Legal experts break down Jodi Arias trial

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by Alice Kleinpeter

azfamily.com

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 1 at 3:46 PM

PHOENIX – Arguments over allegations of misconduct by the prosecution team have continued to sidetrack the Jodi Arias trial.

Last week, there were allegations the prosecution team was possibly mingling with jurors and lead prosecutor Juan Martinez is accused of being a pseudo-celebrity outside the courthouse.

Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and lawyer Julio Laboy sat down with Javier Soto to discuss the latest development of the case and talk about Martinez’s actions in and out of the courtroom.

It is a difficult line Martinez must walk as lead prosecutor, but Laboy said the accusations against Martinez are not enough to warrant prosecutorial misconduct.

“He’s coming out of the courtroom ... and someone approaches him … he’s a jerk if he doesn’t,” Laboy says of Martinez responding to trial watchers outside of court. “But at the same time, I think he has to be more mindful of what he does because remember here the jury is not sequestered so there could be an impact if a potential juror were to see this.”

It also has an impact on the thousands of followers who can watch the trial via live Web stream.

“The idea of allowing cameras in the courtroom were to allow the public to be more informed and to gain confidence within the system itself,” Romley said. “But there is a line that can be crossed to where it does become more entertainment than justice itself.”

The trial will resume Tuesday with more fireworks expected in the courtroom.

Both sides are faced with the task of bringing the trial back to focus.

The prosecution team, according to Romley, must "try to bring it back to the point that this is a very gruesome, brutal murder and it's going to be who they call as a witness ... from an expert's standpoint in my opinion."

"For the defense I think it's kind of a fight gone bad," Laboy said. "They need to go back in, refocus, get through their best witness right now and prepare for that state's rebuttal case."

The trial is set to resume Tuesday.

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