There is a new player in the State v. Jodi Arias trial.
This player is strong, commanding, and assertive. You may think that you have seen him before but I don’t think so. This player is Kirk Nurmi, Jodi Arias’ lead defense attorney.
The trial affected a lot of people and, I daresay, changed a lot of things. One person that was affected more than most was Nurmi. In the first trial, he was a much larger version of himself than what we see in court today. He has lost, some estimate, around 50 to 75 pounds and grew out his hair. That overweight, almost bald attorney we saw in the first chair is no more.
Along with that new look came some strength.
I often said that Nurmi was the most hated man in America in 2013 simply because he represented Arias. I found myself explaining that he had been appointed to represent her and he was denied every time he moved to withdraw from her case. I stopped counting at five motions to withdraw. He was trapped. People did not want to hear that and kept falling back on the response that at least he was getting paid. Well, money can’t buy everything and can’t end all pain and suffering.
Whatever it was that he had to endure from January 2013 through May 2013 changed him — not only physically but it appears it changed him as a lawyer. Although he still refers to his notes, pauses often and speaks quietly at times, he has made it clear that the gloves are off. He stands up tall, his voice is clear and his objections are well-grounded. When he gets on a roll, even the rockstar that is Juan Martinez can be derailed a bit.
When it comes to the question of premeditated murder and cruelty, Martinez ruled the courtroom and I suggest the majority of the facts were on his side. There was little, if anything, that could beat the graphic photos and horrific actions of Arias.
This phase is different, the same facts are there but the question is different. Life versus death is different than murder. I would argue that it is less fact-based and hinges heavily on subjective morals and ideals.
As I have said before, Martinez is good and he has the facts in his favor.
And now there is a new player in the courtroom that has stepped up to the plate. Nurmi 2.0 is in control, shows some passion and is giving the jury something to think about.
Where the jury will go from here is the million-dollar question. People will still hate him, people will still ignore that he was not allowed to withdraw, but no one can say that he is not fighting for his client this time around.