Expert Witness in Jodi Arias Trial

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The Jodi Arias trial was given widespread coverage in the United States due to the heinous nature of the crime perpetrated by the accused. Jodi was charged with the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander in Arizona. The deceased body was discovered and had multiple knife wounds, throat slit and a gunshot to the head. She would enter a plea of self-defense but would eventually be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to natural life in state prison in May 2013 without the probability of parole. An expert witness is a professional, with specialist education, experience or skill considered to be above an ordinary average person's understanding and who is called to apply that knowledge to a fact-finding mission. In court cases, expert witnesses are usually called forth, and their testimonies are usually legally binding, but the jury has discretionary power to discard or incorporate the statements.

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One expert witness called to testify in this trial was clinical psychologist Janeen DeMarte who was called forth by the prosecution. She was presentable and wore a black blazer that matched her blue shirt. She was composed and confident when answering the questions posed by the prosecution. This is a trait that does elude many witnesses called forth to testify in court. The psychologist maintained an upright posture all through the interview, occasionally swaying sideways to maintain eye contacts with other people in the courtroom. She also spoke in fluent English, with proper pronunciation and in an assured manner ( As to the extent of her prowess in psychology, she espoused vast knowledge and understanding of her area of specialty eventually diagnosing Jodi Arias with a borderline personality disorder. This condition was characterized by volatile behavior as quick infatuation and hate, seething violence and anger that could have triggered the accused to commit the crime.

As is expected of any court proceeding, the prosecution witness and expert witnesses are always to be cross-examined by the defense attorney. In this case, the expert witness was cross-examined by the defense attorney Jennifer Wallmort. She, the expert, adorned a grey suit with a shade of pink and her presentation was just as impeccable as the in the first case with the prosecution. She maintains eye contact and is not evasive to any question by the prosecution. Instances in which she did not understand the question, she sought clarification. Dr. DeMarte also stood her ground when the defense wanted to employ trickery to obscure her testimony ( She evaded the rapid fire techniques used by the defense to confuse expert witnesses by pausing and taking her time to respond to one question at a time. During all this time, she kept her composure, and her non-verbal cues epitomized calmness and an aura of confidentiality amidst the barrage of questions.


Talve, M. (2013). What is an expert witness.The expert institute., (2014). Dr. Demarte Vs Willmott. Retrieved from <>. [15 March 2016]. (2013). Expert witness Janeen DeMarte on Jodi Arias: Personality disorder and Inappropriate intense anger. Retrieved from < . [15 March 15, 2016]

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