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Questions The Jury Should Ponder When Deciding Jodi Arias's Fate

As prosecutor Juan Martinez wraps up his cross examination of murder defendant Jodi Arias, defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott must be scrambling to try to clear some of the wreckage caused by their client's inconsistent answers and the lack of any real evidence that Jodi Arias was ever in any real danger on June 4, 2008 when she brutally stabbed, shot and slit the throat of Travis Alexander.  It will be no easy task.  It was obvious Arias was worn down by the end of yesterday's court session - in contrast to her confident and at times defiant answers at the beginning of the cross examination, she hung her head yesterday and was barely audible at times.

She sobbed and her hands shook when shown photos of the carnage she left behind in that Mesa, Arizona shower stall. She seemingly peeked out of the corner of her eye when Juan Martinez asked her to look at the photograph, but she couldn't look at it for long. Is it finally sinking in that she killed Travis?  Has she finally come to the realization that there was no need to kill him, there was no real danger that night, other than the danger that she was slowly losing him and the only thing that bound these two together was sex? She had to have known that while Travis Alexander obviously enjoyed their intense physical relationship, he was looking for more in the way of a lifetime companion.  I think she knew that while he may have liked the fact that Arias rarely, if ever turned him down for whatever type of sex he wanted - but in fact she knew he respected the women he dated that had the willpower or the faith in their religion to stop when things got too heated.

Jodi Arias was "all in" when it came to Travis Alexander. She wanted to be with him, and despite her telling the jury that she was OK with them both moving on in their lives and the discussion about her desire to have their children play together one day was simply not true. I don't believe for one minute that's what she wanted from him. She wanted it all, and if she couldn't have it, she made sure no other woman would have it either. One of the problems with Arias's testimony (and there are many)  is that her words do not match up with her actions and with what friends close to the couple witnessed during their relationship.  I heard one of the In Session contributors refer to it as the "because I said so" defense. That's about what we have here.  The experts will come in and testify that Jodi Arias perceived she was in danger because of the past traumatic events she experienced with Travis, her mom, her father and previous boyfriends who cheated or otherwise wronged her. Martinez will point out that if their expert opinion is based on lies, than it cannot be an accurate opinion of the defendant.

I was hoping Juan Martinez would demonstrate in court how high the shelf was where Arias claims to have gotten the gun from in that closet. I believe he said she was 5 foot 2 inches tall, and the top shelf of that closet is higher than the top of the door frame - I thought he said it was nearly 9 feet. In this chaotic and panicked moment, where she fears he is just steps behind her would she have the time and the ability to climb onto a shelf and reach back for the gun without disturbing a single article of clothing in the closet? I'd have liked to have seen a demonstration, but then again it could have backfired if it turned out to be less difficult than I think it was!  That would have been similar to the OJ Simpson blunder with the gloves.

The trial still has a ways to go - Nurmi and Willmott have their redirect of Jodi Arias, then they have to present the rest of their case and call the remaining witnesses, who will be cross examined by Martinez. I believe Martinez will have rebuttal after that, and then closing arguments will begin.  Could be another two weeks before the jury receives their instructions and can begin to deliberate.  I hope the jury understands the theory of "reasonable doubt". Some juries mistake reasonable doubt for all doubt - I've heard that Maricopa county has a very conservative jury pool, and we still don't know which jurors will deliberate and which will be alternates.  If I were on that jury, I'd want to discuss the following points:

  1. Which parts of Jodi Arias's testimony do I believe to be true, if any?
  2. What evidence do we have to consider that will either back up her version of each event, or is in conflict with her version of each event?
  3. Considering we know Arias has lied to family, friends and law enforcement, and has admitting doing so to escape punishment for killing Travis Alexander, how can we determine when she is telling the truth now?
  4. Do we agree that Jodi Arias was a willing and enthusiastic participant in the sexual part of their relationship, or do we believe she did it only to please Travis Alexander as she testified?
These are just a few areas I can think of to establish a baseline on how to decide what can be believed and what can be discarded as fabrication. Moving on to the evidence:

  1. Reviewing all crime scene photos, is it possible that this killing occurred the way she says it did?
  2. I believe regardless of what came first - the gunshot or the stabbing, this was an especially cruel and heinous murder. But since it is a factor in this case, do we believe the shell casing could have come to rest in a pool of blood that she testified wasn't there at the time the gun went off? Is this scientifically possible, for the blood to pool itself under a shell casing in this manner?
  3. How believable is it that there was a .25 caliber gun reported stolen from Arias's grandparents house a week before a .25 caliber gun was used to shoot Travis, and what are the odds it wasn't the same gun, when nobody who knew him said he owned or kept a firearm in his home?
  4. When you travel using a rented car, do you fill up gas cans to carry in the trunk, so you won't run out of gas or to save money on gas?
  5. Assuming you have several physical altercations with a person you are in a relationship with, would you tell anybody? Would you write about it in a personal journal or a diary?
  6. Would you keep returning to the abusive person if you feared them so much?
  7. Have you ever taped a phone conversation with somebody else, with or without their knowledge? Did Arias direct that conversation in the direction of dirty talk, knowing she was taping it?
  8. Why did Jodi Arias take a photo of the "Travis Alexander's" t-shirt and underwear a week before being arrested? Where were the "Spideys" she talked at length about?
  9. Do we believe Jodi walked in on Travis and saw what she claims she saw on January 21, 2008? Is it possible for someone to exhibit this type of behavior and have nothing on their personal computer or in their home such as photos? 
  10. Why didn't Jodi Arias have more or greater injuries herself following this "life and death struggle" she had with Travis Alexander? Compare his injuries to hers. She only required band aids, he went to the morgue.
  11. Do we believe Travis Alexander broke Jodi Arias's left ring finger? Or did she break it while killing him?
These are just a few questions I hope the jury asks themselves when they finally get to deliberate this case. If they use common sense and review the real evidence in this case, I feel justice will prevail.  What are your thoughts? Were Jodi Arias's tears for real yesterday, or were they for herself when she realized her defense was not going to fly?

