the area (which would have lent credence to why the knife was in the room) and the gun (which would have proved to be Travis's and not her grandpa's). 

Who knows what happened with the camera. I will say most people assume if a camera is put in a washing machine that it's pretty much toast. Jodi admitted that she knew that it was expensive and time consuming to retrieve deleted pictures, and may have felt that running the camera and card through the washing machine would destroy both. But I don't think she did that intentionally. I think when she was running around gathering up bloody towels and the like that it got lost in the shuffle and once she realized that it got put in the washer, she figured it was a good thing---the water would destroy the camera and card, so she didn't worry about it. 

I saw some responses on JAii regarding the timestamps. Jodi would have noticed the time stamps early in her photo shoot. As a person interested in photography, she would have turned off that preference after the first few photos--when she realized it was on. She simply didn't notice it. I have a Nikon and a Canon, I'm no pro, but on a couple of occasions I've taken bunch of photos and the time stamp didn't register with me,  until I downloaded them and then had to go back and then realized it was set to time stamp.

13. Why would she first attack a man who has martial art skills and at least 60 pounds on her using a knife if she supposedly came with a gun?

Thank you for conceding the point about the MMA stuff Justus. I don't deny that Travis was bigger and stronger than Jodi, but obviously Jodi took him down and she did it in 2 minutes. We talk about how she did and the absurdity of her doing it, but the fact is, she did it. In my opinion Jodi intended this to be a stealth attack---Travis wouldn't know what hit him. It seems it worked. Let's look at the gunshot first theory--on the stand she said something to the effect 'well, I would think if someone had a gun pointed at you, that it would stop you in your tracks. I know if it was me, it would stop me". So she admits that she thought a gun would be sufficient to control a subject. 

Pandora I never said Jodi was a specialist, that's twisting my words. I said as far as having real skills, Jodi had the benefit of training. The reason she may not have beat the living crap out of him when he was "pounding on her verbally and physically", is because maybe he never was physical with her. Even if she did, her skills might not have been sufficient to overpower a guy of Travis's size, but combined with a gun and a knife, she was a force to be reckoned with. 

If Travis was such a "hulk" (as stated on another comment) and had all that MMA practice, and the 16 1/2 biceps (don't know where you got this factoid), and was skilled at high kicks and wrestling moves, then why is he laying dead in a box in the ground? A guy with all that going on would have easily taken down a girl like Jodi. Jodi walked away with no injuries--other than a bump on the head. Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. If there's one question you guys will indulge me, then that is the question--why did Jodi walk away unscathed in an attack where she claims she was body-slammed twice, hit her head on the ground at least once, had the wind knocked out of her and Travis 'chasing her'. In addition to the 'attack' that supporters claim resulted in Jodi being in a death grip in Travis's arms, which is how he received over 80 % of his injuries to his back. Doesn't it make more sense that he was trying to get away from her while she chased him down the hall, raining stabs on him as they went?

Maria: "I am Jodi's size, I could NEVER overpower a man Travis's size." 
But could you do it if you had a gun and a knife? Jodi obviously did, there's no doubt about it. If Jodi could, then you could as well. Guns and knives are the great equalizers in any fight.  Again, don't you think a good question is 'why didn't Travis defend himself with all his 'skills' and strength? I say the element of surprise, the gun and the knife are the answers.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to dodge the question. You're right, most people would use the most powerful weapon. I'm not entirely convinced either way about gun shot first/gun shot last. I can see powerful arguments for both side. The autopsy and the fact the bullet had to have traveled through some part of his brain is one of the stumbling blocks, coupled with the trajectory being way off for how Jodi said the injury was sustained. Even if the trajectory matched up, then it makes the case worse for Jodi, in my opinion if the gun shot was first, he would have been incapacitated to some degree and she would have had the opportunity to escape, but she chose not to. He stood at the sink for at least a couple of seconds with his hands on the vanity (not attacking Jodi), she could have escaped then. She didn't. 

14. Why after supposedly stabbing him in the shower does she let him go stand at the sink?
If Travis had enough in him to go from the shower to the sink, stand there turning the faucet on and off while Jodi is supposedly stabbing him in the back, why didn’t he just turn around and smash her a good one?

You're right Maria, the vena cava wasn't nicked it was penetrated. I was going off Horn's testimony that it was an injury that wouldn't have been immediately fatal because though it penetrated, it didn't penetrate to the point of severing or completely destroying it. Horn believed he could still be alive for a couple of minutes after this injury.

The last injury was either the slashed throat or the gunshot (if we go with Horn's testimony that there was no blood in the wound track). How would it work if the stab to the heart was second (or third) from the last? In your scenario Travis has a gunshot wound to the head, he tries to defend himself with his hands, where he sustains 5 separate injuries, which mean Jodi's blow were at that time concentrated in the front of his body. We have to assume that despite the 5 blows he fended off, a few got through and resulted in the wounds on his chest and stomach. Let's say that the heart stab wasn't delivered at that time, and instead Travis had his back to her, like one would expect from someone trying to escape. He had the majority of stabs to the posterior of his body, so now we have him moving down the hall with Jodi continuing the stabbing. 

