List of appeal issues

This is to track potential appeal issues.

(1) Partial hearsay evidence on the Yreka gun – the jury heard hearsay evidence that the gun was 0.25 caliber, but not that the stolen ammunition was hollow point. See The Yreka Gun for details. Significant because the bullet recovered from Alexander’s cheek was not hollow point.

(2) A State witness testified that there was no virus on Travis Alexander’s laptop, contrary to Jodi’s testimony, contradicting her testimony rather than supporting it. In the penalty retrial, it was established there was a virus.

(3) A State witness testified that there was no pornography on Travis Alexander’s laptop, contrary to what Jodi told Dr Samuels. See Dr Richard Samuels for details. In the penalty retrial it was established that there was pornography on the laptop.

(4) Dr Horn testified that the bullet passed through Travis Alexander’s brain, contrary to his autopsy report, and the blood evidence, and this meant the gunshot could not have been first. He claimed his autopsy report must have a “typographical error”. The audio recording of the autopsy should be able to settle the issue of whether there really was a typographical error. In addition, the defense failed to argue the that bleeding from Alexander’s ear could only occur if he was shot before he was dead, and failed to call a medical examiner to testify that the gunshot could have been first. See Other Prosecution Claims for details. Significant because it contradicted Jodi’s testimony.

(5) Amanda Webb testified she could not find a return record for the third gas can, but in the penalty retrial she admitted she had not checked to see if the records were complete, and did not know if they were, after a store move. See The Gas Cans for details. Significant because it contradicted Jodi’s testimony.

(6) The prosecutor argued in closing that Jodi lied about how she found the car rental place, over an objection “facts not in evidence”. See Redding Car Rental for details.

(7) The defense failed to challenge the blood expert’s false testimony that blood spatter near the toilet entrance was impact spatter, when  the truth is that it was aspirated blood, similar to the spatter at the back of the sink. Significant because this was misleading evidence, contrary to Jodi’s testimony.

(8) The defense failed to use evidence at the scene to show Jodi was defending herself. For example, they should have argued Travis turned his back and turned the tap on and off, showing he was unconcerned Jodi would shoot again. They failed to argue Travis left the pool of blood on the carpet, turning back towards the bathroom, and the linen cupboard door was apparently shut in Exh. 162 then open before Travis was dead. They failed to argue that the finding of Jodi’s DNA on a root of her hair implied Travis pulled the hair out in a violent struggle. See Jodi Legg.

(9) The defense failed to use gas station records to corroborate Jodi’s testimony on where she stopped for gas between Pasadena and Mesa, and to contradict the prosecution case.

(10) The defense failed to ask Darryl Brewer whether the gas cans he lent Jodi were empty or not. This is significant, as for the State’s case to be possible, the gas cans would need to have been partly filled when Jodi borrowed them.

(11) The defense failed to challenge whether the 3rd receipt for gas at Pasadena was Jodi’s purchase, rather than the receipt of another customer she accidentally picked up.

(12) The prosecution made accusations about expert defense witnesses without evidence.

(13) The defense failed to give a coherent explanation of how Jodi could have killed Travis in self-defense, compatible with the evidence. See here for a possibility.

(14) The defense may be able to prove using experts that the shelf Jodi testified she stepped on when reaching for the gun may not have tipped sufficiently to disturb objects on the shelf ( this was a weak argument in any case, because we don’t know the original position of objects on the shelves, so how can we know if they moved slightly? ).

(15) The diagram used at trial had the shower door drawn wrong. Also the blood evidence was not accurately depicted.

(16) The defense failed to object to prejudicial hearsay testimony by Marie Hall, the state’s first witness. Hall testified that she “heard” from Travis that he had a stalker. This is not admissible evidence, because there is no hearsay exception that applies here. It’s also unfair, as there is no way to cross-examine such statements. The 6th amendent gives defendants a right to cross-examine witnesses. This would be an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, as Nurmi failed to object.

Discussion of appeal timetable

Actual Appeal Briefs