3 Sessions for Justice System Junkies

I credit Marcia Clark with my true crime fascination. I was an impressionable young(ish) girl growing up in the Midwest when my entire family gathered around the television to watch her sock it out with the Scheme Team during the OJ Simpson trial. It kicked off what would be a lifelong interest in the justice system and legal process. I wish I’d had the fortitude to go through law school, but I’m happy admiring the work of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and investigators from afar. Which is why I’m looking forward to these sessions at CrimeCon 2018!

Watching Johnnie Cochran’s dramatic courtroom displays was captivating. He made it look easy, even fun at times. But if you think being a defense attorney is all glamour and glory, think again.

In this session, veteran criminal defense attorney Sara Azari presents an eye-opening look into the real life of a defense attorney. On television, we see trials decided with a shocking piece of proof that comes in the last second, or a flashy finish to the jury. In reality, it is all about the grind -- which starts at 3:30. In the morning. A.M. Every day. One of many reasons why this was not the job for me.

Sara's passion and dedication to defending her clients is palpable. As she discusses some of her most colorful cases and the bizarre, exciting, and challenging aspects of her day. Come prepared with questions! Sara will also have some questions for you, too -- and if you answer correctly, you might win one of several fabulous prizes!

Last year, we were joined by “happily disbarred” defense attorney Kirk Nurmi, who defended convicted murderer Jodi Arias. Now, we’ll hear the other side of the story from the prosecutor who helped put her behind bars for life.

Juan Martinez is a Maricopa County prosecutor and is counted amongst the top death-penalty prosecutors in Arizona. His intense, hard-hitting courtroom manner made the trial one of the most dramatic and intense in recent memory. Trial watchers won’t soon forget the grueling eighteen days he spent cross-examining the flippant defendant.

Martinez will also host a meet-and-greet where he will sign copies of his bestselling book Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars.

When Ryan Ferguson was convicted of murder in 2005, CBS News and 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty asked the one question nobody else was asking: "Is it possible that co-defendant Charles Erickson falsely confessed to murder when he implicated Ferguson?"

Prosecutor Kevin Crane shrugged off the question at the time, but Moriarty's tireless investigative efforts over the next decade resulted in Ferguson walking free when his accuser admitted to lying on the stand.

Ferguson credits Moriarty and 48 Hours for his freedom--and CrimeCon attendees will get to see the two of them reunite onstage to share their experience. The session, "Journalism and Justice: The Ten-Year Battle to Clear Ryan Ferguson's Name," is sure to be a jaw-dropping, white-knuckle ride through the tangled flaws of the justice system and the ever-increasing importance of journalism in the pursuit of justice.