At this point, right before the stab to the heart and the slashed throat, Travis has a bullet pass through his head and into his cheek (that didn't kill him outright), and over two dozen knife wounds--why does she then deliver what would be a fatal heart stab? It is beyond logic and common sense to think he is any kind of threat to her at this point. 

But let's move on, if the heart stab was second to last, as you claim, then Travis had to have traveled the length of the hall and slid down the wall (as evidenced by the bloody 'rainbow'). He is weakened by the blood loss and the debilitating stab wounds and drops to the ground. We see a picture of Jodi standing over him while he lays supine. There is no way he is a threat to her, yet at this point you claim she drove a knife into his heart? How do you get self-defense from that?

One thing I've talked about on my blog, and many others have brought up, is at what time was Travis allowed to defend himself with deadly force? Even if everything Jodi said is correct--that she accidentally shot him, didn't he have the right to defend himself at that point? Didn't he have the right to "fucking kill you bitch"? He wouldn't know it was an accident, he would see it as a credible threat---she not only had the ways and means, but she actually pulled the trigger. She couldn't expect him not to want to defend himself. 

And if we extrapolate that further--that Travis at that moment had an equal right to defend himself, and an equal right to kill Jodi, then it's not self-defense, it's mutual combat and that's a whole other animal. 

15. How would anyone, except the one controlling the attack, have the option to stop and stand at the sink?

Maria I don't understand how he was controlling the attack. She has a gun and a knife. He is a naked man with a bullet in his head. He had the right to scream 'fucking kill you bitch" and to follow through on that statement. I don't see how he did much screaming with all the blood that would be pouring down his throat (which is the reason for him coughing it into the sink, right?). Not only that, he has a bullet lodged in the upper jaw, it seems to me it would be tough talking with a bullet in your maxillary jaw and a mouth full of blood. 

So how is he controlling it? He has no weapons, and he's standing at the sink. Don't you think he's mortified that someone he loved and cared about just shot him in the head? Don't you think he wasn't thinking clearly? He was the one that had just been shot in the head, he certainly had no control over his thinking at that moment. Don't you think he was trying to figure out a way to defend himself? At the very least, at the moment he was standing at the sink, he already knew Jodi had a gun and that she would use it, because whether accidental of not, she just did. 

Maria, please answer this for me: did Travis have any right at all to defend himself with deadly force?  If not, why not? Why did Jodi have the greater right? Don't you think that if Jodi was panicked and scared and not thinking clearly, that Travis had not only the right to think the same way, but he also had a greater panic, a great fear and a greater reason for not thinking clearly, than Jodi did?

This subject will come up again in the next question you responded to. I believe you purposefully don't consider what Travis was going through in those two minutes and how if all things were equal his had a greater right to deadly force than Jodi did. 

16. If he still had enough energy to travel down the hallway to the bedroom, why didn’t he just use that energy to stop all the stabbing she was supposedly doing?


17. Why did Travis have only four defensive wounds on his hands, only one on his dominant hand, and none on his lower arms if he was supposedly defending himself against a knife attack for more than a minute and perhaps up to two minutes?

I've combined these questions because they talk about the same thing. I'm going to copy and paste my original responses, because the one comment I captured the other day, is one that has really bothered me for the last couple of days. Here's my responses:

16. If he still had enough energy to travel down the hallway to the bedroom, why didn’t he just use that energy to stop all the stabbing she was supposedly doing?
Another oddly phrased question. What do you mean "all the stabbing she was supposedly doing?" She wasn't supposedly stabbing him, she was actually stabbing him. There is no doubt that she was stabbing him. No doubt whatsoever. Travis was terrified man--he was trying to escape as Jodi rained down stabs on him. He couldn't fight her off,  the tendons of one thumb was severed at the base, which mean he had no ability to use thiat hand. He was losing blood and likely had very little control over his arms--they were likely flopping at his sides with no real muscle control due to the stabs in the back, chest, shoulders and necks. Damaging all those muscle like she did, meant he lost control of his arms. He just wanted to get out of there, he was running for his life, though one could hardly call it running.

17. Why did Travis have only four defensive wounds on his hands, only one on his dominant hand, and none on his lower arms if he was supposedly defending himself against a knife attack for more than a minute and perhaps up to two minutes?
She over powered him and rendered his hands and arms useless with all the other injuries she rained down upon him. I notice that many supporters seem to think that all those stab wounds had  zero physical affect on Travis. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Slicing through tendons and muscles in the upper body has a profound effect on the hands and arms. Many of the muscle that support the biceps, for example are in the chest. If you sustain a chest wound over that muscle, it will weaken the bicep. With the bicep weakened or disabled, muscles in the forearm won't work. Look again at those autopsy wounds and you'll plainly see how disabling those injuries were. He likely couldn't raise his arms after a few stabs, let alone hit or punched her. 

