Sources:  WPTV  |  Boston Herald  |  ABC  |  Fox Latino


  • Juan Martinez: Jodi Arias prosecutor scrutinized for intense style in the courtroom…
  • Prosecutor Juan Martinez’s Aggressive Tactics Praised and Panned…
  • Arias prosecutor scrutinized for intense approach…
  • Jodi Arias Prosecutor Like a ‘Rabid Dog’…
  • Could aggressive style of prosecutor Juan Martinez bode well for Jodi Arias?

He has barked, yelled, been sarcastic and demanded answers…Known as a bulldog with a pedal-to-the-metal approach to prosecuting cases, Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Juan Martinez no doubt stumped Jodi Arias repeatedly throughout his intense cross-examination in her murder trial.  He raised his voice…acted…in [a] dramatic fashion. He snapped…cutting her off mid-sentence…The exchanges rattled the seasoned prosecutor as the case at times devolved into a showdown of wit and will. The judge had to admonish both to stop speaking over each other…Some experts say the approach could undermine the prosecution’s case, diverting attention from the brutal attack and putting the spotlight on him…And while most observers agree she will likely be convicted of first-degree murder – at the very least the lesser second-degree – some say it will be due to Arias’ own missteps, not Martinez’s prowess…

You can be mad, but to be mad all the time is strategically not well-reasoned,” said Phoenix defense attorney Mel McDonald, a former Maricopa County judge and federal prosecutor…”It was like two people having an argument, and when that happens, it takes the focus away…”

Martinez’s style “makes for great television, nice theatrics, but for effective litigation, it simply isn’t the way to do it.”

RELATED:  Perfect Example, Prosecutor Juan Martinez suddenly throws up a graphic photo of Travis Alexander, without warning to the family or the witness testifying.  As he did this, he asked her:  “Is this what a normal relationship looks like to you?”

The trial has captured headlines nationwide…and is likely one of the most high-profile cases ever handled by Martinez, who has been a county prosecutor…for 25 years, the last 17 solely focused on defendants charged with murder. He has declined to comment during the trial.

A graduate of Arizona State University, Martinez was licensed to practice law in 1984 and joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in 1988.

You don’t treat Jodi Arias like you would Charles Manson on the witness stand…,” said McDonald. “…she’s a totally different person.”

In the 2009 murder trial of Doug Grant, the so-called “Mormon Murder Case,” Martinez made headlines for calling Grant the “Angel of Death” and tarring every witness the defense called in his behalf.  [Read About the Doug Grant Case.]

The Grant trial…ended in a manslaughter conviction.  Reports from the trial called Martinez “garrulous and relentless” and his closing arguments spanned two hours.

“He was so brash, so aggressive, he was like a German Shepherd attack dog all the time,” said McDonald, who represented Grant during the trial.

Some experts argue that Martinez’s style has dragged the cross-examination on longer than it needed to go and that he could have effectively made his point in the first day or two…

“When it comes to cross-examination, one size does not fit all,” Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist who has testified as an expert witness at many trials in the Phoenix area…

“Martinez is his own worst enemy,” McDonald told ABC News. “He takes it to the point where it’s ad nauseam. You have difficulty recognizing when he’s driving the point home because he’s always angry and pushy and pacing…”

“He’s like a rabid dog and believes you’ve got to go to everybody’s throat,” he said.

There are multiple examples of his antics, but here is one particular head scratching one:

“I want to know what you’re talking about,” Arias said to Martinez at one point.

“No, I’m asking you,” he yelled.

Excuse me?  How would she know what you are talking about?  Why don’t you know as the prosecutor asking her questions?!

“He prides himself on being able to work by rarely referring to his notes, but what he’s giving up in that is that there’s so much time he wastes on stupid comments. A lot of what I’ve heard is utterly objectionable.” said McDonald.

