C. Martinez’s Cross-Examination Tactics

Ask an ambiguous and confusing question and then, if the witness asks for clarification, chastise the witness, claiming that isn’t what you asked and act like the witness is being evasive and difficult.

Example 1: Juan Martinez (JM), cross-examining Alyce LaViolette (ALV), the defense’s domestic violence expert about Jodi’s journal entries.

JM: You read journals aside from the ones presented here in court, right?

ALV: Yes, I did.

JM: So as a result of reading those journals, you then said to us, for example, well there is nothing in those journals that is said by the defendant negative about the person that she killed, right?

ALV: That’s not true.

JM: Okay, tell me what negative things the defendant wrote about herself?

ALV: I thought you asked me if she said anything negative about Mr. Alexander.

JM: Do you have a problem understanding the question? Tell me what negative things the defendant wrote about herself in those journals! That was my question!

The above example is not just about Martinez asking a confusing question. It’s also about the ease with which Martinez attacks. It never occurs to him that he may have mis-spoken and he launches straight into attack mode.

Example 2: Juan Martinez cross-examining Gus Searcy, a friend of Jodi’s who works for Prepaid Legal.

JM: By being at the top of the pyramid, those are the people who are really making the money, right?

Gus: It’s not a pyramid.

JM: I didn’t say it was a pyramid. I said…

Gus: (interrupting): You just did.

JM (continuing): … at the top of the pyramid.

Gus: That implies a pyramid in my logic.

JM: So is that a yes or a no or do you not want to answer?

Gus: Not as phrased, no.

Martinez stumbled over himself a number of times and always, without a microsecond of hesitation, used it as an opportunity to verbally attack the witness’ memory, motives or character.

Example 3: Juan Martinez, cross-examining Jodi about her trip to speak with Bianca, the woman with whom boyfriend Matt McCartney was cheating.

JM: And so then after five or ten minutes you left because you were going to go and take care of this issue by speaking with Bianca, right?

Jodi: First I drove to Ashland.

JM: Did I ask you where you went?

Jodi: Yes.

JM: No, I asked you whether or not you went to speak with Bianca. Did you go speak with her that day?

Jodi: Yes.

JM: Didn’t you tell us that you drove an hour and half?

Jodi: Um, I believe it was about that long.

JM: And so you weren’t going to put up with that either were you?

Jodi: Put up with what?

JM: Well, what is it that we’re talking about here?

Jodi: Which part put up with?

JM: Were you going to put up with what we just talked about? Are you having problems again understanding what’s going on?

Jodi: Sometimes, cause you go in circles.

Yes he does, Jodi. Yes he does.

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