This is the response on JAii that troubles me:

Maria I'm going to call you out on this. First of all, you read the whole thing. There's no reason to stop at 'she over powered him" unless you don't want to acknowledge the rest of what I wrote. First, do you disagree that she over-powered him? That's what it sounds like, please correct me if I'm wrong. If she didn't overpower him, why did she walk away unscathed, and he's buried in the ground for the last 6 years? 

C'mon Maria, you're not dumb, and you know I'm not dumb. You read the whole thing and you don't have a good response to what she did to that man. Read it Maria. Please. Maybe you want to remain in denial about the effect on Travis, but the truth is Travis suffered, he suffered horribly. He was terrified, he was panicked, he was hurt, Maria. He hurt bad. I can't imagine that man not crying like a little boy, begging Jodi to spare him. No matter what the circumstances of how they got to that point, if Travis attacked her first or not, he was begging for her to stop. Crying, screaming in pain, maybe even in his distress calling for his mom or grandma. Read those words Maria and tell me that there is no way he could have been doing that.

Supporters like to tell themselves that "adrenaline would have spared him the pain". No Maria, it wouldn't. Maybe for a moment or two, but the reason human beings have evolved pain receptors is to warn us of danger. Pain tells us 'get away or defend yourself from the danger". Supporters drag out the few instances where a person not only survived a devastating head injury (Phineas Gage, the guy with the metal bar through his head is often trotted out as an example) but as unaware they had been injured that badly. Travis was not a super man, nor was he a crazy man. His only response to a gun shot to the head and all that stabbing was to try to defend himself, and when he realized he was over-powered, his response was to try to flee down the hall, with her stabbing him the whole way. 

Do you think the wounds all over his chest, back, shoulders and neck didn't have an affect on his muscle control? Don't you think he was weakened by those blows? What about the wounds that impacted the ribs and spine? Have you every had a needle inserted next to your spine? It's EXCRUCIATING. The spine is full of nerve endings and even a tiny needle will send you into excruciating pain, can you imagine what a knife would do? I have had spinal shots, and almost passed out from the pain. One session had to be rescheduled because I was in so much pain my entire body was shaking so badly it was impossible for the doctor to continue. And I have a pretty high pain threshold. Now throw in some blood loss and the dizziness and nausea that comes with that, and Travis was completely incapacitated and over powered. 

How anyone can think he had the upper hand, and yet she had not a mark on her is confusing to me.  How anyone can think she didn't overpower him, when the fact he is dead and she isn't, is just as confusing. 

Maria I'm not trying to change your mind, but if you can't even acknowledge that Travis was in terror and pain, and just by virtue of the circumstances his terror and pain was far greater than Jodi's, well then I don't think you're being honest with yourself.  You don't  strike me as a heartless woman. To the contrary, the fact you couldn't bring yourself to admit to reading that passage tells me that it's too painful for you to consider what he went through. It's ok for supporters to admit Travis suffered. It gives more credibility to your stance as compassion and empathetic people. I hope you take a few minutes and read this, and then read that passage again. That's all I ask. You don't have to respond to this, just do yourself the favor of reading what he likely went through.

18. Upon leaving why wouldn’t she have noticed the license plate was upside down while supposedly screwing in those little fasteners?

No comments.

19. How would ultimately arriving 24 hours late at Ryan’s house expect to establish an alibi?

Maria Justus asked my opinion, there are no facts to support anything else, so the only way to respond is with 'gross speculation'.

You say "If the other side is convinced Jodi is guilty of premeditated M1, I demand PROOF from them!" Maria you can't expect every single question you have about the case to be backed with proof. Nor can you expect every single question to have equal weight. The question of the Ryan alibi is not that important it the big scheme of things. It's what's called a 'soft question", it carries no weight in deciding premeditated murder. It's immaterial as they say in the courtroom. 

Something we need to remember is that the whole population who watched the trial does not have to agree if the burden was met in regards to proof. While you may not think it was, the 12 people who matter in deciding her fate did. The jury is there to represent Jodi's peers, ordinary people who examine all the testimony and evidence and come to a decision if her story holds up based on everything put before them. The jury wasn't thinking about Ryan or alibis. They were thinking about how Jodi lied about the gas cans. They're thinking about the unlikelihood that Travis was attacking Jodi and Jodi was running around in the closet getting the gun and then being body slammed twice, and then shooting, stabbing and slashing the man to death all within 2 minutes. The jury was thinking about the big questions, and the state had no obligation to prove every single question. If they did, we'd never finish trials---they'd go on indefinitely. 

