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As Jodi Arias takes the helm as her own defense attorney in her re-trial of the death penalty phase against her, the prosecutor she will be going to battle with may be told to hold back.
“She's articulate, I think she's bright. The fact of the matter is the jury is going to recognize that she's not a lawyer and so the court is going to have to be careful that this doesn't turn into a three ring circus,” said criminal defense expert Hector Diaz, who has closely followed the trial and first death penalty phase.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez is known as the bull dog amongst legal circles. Diaz said Martinez is a seasoned prosecutor with a unique approach, and his aggressiveness wins cases.
But County Attorney Bill Montgomery says when defendants decide to represent themselves in court, his office has to proceed with caution.
“We end up having to be extremely careful with how we present our case and not take advantage of the defendant,” said Montgomery.
“Prosecutor Juan Martinez …no question he's going to be concerned as to how he interacts with [the defendant]. He and will have to scale back,” said Diaz.
In Arias’ murder trial, we saw Martinez go head to head with Attorney Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Wilmott, Arias' defense team, but experts agree his aggressiveness could risk earning Arias a sympathy vote with jurors.
She will only need one to escape the death penalty.
When asked by reporters if he planned a "sit down" with Martinez before the re-trial, Montgomery wouldn’t say if that was even a possibility.
The trial is scheduled to start Sept. 8, however, Arias asked a judge to postpone her trial Wednesday. A hearing has been set for Aug. 22 on Arias' motion to postpone the trial.