Friday, April 05, 2013

The Snow White defense of Jodi Arias

The Jodi Arias trial for the Killing of Travis Alexander continues to go off the rails. The prosecutor is attacking Alyce LaViolette lecture on 10/16/08 YouTube, Gender Fairytales and Domestic Violence. The questioning concerns whether Snow White was a battered woman.

Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez challenged domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette’s opinion that Arias was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her former boyfriend, slaying victim Travis Alexander, 30. LaViolette gave a presentation in 2012 that found Snow White was a battered woman, which the prosecutor said shows the expert can find abuse in situations she knows very little about, including "myths."

"What this shows us is that even if it’s a myth -- all made up -- you can come up with the opinion that the person is a victim of domestic violence," Martinez said.
I am not sure about prosecutor Martinez's strategy, but LaViolette is someone who sees domestic violence in any man, and leaps to abuse conclusions without regard to facts or scientific knowledge. He seemed content to just ridicule her.

LaViolette testified that Jodi was a "battered woman" in an "abusive relationship".

The evidence was very weak. I did not hear any actual quotes that were abusive. There are no police reports, medical treatments, corroborating evidence, or anything like that. There are hundreds of pages of emails, diaries, text messages, and voicemails. LaViolette just argued that her impression was that there was abuse.

LaViolette claimed that Travis once called Jodi a "sociopath", he said she "can't get off lazy butt", he "doesn't want her apology", and he understands how evil she is. These are quotes from LaViolette, not Travis, and no context for these remarks was given. She described the abuse as "character assassination, not name-calling", and therefore a higher level of abuse. She also accepted Jodi's stories that Travis choked, slapped, and broke her finger.

There was also testimony that Jodi and Travis had many good times together, and enjoyed fun trips.

LaViolette also complained that Travis flirted with women, and made sexualized suggestions to them. He even implied that was less sexually experienced that he was, and he had violated Mormon teachings about abstaining from sexual relations before marriage.

LaViolette told one story about how Travis and Jodi had broken up, they were still communicating, Travis told Jodi he did not want to hear about her other dates, Jodi accidentally forwarded a message to him from messages with another boyfriend, Travis was "upset" with this and asks her not to do that, and Jodi was apologetic. LaViolette says this shows that Travis is jealous, controlling, angry, fearful, overreactive, threatening, and critical. In other words, abusive.

Travis also once said that he was "merciful" to her, and LaViolette said that is an example of how abusers perceive things different from others.

I still don't see much relevance to the expert testimony. If Jodi committed premeditated murder against Travis, then she had some motivation. If Martinez is right, then it was a jealous rage. If LaViolette is right, then Jodi was not jealous at all, but was unhappy about the relationship because Travis occasionally called her a skank or some other negative term. Does that make it better?

Usually the battered woman defense is given when the woman is supposedly trapped in a marriage, and feels that she cannot leave because of financial dependency, care for the kids, social pressure, emotional dependency, or loyalty. But none of applies here, as Jodi was living in another state and occasionally dating other men.

I just learned that the DSM-5 creates the relational disorder. This means a cuople might have no individual disorrders, but there relationship is disordered. I didn't know that psychologists ever diagnosed anything but individual problems. So perhaps Travis and Jodi had a relational disorder, but there was nothing wrong with Travis individually.

If I were the prosecutor, I would have directly attacked the scientific basis of the defense expert testimony, because there is none. However, I don't know whether that would be more effective with the jury. Maybe that would be taking LaViolette too seriously, and she does not deserve it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

ffcersclaMy opinion of Martinez's use of "Snow White" is that he is trying to make LaViolette's "guideline" unscientific since she changes it, and that LaViolette only used Arias' spoken words which are made up like the fairy tale "Snow White". There is no evidence that Alexander actually choked Arias and body slammed her, only Arias' spoken words. LaViolette herself said Alexander reacted to a text Arias' "mistakenly" sent him which should have gone to another guy Arias knew. REALLY??

George said...

I was surprised that LaViolette even recited Jodi's ridiculous version of events on the day of the shooting, as if everything Jodi said was the unquestioned truth. A real expert would have at least considered the possibility that Jodi is lying.

Anonymous said...

So calling a Sociopath a "Sociopath" is abusive. Well color me guilty.

Anonymous said...

This link is to a video of one of Alyce LaViolette's talks referring to Snow White, and LaViolette's theories on domestic violence and abuse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFt8FCrBk6k

Comments submitted are in reaction to the video, and they speak volumes about viewers’ regard for LaViolette’s credibility.

If people think these "experts" are an abomination to justice and ethics, as in the Jodi Arias murder trial ... they should realize the sad truth is that "expert testimonies" such as LaViolette's and Samuel's are common and typical in Family Court child custody disputes all over this country; happens daily.

These “experts” insult and are a disservice to the real victims of DV because they create controversy. Innocent parents are unjustly accused of abuse and DV by alienating ex's seeking to gain sole custody, and children are deprived of a fit and loving parent due to the lies, incompetence, lack of ethics, and corruption these “carpetbaggers” bring for no other purpose than to promote themselves for profit, and the political agendas they espouse.