General comments:

Maria's right, I am not impartial, none of us are. But I am not "pro-Prosecution". I don't follow party lines, though much of what I believe does follow the prosecution line, just because I believe Jodi is guilty--and so by extension I agree with much of what they presented. I don't classify supporters as 'pro-Defense' because I know many of you don't completely agree and have formed opinions outside the party line. 

I have minions?????? Cool. I love those little guys! Why would anyone be pissed that I said Jodi was pretty? I don't think most of the people I hang out with are of the mindless 'hater' variety who have to shoot down anything positive about Jodi. Jodi was an attractive woman at one time. I no longer think so because it's hard for me to see beauty in the person she has become. I freely admit I think she's a fairly good artist. I also think she's a fairly good singer. I think she's a crappy photographer,  I don't count selfies as fine photography, but that's just me. 

As for "your fame will come at a price..." I don't get that. I don't seek fame. My life is great by the way, so if my 'fame' is responsible for my good life, then I'll freely acknowledge that. 

Thank you Journee. I agree with everything you said. Very well said. 

If Jodi was as 'DONE with Travis!!!!' as you claim she was, then what was she doing in his bed on June 4? What was she doing posing for pictures and having sex with a man who she was sleeping with on her way to a 'NEW love interest"? Jodi moved away, because she was the one who moved there in the first place after she and Travis broke up. Travis had no obligation to move away. He owned a home and had a full life in Mesa. Now if he had left all that behind and moved to Yreka, well then I'd say he hadn't move on, but that's not happened. 

If after Travis baptized her in November, they had anal sex, that goes against what Jodi said happened when she and Travis made it official in February. And that means she cheated on Darryl. So, now we have Jodi cheating on Darryl and cheating on Ryan to be with Travis. Nope, that's not moving on. 

Didn't Jodi boast that she had read the Book of Mormon cover to cover? That she studied the text and discussed her readings with Travis and other Mormons? Is there a reason she didn't understand the many references in the Book of Mormon that described the sins associated with pre-marital sex? Jodi wasn't 14,  she was in her mid-20's she understood what was expected of her, she was generally familiar with the Catholic/Christian religions which share the same believes about pre-marital sex.

Unfortunately the way I think is more in keeping with the way the jury thought. Despite any holes in my answers, they are similar to the way the jury thought to come up with their conclusion. Understanding my answers is key to understanding how the jury came to theirs. The enemy always has more valuable information than your allies. Understand the enemy, and you can begin fighting against them armed with that knowledge--all their strengths and weaknesses are set before you. That's why I value both sides debating the issues. 

While I don't want to be edited, I don't mind being ridiculed. I don't edit people on my sites, unless they break rules or decorum and respectfulness, so I would hope JAii wouldn't have edited me. The invitation was rescinded, so it's a moot point.

That Twitter account doesn't belong to, nor am I familiar with it.  I have never invaded the privacy or posted private information of any individual. I don't see how I would have been a threat to the privacy of JAii members, but rest assured I am not that kind of person.

The only comments I removed were disrespectful to Jodi or to JAii supporters. All opposing opinions  are welcome---that's the reason to set up a debate site, to debate opposing views. I just found out the person who asked if I had removed their comment was mistaken--she had posted it on one blog and didn't realize she was looking for her comment on another blog. She corrected her mistake on the other blog. 

This is just a portion of a longer comment by Alexey. I don't deny that I think Jodi is guilty. Nor do I deny that there is a substantial body of evidence that proves she's guilty. If there's an impression I deny the use term 'bias' it's only because the generally accepted definition of the word is an "unfair prejudice". That is not the case at all. I have watched the trial and researched extensively and come to my conclusions based on the facts as presented--there's nothing unfair about how I've come to my conclusions. 

What inhumane treatment am I in favor of? I don't support the death penalty. I don't support lifetime solitary confinement, and I'm rethinking significant solitary. I support people who correspond with her, fund her commissary and send her books. I have suggested ways supporters can help her when she gets to Perryville. I also support mental health treatment while incarcerated. I think an important part of incarceration is having a job, and Jodi would not be eligible to hold a job in Perryville unless she gets a life sentence. I think Jodi has a lot of wasted talent that could be used to give her a sense of responsibility and benefit the prison and the community.  I don't think Jodi's is worthless, I just think she's guilty and needs to be punished for that. I don't want her punished for anything beyond the crime she committed on June 4, 2008. What is inhumane about any of that? 

Most of my readers who I hang out with on social media are in the same camp. There are others who support the DP, some who believe she should be let out in 20 years, others that want her to suffer, while many who don't

Thank you Pandora. I appreciate your kind words and your efforts to bring the conversation to JAii. I know you went out on a limb to mediate, and I hope you didn't have any backlash for trying to be fair. 

Thank you Justus and Raja for your kind words.

