Juan Martinez, the prosecutor in the Jodi Arias murder trial, ought to be seen as a role model for every home in America where parents are raising children.
“He don’t take no stuff,” remarked the young adult in my household as the man paced back and forth while hammering away at the defendant’s inconsistencies and continually calling her a liar.
Too many parents want to make life easy for their offspring and don’t want to hurt their feelings. Too many parents don’t want to call things as they are.
Our kids steal household money, and instead of calling it thievery, we call it exploring. Our kids don’t tell us the truth, and instead of calling it lying, we say they are being creative. Our older kid continually beats up the younger one, and we don’t call it bullying — we call it sibling rivalry.
A bunch of trial watchers are declaring that Martinez is being too tough on Arias, who is on trial for the brutal 2008 slaying of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
This “too-tough” commentary is the same nonsense often leveled against those few parents in our society who don’t pander to their kids’ misdeeds.
Too tough? How does a prosecutor handle this defendant, a young woman who killed a young man by stabbing him 29 times, slashing his throat from ear to ear and shooting him?
Often, that answer is a simple “yes” or “no.” But many times our kids get away with delivering a bunch of vague generalities, a litany of excuses and the gall to plain ol’ change the subject.
Martinez, pacing the Phoenix courtroom floor, allows no such nonsense from Arias, the sometimes coy, in the end emotional, but always manipulative defendant.
“Is that a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer?” Martinez demanded during the trial, hour after hour and day after day, not accepting that vagueness which we, as parents, allow to rule our household.
Mr. Prosecutor should not be expected to lighten up because the defendant on the witness stand is a demure young woman. If a young man had committed this same atrocity, there would be no calls for mercy.
For parents, the lesson from Martinez: Stop being afraid of taking a tough stand when it comes to calling children’s misdeeds exactly what they are.
Parents often even work hard to avoid making their little darlings feel uncomfortable about their actions, when in fact they, like defendant Arias, ought to be squirming in their seats.
The Arizona courtroom process we see Martinez employing in his relentless pursuit of the truth should help all parents understand that hounding works and, when necessary, attacking like a rabid dog can put our houses in order.