Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jodi Arias Trial - One Day Closer to June 4, 2008

Murder defendant Jodi Arias is expected to return to the stand today for her 7th day of testimony.  Arias and her defense attorneys have taken us from a 7 year old Jodi's home life, in which she alleges her mother and father were physically abusive towards her - to every relationship she has had with a man, and through her meeting and dating murder victim Travis Alexander.

The jury has listened patiently, as Arias describes her relationship with Alexander in painstaking detail.  We've heard more than any of us care to.  In the interest of justice and to protect the case against potential appeals, Judge Sherry Stephens has allowed Arias to testify on things that seem irrelevant to self defense - such as their sordid sexual encounters. Arias has spoke, uncontested, about Travis's appetite for role playing (his "antics", according to Arias), his attraction to young boys, an affair he allegedly had with a married woman and the now infamous audio recording that she alleges to have recorded at the insistence of Travis Alexander.

We've watched his family in court trying to mask their feelings about Arias's testimony, we've seen their heartbreak as crime scene photos were displayed and their anguish at the defense's portrayal of their brother.  It's been difficult to watch, and I often times find myself screaming at the television as Arias portrays herself as an innocent victim of a sexual deviant, someone who went along with said acts in an effort to please Travis Alexander.  I believe her testimony to be a mix of 5% truth, 95% embellishments - we may never know the real formula of whats true and what has been a fabrication.  Only Jodi Arias knows for sure, and she may have convinced herself that her third version of events is actually what happened.

My comments on this blog may seem somewhat one-sided.  But for anybody who thinks they are, I'd just like to say this.  I've been following this story since it broke.  You see, June 9th happens to be my birthday.  So when I first saw the story, it caught my attention for many reasons aside from the fact that his body was discovered on June 9th.  We don't see many cases involving women that are this brutal in nature. Women tend to murder in a more passive manner, like poisoning or a single gunshot.  I can't remember a murder that was this brutal since the Susan Wright case. Wright was convicted of murdering husband Jeffrey Wright by stabbing him more than 197 times.  She claims she killed him in self defense, her attorneys argued she was a victim of "battered wife syndrome."

Wright then buried her husband next to the home they shared, and attempted to cover her tracks and resume her life as if Jeffrey had simply left.  There was some evidence pointing to spousal abuse in that case, but Wright's attorneys had a hard time explaining why it she stabbed him more than 197 times in "self defense".  Susan Wright was a  bright and attractive woman with two small children.  She was ultimately found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for her acts. 

Another woman convicted of the brutal murder of her husband and now sits on Arizona's death row:  Wendi Adriano. Adriano was convicted of murdering her terminally ill husband Joe in Arizona in 2000.  The prosecutor in that case was none other than Prosecutor Juan Martinez.  Adriano also claimed she killed her husband in self defense after being attacked by him.  The jurors discounted her claims as Joe Adriano was much too ill to have attacked her. He had terminal cancer - and evidence uncovered during that investigation showed that Wendi Adriano had tried to poison husband Joe before that fatal encounter.  Adriano was convicted and sentenced to death.

These cases have one common denominator - they all involve women who have used self defense and/or battered wife syndrome, all were extremely brutal.  Today, we should get one step closer to learning Arias's version of what happened on June 4, 2008 and what Travis Alexander allegedly did that preceded this killing.  The jury wants to know, the families want to know and the world wants to know.  After 6 days of Arias's chatter and allegations of deviant behavior, it comes down to this date.  Was Arias really in danger, or did she really believe she was about to be killed by Alexander?  Only Travis and Jodi know what really happened, so we have to rely on the evidence to tell the story.  Regardless of who you believe, the evidence is the teller of truth.

And I believe the evidence doesn't align with the self defense claims.  A single gunshot, a single stab wound would have been a more understandable claim of self defense.  The many mortal wounds point to something entirely different.  A rage killing.  Once Jodi Arias began her attack, she couldn't stop herself.  I believe she had so much rage built up inside of her against Travis Alexander, perhaps because she did feel used by him and then tossed aside in favor of a more presentable and suitable Mormon partner.  For that, I feel sorry for her. We've all been there, but most of us would never take it anywhere near where she went.  We are one step closer to June 4, 2008, and one step closer to the cross examination we are all waiting for.


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