And many thanks to all the people at JAii who indulged my blog with their thoughtful consideration and responses. I appreciate you opening up your forum, if just to comment on my answers. 

Comments are open. Please continue to exercise respect and restraint. This has been a great debate, and I appreciate all efforts to keep it civil and interesting. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Jodi Arias: Questions 1-5 Rebuttal

See edit at the bottom of the page---just another small thing that needs clarifying!

The other day I answered 20 questions that Justus from JAii posed to non-supporters. While several people felt I should be invited to continue the discussion over there, many other felt it would be disruptive to their board. Rather than make anyone over there feel uncomfortable over my presence, I opened up the comments here on this blog, and will copy and paste their concerns with my blog to clarify my position.

Everyone is invited to comment, but starky or disparaging names or comments will be removed. You are welcome to disagree with me, the only comments I remove are those that break the rules.

I will tackle each set of 5 questions, for a total of 4 blogs.

First I'd like to clear the air regarding the nature of Justus's challenge:

As I understood it, the challenge was to give plausible answers to questions that for the most part, only Jodi knows the answers to. These questions demand a speculative response, because either they weren't asked of Jodi during the trial, or they are questions where their is a dispute over what may have happened.

While I'm not a rocket scientist, I have at least an average intelligence, yet according to JAii supporters I completely missed he mark on every single question. One would think that my odds would have been better, considering 12 jurors who heard every moment of testimony came to the same conclusion I did about her guilt.

Without further ado, here we go!

1. Why stage the gun theft as a burglary such that the police are immediately called and a record is created? Why not just “borrow” it? It might not be discovered missing for months and it probably wouldn’t be known exactly when it went missing.

In the United States we have 100's of thousands of inmates locked up. Many have been arrested and convicted for similar crimes in their past. One would think that after an car thief was caught 3 or 4 times, he'd learn how to be a better car thief, right? No, our jails would be full of first time offenders if criminals learned from all their mistakes. Jodi wasn't a murderer before she killed Travis. What did she know about planning a murder? She did the best she could with what she had. She almost got away with it. Had she not left her DNA and those pictures behind, it would have been much harder for a jury to find her guilty of murder 1 (maybe a lesser crime). Jodi had no intention of leaving her DNA or the pictures behind. She felt she had planned sufficiently well that she wouldn't be a suspect, or have left anything behind that would implicate her. Jodi is far from the first criminal who has fumbled the details. 

The fact is a DVD player and a .25 caliber gun went missing from Grandpa's house. A week later, Jodi happens to have a .25 caliber gun in her hand (after telling the police Travis didn't own a gun, and after none of his friends or family could confirm he had ever owned a gun). In addition, Jodi returns to Darryl's house because she inexplicably had a remote control from his DVD player in her purse. How did the remote control get there? It's a very puzzling set of circumstances and coincidences. As a matter of fact, almost every bizarre happening Jodi encountered within the 24 hours of this trip is attributed to coincidence or bad luck by many supporters.

We don't have proof that the DVD player was the stolen one, nor do we have proof the gun was the stolen one, but it's food for thought and to consider in light of other 'coincidences' and  conflicting testimony. If you were going to bring a second hand DVD player to a friend, where would you store the remote until you got to your friend's house?

But you're right, it's not proof, and the question hasn't been posed to Jodi other than her acknowledging that she returned to Darryl's house to give him the remote. Do you think she would admit stealing the DVD player? She's on trial for murder! That DVD player would absolutely tied her to the crime at her grandparent's, and would cast further doubt on her assertion the gun was Travis's. 

Actually Pandora, it's not a joke. Both Jodi's mother and her father told Detective Flores that the past dozen or so years had been very strained with Jodi. Jodi didn't trust them after they turned her in at age 14. Sandy Arias went on to say Jodi didn't even trust her to come visit her in Monterey because Jodi feared her mother would 'snoop'. Both parents talked about how distrustful and paranoid Jodi was with them, and that was part of why Bill Aria described Jodi as "very strange". 

That being said, you misunderstood what I was referring to.  I said perhaps Jodi didn't trust her grandparents either. She may have felt that they too would betray her just as she thought her parents had betrayed her so many years before. My response has nothing to do with who is smoking pot or the acceptance of it, only that that early experience colored her trust of her parents, and perhaps other family members. 

2. Why, in her master plan to murder, would she change out the bullet type to one less powerful?

Pandora it doesn't take a gun expert to figure out what caliber ammo to put in the gun. Some guns even have their caliber stamped on the barrel or near the grip. If I were to steal a gun to commit a crime, I would certainly change out the ammo. I wouldn't want to risk the ammo being traced back, no matter how improbable that is. Bullets are cheap and plentiful. If the ammo matched, would you  then say Jodi was too smart to use the ammo in the gun, because bullets are cheap and plentiful? Changing out the bullets would be a smart move on Jodi's part. 

