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ACLU: Arias prosecutor Juan Martinez’s misconduct part of bigger problems at Maricopa County Attorney’s Office

By Lauren Castle | Arizona Republic 

 
Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez /Screen grab/AZ Central

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office displays a “win-at-all-costs” mentality that tolerates attorney misconduct, including that of the Jodi Arias prosecutor, according to a brief submitted in the State Bar of Arizona’s ongoing investigation of Juan Martinez.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the amicus brief Wednesday as part of an appeal of the 2017 dismissal of ethics charges against Deputy County Attorney Martinez, the prosecutor in the Arias case and in several other capital-murder cases.

“This case exemplifies the problem. The poor prosecution of Martinez, paired with the Bar Discipline Panel’s failure to discipline prosecutor Juan Martinez, sends a clear message that prosecutors will not be held accountable for their ethical violations,” the ACLU brief said.

The ACLU is asking for a rehearing on Martinez and for the appointment of a special prosecutor to handle the complaint against him. 

“If not corrected, this failure of the State Bar will yet again produce prosecutorial immunity for misbehavior, disincentivizing prosecutors to uphold their ethical obligations and ensuring that the cycle of misconduct continues uninterrupted,” ACLU attorneys Jared Keenan and Anna Arceneaux wrote in the brief.

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