Even the media seems confused at points.  HLN anchor, Jane Velez-Mitchell agreed with a local Arizona defense attorney (Dwane Cates), who appeared on In Session on TruTV earlier in the day on the point that Juan Martinez seems to be out in the weeds constantly on his cross-examination (he is so far out in the weeds he might as well be pheasant hunting).  Velez-Mitchell said at one point during her show:  “…I will say that I think the prosecutor got sidetracked several times when he basically lost the forest for the trees…to the point where I`m taking notes. I`m like, what was the subject again?”  She also admitted that it was hard to follow what point he was trying to make, sometimes.  For instance, him spending hours on a license plate!!

ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THINGS.  Jurors are not legally supposed to use their emotions to make decisions, but as human beings we understand that is a struggle to do.  His overbearing, outrageous “style” will most likely rub, at least, one of the 12 jurors the wrong way.  Will that effect their decision?

Maybe, for many reasons, including:

  • He could seem like he is hiding something when he continues to ask the same question, in different confusing ways, in order to elicit a very, very specific answer.  
  • At several times during the cross-examination of Jodi Arias, she would give an answer and then Mr. Martinez would argue with her for 10 minutes, ending on the same answer as they began and he would swagger like he made a great point.  What is that?
  • Misstating witnesses’ answers makes him look like he either isn’t listening or doesn’t care what they are actually saying.
  • His picture stunt could be seen as extremely exploitative, sensational, and disrespectful.
  • He looks lost as he stutters over his questions and argues with a witness over what words are being used.

Most of his more outrageous objections were not heard by the jury, such as: ‘Objection your honor! This dog is just too cute!!  It is too prejudicial to the State.’  You’ve got to be kidding.  Who in their right mind would think that a dog in a picture would sway a jury between guilt and innocence?

That is not prejudicial to anyone!  The saddest part was the death penalty expert for the defense, Ms. Wilmott had to explain what prejudicial to the State really means!
Don’t get me started on the picture of Jodi Arias smiling is prejudicial to the government because it makes her look happy?!  WTF!

“Are you having trouble understanding me?” Martinez yelled during court on Tuesday.

“Yes because sometimes you go in circles,” Arias answered.

  1. Tami Bancroft says:

    I think Juan Martinez is doing an awesome job, It appears to me Travis is the victim not Jody.


    • Just because you don’t believe Jodi Arias’ defense doesn’t mean he is doing a great job by default. His style is a slap to the face of the decorum of court. He is utterly ridiculous, he has a case, why doesn’t he just wise up? He doesn’t need to be so aggressively showy. If the defendant was someone you thought was innocent, you would change your tune. He does this with everyone not just Jodi Arias, every single case. Look at the big picture. He is rude, crude, loud, and unnecessary. If you like the way he treated Jodi Arias, did you like the way he treated Travis Alexander’s family when he threw up that crime scene photo just for the shock value?


      • Mary Ellen trella says:

        I would be glad to have him on my side then the opposite that’s for sure. In the beginning Ifelt with the majority of people in this comment center but he is as sharp as a tack. He is so organized with his sticky notes and is always so impeccably prepared. I’m glad for Travis’s family! They deserve him. They could have really benefitted him for the Casey Anthony and OJ trial


        • No one deserves him! The kind of prosecutor I like is one that actually wants justice and truth (those are quite rare, especially in the ones featured in the media). People are innocent until proven guilty, period. Mary I’m sure you would want the same. Would you be okay with being found not guilty and people saying well it was just because the prosecutor wasn’t as good as this other one? No, you would want people to look at the case and instead of pointing fingers (because everything thinks you are guilty because the police and prosecutor said so), think for at least a second about the facts. I bet people thought all the prosecutors who have found innocent people guilty were good too. Yeah they were good, they could convince people a completely innocent person was a heartless criminal. Think about that! That’s good, but it isn’t right. Being good at your job as a prosecutor and getting the right result can be two different things. I don’t particularly like his attitude or the way he conducts himself in court, I think he is disrespectful. I also find his pension to admit erroneous exhibits and redacted exhibits against the point of justice. His over the top nature is good TV for our supposed news programs and for people’s “entertainment”, but that isn’t supposed to be what he cares about. I wouldn’t want him to help my family, I would want someone who didn’t risk anything for appeal. I’m also different in the sense that I want the right person to go to prison, not just any person.


Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s