Actually, maybe she did call a friend. Maybe she called Matt McCartney. Of course he went missing and refused to testify, but maybe he fielded a phone call from Jodi about ammo. 

Maria I did read the burglary report. It states that Jodi returned home while the officer was interviewing her grandparents and taking an inventory of what was missing. Obviously she was there long enough for the officer to interview her and ask her to inventory her room. Remember she was very lucky in that she hid her laptop in her laundry basket before she left, just to be safe. She also discovered $30 dollars missing. There's every reason to believe that she heard the conversation about what was missing, she arrived at the house 10 or 15 minutes after the officer-- certainly when he left she would ask her grandparents what else was missing, right? Of course that's conjecture, but you have to admit it's not at all implausible that she was aware that the gun was stolen and heard her grandfather describe the type of ammo in the gun.

It could also be considered that her grandfather was mistaken about the gun being loaded. With grandkids visiting, one would hope he would have stored his guns in a more responsible manner.

Maria I didn't make up any information, and my conjecture is just as valid as your conjecture that "Jodi didn't listen to her grandparents stressing anything". You and I weren't there, we can only go by what common sense dictates, and in my opinion it is not beyond probability that Jodi heard the conversation about the gun. 

3. Why visit friends in the rental car if its purpose was to travel in a car not connected with her?

Alexey you're right, you do want to be as inconspicuous as possible, which is why Jodi didn't drive her own car--too many mutual friends could identify her car if it was in the driveway or on the street. As a matter of fact, the car isn't attached to the murder at all. No one noted a strange car in the driveway or on the street. If Jodi parked the car around the corner, no one would be the wiser. White cars are a dime a dozen in any neighborhood, it wouldn't have been noticed as 'strange' or out of place. It would have been noticed in the driveway though because three young men with cars lived there and they'd remember a strange car. 

As far as covering her tracks regarding the car, Jodi was very successful. Had she not left her DNA and pictures, and with no one remembering the car, well that would have been perfect for her. 

Jodi and Travis always snuck around when they were having sex. You do pose a good question about what would have happened if they saw Jodi. Would she not have killed him? Would she have killed him and then denied she was there at that time? We don't know. They would also recognize a car in the driveway, and the fact that they say they noticed nothing out of the ordinary means Jodi had to have parked somewhere other than the driveway. Nothing else makes sense. 

4. Why borrow gas cans from someone who will mention them to the police, should he ever be questioned? Why not buy gas cans with cash in no-man’s land or in some large store where she’d be just one of many customers?

Alexey I don't believe I dodged the question at all. I will expound upon it, and hopefully satisfy your question. Gas cans are $13 each. If she bought 3, that would be $40. She claimed she was cutting corners. More importantly, there is nothing wrong or suspicious with borrowing gas cans from a friend. Even if Darryl was questioned and mentioned she stopped by to pick up gas cans, she had a perfectly valid reason. But Jodi wasn't expecting it to go that far. She didn't intend to ever be under suspicion--she felt she was covering her tracks quite well. Jodi hadn't killed him yet, and so there was nothing to hide yet. I would bet after she killed him and thought back on her actions, she might have kicked herself for that remote. Darryl obviously loved Jodi very much, he wanted to help her. He may not have known the implication of the DVD player or the implication that Jodi told him a week before she was going to Mesa. 

The lie about the gas cans was to remove the appearance that Jodi was trying to travel through Arizona without leaving an obvious trace. Stopping to get gas risked camera picking up her activities. Remember when Jodi was talking to Flores, she mentioned the stop light cams and suggested he look at them? She was well aware there were cameras at some of the intersections and perhaps at the gas stations as well. Why would she tell Flores to try to try to find her on those cameras if she wasn't sure she had done a good job of avoiding them? That also points to premeditation--the only way she could be confident Flores wouldn't find her car on those cameras is if she had gone through the trouble of avoiding them, and if she went through the trouble of avoiding the, you have to ask yourself why.

Jodi didn't realize that she had forgot that receipt. When it came to trying to explain it, she had to think on the fly. This was something neither she nor her team had anticipated, which is why we also see Martinez scrambling to pull in the Walmart expert witness.  Jodi knew the significance of that 3rd gas can, and Martinez was honing in on her. She just said she returned it and hoped he wouldn't be able to prove that she didn't. The Walmart expert, the size of the gas tank and the gas station receipts all conspired against her. Had she not had that Walmart receipt, she would have been better off. She lied about it though. She lied about, there's no doubt about it. 

Jodi told a lot of convenient lies--she talked about Travis having an interest in children. That was a lie. There were many other lies she told. Her first two stories where convenient lies, and those weren't working too well for her, were they? In that regard, Jodi tried telling more plausible stories after learning what wasn't working.  I mean the ninjas??? What kind of story was that? But she told it hoping it would be believed, and yet, who believed it?

