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Dear Mitch,

My mother and me were wondering what you think of the Jodi Arias trial.  I know you're also a lawyer (besides being a math and English person) so we wanted to hear what you think.  My mom thinks Jodi is completely guilty, and I'm not so sure.

What's your opinion?

From Melanie K. 


Dear Melanie K.,

I don't usually comment on things that don't have to do with school or one of the big tests like the SAT, but so many people have been writing in to ask about this trial (and I happen to be watching TV for the first time in a long time, because I'm sick in bed recovering from something!), so here's what I think.

The trial should DEFINITELY be declared a 'mistrial.'  The reason for this is that the jury was not sequestered, which means they were allowed to go home every night even though they should have been made to stay in hotel rooms away from their friends and television until the trial was over.   Now, there's no way that none of them ever turned on their televisions on any of the nights they came home, and a lot of the media did not correctly do their jobs and report the trial in an objective way.  (Look up the word "objective" if you have to, as it's a good vocabulary word.)  In particular, there is a woman named Nancy Grace, who (I assume) does the best she can, but she is neither very intelligent nor professional (you can research her poor record on the internet), and she seems to have personal issues with the main character in the trial, Ms. Arias. There is no way the judge could have known at the beginning of the trial that it would turn into such a big media event, but now that it has it needs to be reconsidered, and the only fair result is for the judge to decide that Jodi Arias is entitled to a fair trial, as any American citizen would be; with people like Nancy Grace shouting her opinion into our homes night after night, there is no way that most people can think clearly about the case.  The television station CNN (the one that has this Nancy Grace character on it) hired her so that they could increase their viewership to include people who have not had the advantages of higher education (like college), which is not a bad reason, but in this case it can do a lot of harm to the important process that is necessary for someone to get a fair trial,

I hope this answers your question,