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Burns & Gambo

Analysts divided on prosecution's approach to Jodi Arias

PHOENIX -- Juan Martinez, the prosecutor in the Jodi Arias trial, may be too belligerent in his questioning of the suspected murderer.

According to ABC News, a legal expert said that the prosecutor's antagonistic behavior will not bring the jury any closer to a guilty verdict.

"Martinez is his own worst enemy," Mel McDonald, a prominent Phoenix defense attorney and former judge, told ABC News. "He takes it to the point where it's ad nauseam. You have difficulty recognizing when he's driving the point home because he's always angry and pushy and pacing around the courtroom. He loses the effectiveness, rather than build it up."

McDonald added that Martinez's courtroom conduct resembled that of a violent animal moving in for the kill, which may be detracting from the prosecution's overall case.

"He's like a rabid dog and believes you've got to go to everybody's throat," he said.

Expert witness Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist, explained that Martinez's forceful tactics may be exactly what he needs to convict Arias.

"When it comes to cross examination, one size does not fit all," said Pitt. "But if you set aside the incessant sparring, what the prosecutor I believe is effectively doing is pointing out the various inconsistencies in the defendant's version of events."

Arias has been accused of murdering her 27-year-old boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in June 2008 after killing him in his shower in Mesa, Ariz. Arias could face the death penalty despite claiming it was self-defense.

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