Host: This isn’t a legal insanity defense. What if this jury though
does believe that there is some mental illness or personality disorder.
Are they more likely to cut her a break?
Jason Lamm: Well what the defense is really playing for, if anything, is
jury nullification. You’re right on the money; this is not an insanity
defense. In Arizona, we recognize a guilty except insane defense. In so
many words, they would have to prove that Tammi Smith was affected by
a mental illness such that she couldn’t appreciate the difference
between right and wrong. In this case, she has pled “not guilty.”
She’s not admitting anything. Where would the mental health come
into play? If she was convicted and the judge opted to consider it as
mitigating evidence, it could reduce her sentence or her exposure when
that day comes.
Host: Mike Brooks was talking a lot about the non-verbals like the smirk
on her face. Do you tell your client, “Wipe the smirk off?”
Jason Lamm: Well you tell your client just to play it straight all the
way. Not to shake your head. Not to smirk. You’re right, she is
coming off as arrogant. Last Thursday, Detective Ramirez testified that
in the interview, Tammi said the detective was unfair and that the detective
was abusing her. Now let’s get something straight. People like cops.
Generally speaking, jurors are going to like cops. Detective Ramirez comes
off as very professional and very credible. She even said, “Hey,
we just want to know where the baby is.” The baby gets turned into
a law enforcement agency and this is over. At the same time, Tammi goes
and sends out a text message that says the FBI had her tied up in a chair
for four hours. It’s that arrogance. It’s that narcissism.
When it’s coupled with the non-verbals, it gives the same message
to the jury. It’s making it really hard for them to bond with her,
especially knowing that she’s going to testify. She’s going
to have two strikes against her when she gets on that witness stand having
so much out of her mouth already before she’s even taken an oath.