Newly released on the website for supporters of Jodi Arias is a movie worth seeing. It makes a few good points concerning the prosecutor’s abusive and bullying form in the courtroom and the highlight of domestic violence in the movie also seems well put together. However, if one was objective, the nature of our judicial system both makes people very happy or very unhappy. The trial of Casey Anthony angered many, but failed to highlight the backbone of any trial case: Burden of Proof. The real problem is the Court of Public Opinion that is not judiciary or altogether faulty, it’s based on the snippets aired on HLN, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News that dispenses information about a trial that is not presented to the jury hearing the case. Most of what is aired is never reviewed by the jury sequestered. The opinion of the public directly matters little to any case. What matters are the jurors who must decide the case without what the general public knows. Things get thrown out of court that we hear on a news outlets which is never considered by the jury. There are times when it seems that the jury and courts got it all wrong, like with Casey Anthony, but those jurors were working with the evidence provided in court. It seems unfair, terrible, and like a injustice; but, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor and it didn’t hold out that well when the jury decided the case. The prosecutor failed.
So, let’s step back for a moment and reflect. I had a problem with my anger and vitriol to the point I was abusive to people both verbally and emotionally. All those people who I unleashed my wrath upon still are in contact with me but have no desire to work with me after such terrible aggression. Through Sufism, I learned that anger is the destroyer of good. I learned that what I was doing was wrong and I took a path to correct that part of my person. I know I can’t go back and smooth things over. My new being must be presented to them for reevaluation. I can’t say “I was angry and wrong” I can say through my deeds and actions that “I am no longer the abuser that I used to be”. I have to represent myself for their proof that I have changed. The little and sneaky microagressions slip away from me now. (A microagression is aggression that is like a liar and reactionary. Sufism teaches action above reactions.) I can’t wave the “I’m Sorry” flag and magically all that I used to do would be forgiven or accepted as my past. Why? Because that is not the way we see each other and things that happen. It promotes judgement even when judgement is unnecessary. In their eyes, I will appear as an abusive person until, by my actions, I prove to be different. I have made a point to apologize to people I have hurt with this nasty side of me that doesn’t exist anymore. I have followed that one day, maybe far into the future, that those I hurt see I am a new person by giving them my own burden of proof. Until it is accepted, I will always be judged as being an abusive person. That is how our society and culture chooses to identify me. The burden of proof is on me.
I have passed my judgement too. I think the prosecutor in the Arias trial was wicked with his attitude and anger. He was like that with all he questioned. His abusive behavior might lead most into judgement that it is unnecessary to put a picture of the victim in autopsy to remind a witness why everyone was in court that day. I also find that his amusement with the gallery outside the courthouse by getting pictures taken with them made a mockery of our judicial system. When the witnesses didn’t act or do as he wanted them to, he was sure to pull out aggression to make them react instead of react. Jodi Arias knew well what she did, but he took his reactionary whip out and brought her to tears with an aggressive tongue. I have learned that an aggressive tongue only whips reaction and not action. Mr. Martinez, the prosecutor, belittled the witnesses that were not lined up for his burden of proof and used hyper aggressive language to assault all witnesses in one manner or another. I know also that judgement is passed on his aggressive nature and that nature is not seen as being something terrible for the prosecution. This kind of aggression hurts people, a lot of people, in ways that are deeply scarring and results in a confused reaction. The interesting thing is that through it all, not many of the news agencies covering the trial mentioned much about the prosecutor’s conduct as being negative. They chalk it up to aggression equaling a strong prosecutor that gets the convictions he wants.
The jury didn’t see every piece of information that the viewing audience had either. The viewing public heard Travis Alexander’s surviving family and friends painting Arias as insane and scary. I agree that her crawling through the doggy door to sleep on his sofa is creepy. I also agree that she may have been the one behind slashing his tires and his current girlfriend’s tires, but there is no evidence that that is true. There were many times that those news agencies who wanted a good scoop aired every enemy Arias ever met, not really contacting any of her friends that think she’s cool. They didn’t present a case of information but a case of sensation that fueled belief that this woman is guilty in the eyes of a viewing public. Not much was said about the witnesses for Jodi getting death threats for taking the stand. It also failed to mention that domestic violence is a problem in this country. It’s so because the public deemed it so after passing judgement that she was guilty. I am not saying that Jodi is not responsible for her actions or blacked out in anger against Travis. That is the burden of proof. However, I don’t think that Arias has gotten the help she needs either. What she did was wrong and reactionary to a criminal degree, but the court of public opinion meant nothing to the jurors who were hearing her case deliberated. It wasn’t the public that found her guilty and effectively put her in prison. It was the jury and only the jury that could affect the verdict.
We are taught to love everyone, even the most terrible of sinners, and we are taught to guide their spirit to knowing forgiveness. This teaching falls away when a juicy headline hits the news agencies and gets the public viewer fired up. The next case will come along and viewers will pass judgement again and there will be surprise when a not guilty verdict is reached by those twelve people who have the power to judge the next time, without reflection that the court of public opinion is not what matters in deliberation.