5. Why does she make cell phone calls in Arizona heading north from Kingman toward Hoover Dam, thus negating the supposed reason for borrowing the gas cans?

Then the better question is, why didn't she use her credit card in Arizona if she was buying gas? She used the credit card in California, Nevada and Utah. Why omit Arizona completely? As a matter of fact she didn't have any receipts from Arizona. Now, in her defense, she had to get rid of everything connected to Arizona, because when her mother asked her if she had been to see Travis, she offered to show her mother all her receipts that proved she wasn't in Arizona. Isn't in convenient that she decided to use cash instead of her credit card in Arizona, before she would need the alibi that she wasn't even there?

I will post 6-10 in the next day or so. In the meantime, I'd like to clear up some confusion:

Suzanne my Twitter handle is JustDaTruth@justdatruth2012. I have never posted under the Twitter handled you posted, and have never heard of that person. I don't seek out private information, nor do I share information that I know. I don't care if you're friend, foe or anyone in between, I take privacy seriously.


You're right Alexey, I did remove several undesirable opinions, and I stand by my decision. I have asked everyone to post respectfully and to not disparage Jodi supporters, the JAii site or refer to Jodi by snarky, nasty names. When I see comments that are disrespectful to any of those parties, I reserve the right to remove them. Unfortunately, there have been no comments by Jodi supporters to date, and the comments I removed were posted by others (not sure if they were haters, non-supporters or just trolls). When and if supporters comment, they are bound by the same rules of mutual respect. I don't remove comments because my feelings get hurt, you're free to disagree with me all day.

Ok friends, that's it. Please comment respectfully! You can also follow the convo on Facebook:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jodi Arias: The Doctrine of Reasonable Doubt.

I'd like to clear up some confusion regarding the United States legal definition of the doctrine of reasonable doubt. This confusion pops up often when we're discussing the Jodi Arias case and it bears some scrutiny.

A commenter on my previous blog posted this on the JAii website:

First let me clarify that the questions I was responding to were presented on JAii from Justus with a plea to non-supporters to answer with their most 'plausible' scenarios. All of the questions called for answers that were speculative in nature, asking for a response based on carefully thought out opinion and supported by facts if possible. That is what I did. In that regard, Justus was asking for speculation, conjecture, opinion, whatever you want to call it, and I obliged to the best of my abilities. Of the 20 questions Justus submitted not one that I could see could be answered by evidence and facts presented during the trial, so the commenter on the screen shot above who calls me out for not basing my speculation on court testimony or evidence, has not carefully read the questions Justus provided and doesn't understand that there are no facts in evidence that address any of the questions.

Now it seems several supporters on JAii are not happy with my speculative responses, that is more a fault of the questions, than of the person answering. I would be happy to answer more factually based questions if anyone would care to submit them to me.

But the big issue is the doctrine of reasonable doubt. This 1920 quote by Justice Walker of New Jersey, in State versus Linker is generally considered to be the legal basis for reasonable doubt:

"Reasonable doubt is not mere doubt. It is that state of the case which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence leaves the minds of the jurors in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction to a moral certainty of the truth of the charge."

So, what does that mean to lay people, like myself, most of my readers and the jurors? It means if after listening to all the testimony, and considering all the evidence we find the evidence doesn't support a conviction, then we must render a 'not guilty' verdict.

What doesn't "reasonable doubt" mean?

1. It doesn't mean that if I think the one piece of evidence can go either way, that I have to give the benefit of the doubt to the plantiff. In other words, did the gun shot come first or last? I don't know and I'm not convinced by either Jodi's testimony or Horn's testimony. I don't have to then give the benefit of doubt to Jodi's testimony, the juror instructions tell me I can disregard the evidence entirely and not factor that into my decision. But if I think Jodi is probably lying about the gun shot first, but I'm not convinced by Horne saying it was last, then I have to give the benefit of the doubt to Jodi on that point--but only on that point. At the end of the day, I can have reasonable doubt about her lying about the gun shot first, but be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt on all other evidence and testimony and so I could find her guilty as charged and it would be a fitting verdict. The doctrine is not for piecemeal evidence, but the whole body of evidence.

2. Reasonable doubt doesn't mean "any" doubt, it means the doubt has to be reasonable. Therein lies the problem--what's reasonable to you, may not be reasonable to me, as a matter of fact, it may be preposterous to me, but I have to trust that you are exercising your doubt with a moral certainty. That really means that if you were to lay your true thoughts on the table, any niggling doubts in the back of your mind or anything that you used to justify your thoughts would be laid bare and would reveal that you truly believe what you think.

3. The other issue is the word 'doubt'. By it's definition it leaves the door open for possibilities. But are those possibilities probable, not just possible? Is it possible Jodi returned the gas can and yet managed to spill almost 3 gallons of gas when filling her tank, so her receipts show her purchasing far more gas than she was prepared to carry? Yes. It's possible. It's possible Jodi had three 1-gallon milk jugs in her car, and filled up all three of those.

