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Posted on: March 12, 2015

County Attorney Issues Statement on State v. Arias Juror 17

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued the following statement today in response to recent reports of threats and intimidation made against a member of the jury in State v. Jodi Arias:

Claims of juror misconduct in any trial are viewed with seriousness given the potential impact on the integrity of our criminal justice system and confidence in jury verdicts. Closely associated with this concern is the importance of avoiding an environment in which jurors are singled out for attack and subjected to threats to their safety and well-being because of individual decisions made in the process of jury deliberations. Whether those decisions are in the favor of the prosecution or not, they must be respected if we are to expect fellow citizens to willingly serve in the future and conscientiously carry out their oaths with honor and integrity.

In instances where there is credible information of misconduct, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office will review the matter, request an independent investigation, and then seek an independent review for any potential charges and then for prosecution. This process may be altered where circumstances warrant.

In the current situation surrounding the State v. Arias trial, attacks on Juror 17, which can only presently be based on speculation, must cease. There is a process for review that is outlined above. Anger and frustration at suspected actions inconsistent with our jury system does not provide justification for death threats or disgusting characterizations of what should happen to someone's person. Instead, the same fidelity to fairly assessing available information as expected in the underlying criminal trial should be observed in this matter.

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