Anonymous said...

This link is to a video of one of Alyce LaViolette's talks referring to Snow White and LaViolette's theories on domestic violence and abuse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFt8FCrBk6k

Comments submitted are in reaction to the video, and they speak volumes about viewers’ regard for LaViolette’s credibility.

If people think these "experts" are an abomination to justice and ethics, as in the Jodi Arias murder trial ... they should realize the sad truth is that "expert testimonies" such as LaViolette's and Samuel's are common and typical in Family Court child custody disputes all over this country; happens daily.

These “experts” insult and are a disservice to the real victims of DV because they create controversy.

Innocent parents are unjustly accused of abuse and DV by ex's seeking to gain custody, and children are deprived of a fit and loving parent due to the lies, incompetence, lack of ethics, and corruption these “carpetbaggers” bring for no other purpose than to promote themselves for profit, and the political agendas they espouse.

Under VAWA, your tax dollars partially fund the many organizations LaViolette and those espousing similar views support. I’d like to see politicians and special interests simply dispense with the gender distinction and recognize that domestic violence and abuse is gender neutral … right, keep dreaming!

"Neo, it's time to take the red pill …"

Anonymous said...

This link is to a video of one of Alyce LaViolette's talks referring to Snow White and LaViolette's theories on domestic violence and abuse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFt8FCrBk6k

Comments submitted are in reaction to the video, and they speak volumes about viewers’ regard for LaViolette’s credibility.

If people think these "experts" are an abomination to justice and ethics, as in the Jodi Arias murder trial ... they should realize the sad truth is that "expert testimonies" such as LaViolette's and Samuel's are common and typical in Family Court child custody disputes all over this country; happens daily.

These “experts” insult and are a disservice to the real victims of DV because they create controversy.

Innocent parents are unjustly accused of abuse and DV by vindictive and alienating ex's seeking to gain sole custody; children are deprived of a fit and loving parent due to the lies, incompetence, lack of ethics, and corruption these “carpetbaggers” bring for no other purpose than to promote themselves for profit, and the political agendas they espouse.

Under VAWA, your tax dollars partially fund the many organizations LaViolette and others who espouse her views support. I’d like to see politicians and special interests simply dispense with the gender distinction and recognize that domestic violence and abuse is gender neutral … right, keep dreaming!

“Neo, it’s time to take the red pill …”

Forky Witherspoon said...

LOVE the blog. Very glad to have found it. I would like to know if anyone has a petition or any way of getting the fraud/incompetent Laviolette's license revoked, immediately. She is beyond incompetent, for obvious reasons (I can be more specific) and SHOULD NOT be practicing in the mental health field.

Can we write letters to a board or the court or something? This disgusting liar cannot be permitted to continue this insanity. You can only imagine how she harms her clients.

George said...

Yes, these experts are a disgrace. The Jodi Arias case has nothing to do with the family court, but it illustrates to a national audience the sorry state of psychotherapist expert testimony.

I think that LaViolette makes most of her money teaching the mandatory 52-week DV classes. Her students don't need to get anything out of each other. It is punitive. She will probably make a lot more in witness fees now.

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable how many women identifying themselves as victims of abuse and DV are openly attacking LaViolette’s credibility.

What is not apparent to a national audience are the ramifications the Arias case will have for dealing with allegations of abuse, or alleged violations of restraining orders, in criminal as well as civil (family) courts in the future.

In 2005, VAWA replaced a mandatory arrest stance with a pro-arrest stance, yet to the best of my knowledge, not one state implementing mandatory arrest policies for allegations of abuse (21 states), or violating restraining orders (34 states), followed suit. In these states, merely being accused of abuse or a violation of a restraining order, will automatically result in mandatory arrest … the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent.

“Evidentiary standards for proving abuse have been so relaxed that any (person) who stands accused is considered guilty.” — Cheryl Hanna (Ref. http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1624&context=wmlr)

Indeed, a posthumous accusation of abuse levied on
Travis Alexander is the big gamble in a defense strategy trying to cheat justice and the death penalty.

If Jodi Arias avoids the death penalty, LaViolette will certainly attempt to capitalize as an expert witness … this will unleash an epidemic of allegations of abuse across criminal as well as family courts. LaViolette and psychotherapists like her will be in a feeding frenzy unless stricter standards are imposed on these "expert" testimonies. For starters, imposing criminal sanctions and penalties for false allegations, already in the books for some jurisdictions, may help.

It’s no wonder real victims of DV and abuse are openly attacking LaViolette’s credibility. The controversy this feminist from the ‘70s is creating may undermine the efforts of those who are real victims of DV, women and men alike, seeking remedy and justice.

Anonymous said...

For those interested here's a report titled, "Fifty Domestic Violence Myths" prepared by RADAR, "Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting," an organization in NJ ...

http://mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-50-DV-Myths.pdf


"Neo, it's time to take the red pill ..."