But is it probable? Again, if we had no other evidence or testimony to indicate otherwise, we could say it was probable--after all the facts state how much gas she purchased, and the facts state how much gas her tank could hold and the facts state she had 2 5-gallon gas cans. So is it probable that she could have either spilled almost 3 gallons of gas or filled 3 1-gallon milk jugs she found by the side of the road? Yes. But is it probable based on the other evidence and testimony? No. A juror can safely say, beyond a reasonable doubt that Jodi had a 3rd 5-gallon gas or kero can with her on the trip. A juror can also say beyond a reasonable doubt that Jodi lied about returning the gas can. If you come to any other conclusion about the gas cans, it's frivolous, and not based on common sense or logic, and therefore not reasonable.

That brings us to credibility and reasonable doubt. I have established beyond a reasonable doubt that Jodi lied about the gas cans, therefore if I'm a juror I can disregard any  portion of Jodi's testimony or I can believe bits and pieces of it, whatever makes sense to me given the supporting facts, evidence and testimony. At the end of the day, I can factor in those things I believed or disregarded when I render a verdict, but only after measuring it up against all the other evidence.

The jurors didn't need to watch HLN or log on to Twitter to understand any of this, the moment Jodi was proven to have lied about the gas cans, they could doubt any of her testimony they felt was misleading or false.

The same with Dr. Horne. The minute he admitted there was an error on the autopsy, the jury could either believe him that it was a typo, or not believe him. If they didn't believe him about that, they could chose to disregard any or all of his testimony.

If I juror didn't believe Horne's testimony regarding the error, does that mean it's 'reasonable doubt' and Jodi walks free? Nope. The doctrine demands the jurors weigh the testimony in light of all the evidence. If they disregarded Horne, DeMarte, the Walmart expert and believed most of  Jodi's testimony, but believed she did lie about the gas cans, they would then have to weigh the value of that lie, and they could still find Jodi guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Why? Because they could factor in other testimony and evidence that they believe more strongly supports Jodi's guilt.

If we were to poll the 12 jurors, we would find that while there would be a tremendous amount of over-lap in what they  felt was convincing evidence, we would also find that there were likely very different reasons they were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. Maybe a family member suffers from PTSD and they felt Jodi didn't portray an accurate model of what a PTSD patient presents, so they in turn disregarded Samuels testimony and therefore felt Jodi wasn't in a fog and knew what she was doing and intended to kill Travis. Each person will come to the table with a different set of experiences and a certain knowledge of issues that color their thinking.

Does that mean the jurors are biased? Yes it does. If we want a completely non-biased jury, we have to  try cases via computer algorithms. That method has far more bugs than human juries though. Human beings don't always do things in a logical fashion, and a computer will miss the subtleties a human jury may catch. The juror instructions try to counter natural human bias by demanding jurors put their biases on hold and only base their verdict on the evidence presented. Even though the jury was death penalty qualified, there were 4 people who decided that Jodi's crime did not justify death. They had their own biases that helped Jodi in that regard, just as the 8 who decided she should die also had their own biases. The law seeks to balance those biases, and they did. There's a reason why jurors weren't chosen who had a murdered loved one in their background, or who were victims of domestic violence, or were Mormon, or any of the many types of people who might be unfairly swayed in either direction. I guarantee their were no waitresses with an artistic nature and a love of photography even considered for that jury, nor were good looking self-made sexually active Mormon men in their late 20's.

Back to the supporter response to my blog. My speculating on why Jodi would do something when it hasn't been addressed in court has nothing to do with the jurors or reasonable doubt. It's my opinion. Now the jury may share my views and that's completely expected because the other part of the juror instructions is that they consider all the evidence in light of  logical reason and common sense. If I think Jodi is too pretty to be guilty, then I can't claim that as reasonable doubt. That is using emotion, sympathy or prejudice, not logic and evidence.

So, what makes me, a simple guy with no education in any of this, such an authority on this subject? Is this blog 100% legally sound and irrefutable? I don't know, but I would guess a first year Legal Beagle would tear it to shreds. I will say I'm a fairly intelligent guy, and I've probably got at least 98% of it right. What I do know is the jury is made of 12 people, just like me. No different whatsoever. My understanding of reasonable doubt as a layman, is pretty close to what their understanding would be. The jury instructions fill in some of the gaps, but at the end of the day, there are not 12 legal professionals sitting on that jury, but 12 Brads or 12 Amandas. Just regular people, with a cursory understanding of law, and instructions on how to apply it. Do they get it right 100% of the time? No, unfortunately, they don't. But far more often than not they do. There are far more criminals let free than innocent people imprisoned, as hard as that might be to believe.

In the Jodi Arias case--I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that she is guilty of first degree premeditated murder.