I think she may be coming to the realization of what she did, and the potential consequences. Does she really believe in her heart that this murder was justified? I don't see how she could.


  1. I guess I'm in the minority. I don't think looking at that pic is what broke her. I firmly believe it was the QUESTION posed to her-she said she was outside the shower. Juan than asks her to SHOW him WHERE.(by pointing it out in the pic) At that moment, I think she realized she had no idea where she SHOULD be and realized she was cornered. She cries whenever it's about her. NO one will convince me she cried due to looking at the pic.She couldn't answer the question and she cried for herself. JMO

    1. That's an excellent point - I hadn't thought of it that way. She cries every time the crime scene photos are displayed - I like that he asked her if she was crying when she stabbed, shot and slit his throat! You are right, by the end of yesterday she seemed utterly defeated and she clearly could not keep her story straight. It struck me when she asked Martinez "you haven't asked me about that before" or something like that! It showed me that her testimony was rehearsed, which is why she kept saying linebacker stance etc. Thanks for your comment and observations!!

  2. I believe that Jodi was shaking and crying on the stand yesterday because she had to. It was the climax of the movie so to speak. She could sense that Juan was coming to a conclusion to his cross she felt compelled to pull out all the stops in an attempt to 'humanize' herself to the jury in the final throws. She how she snuck in the comments of not deserving 1st degree murder in the last couple seconds of the cross exam? The pictures are disturbing. Anyone could look at those pictures and make themselves cry! Actors bring on the tears for movies by thinking of things like loved ones dying. She knows all the autonomic reactions to try and convince others that she is emotional. I agree with the statements above, that she starts her theatrics when the crime photos are pulled out and has to answer to the 'big' questions. It gives her more time to come up with answers, and she hopes to gain some sympathy from the Jury.

    1. Yes, I think by the end of yesterday she was just plain worn out. It must be difficult to keep track of the lies you've told and it became obvious to me that she was having a hard time with questions she hadn't rehearsed and had to come up with an answer on the fly. She often times resorted to pretending she didn't understand the question to buy herself a few more seconds to think of what answer makes the most sense. People who are being honest don't need to have questions repeated so frequently. I understand a trial is a stressful event and even an innocent person could get rattled. But Jodi wasn't rattled or need questions repeated while Kirk Nurmi was asking the questions. Really, if the jury does a side by side comparison of Travis's injuries and Jodi's, I doubt any reasonable person would believe it was necessary to continue stabbing him to the extent that she did. This has rage written all over it. I didn't catch her comment about not deserving 1st degree murder! Let's let the jury decide that Ms. Arias. She took it upon herself to decide Travis Alexander should die. Where mercy is shown, mercy is given - she showed no mercy while killing him. Thanks so much for the comment!

  3. I hear her repeating her testimony in chosen words and phrases, like the linebacker remark. I find all of her answers sound completely scripted and rehearsed. I agree that she broke down to distract the jury from the preposterous story she is being forced to debunk. Other than those moments, she is robotic. No range of emotions at all. Weird.

    1. I know! She kept using "linebacker stance" over and over. And when Juan Martinez asked her a question she wasn't expecting, she didn't have a answer ready and she actually said "you haven't asked me about that before". That was very telling to me. By the time Martinez got through with her, she had to know how unbelievable her story was and he showed how little danger, if any, she was in on June 4 of 2008. Who knows if she is really sorry for what she did - or if she's only sorry she got caught. Thanks for your comment!

  4. I have been thinking about this premeditation thing. I mean, how far in advance does the murder have to be planned in order for it to be premeditated? When she fills up the gas cans? Or is it even premeditated behavior even if they can prove nothing but the fact that she had him sit down in the shower to put him in the vulnerable position he was in in order for that first stabbing? Of course, even if it the jury isn't sold on the premeditation, the self-defense theory is totally not valid due to the brutality. Any victim of an attack would try to get the stink out of there asap. Common sense. Here's hoping the jury understands what 'reasonable' doubt is. This is my theory of the events: The shell casing was found in blood...which to me says that the stabbing to the heart happened first, followed by his other chest/torso wounds and defensive cuts to the hand(s). He then stumbles to the sink, and her 5'6" frame starts stabbing him in the he proceeds down the hallway to escape, she inflicts more random stab wounds where ever she can get him as he is much taller than her and in motion...she either trips him or he plainly falls to the floor out of weakness and pain..and she slits his throat, flips him over, takes the camera off from around her neck, and tosses it on the floor, (snapping a photo) and begins to drag his body back into the bathroom. She shoots him as she's wanting to make sure he's dead. She then is in a mad rush to get out of there, worrying about the possibility of someone hearing that shot, or roommates coming home. Thus the sloppy clean up job and get away.

    1. Wow, that was a good possible depiction of what she did. I could almost picture it unfolding the way you explained. I also believe this was completely unprovoked - he likely didn't see the first stab wound coming. She had him in a vulnerable position, in that small shower stall, posing him at times with his back towards her and in a seated position. He more than likely was trapped when the attack began. Premeditation can be formed in "the blink of an eye", from what I've heard. The laws vary from state to state, but if the jury believes that Jodi took that gun from her grandparents and staged the break-in - that may be all the jury needs to consider premeditation. I agree with you, in self defense a person uses a like amount of force to which they are encountering. If someone slaps you, you can't shoot them. Between the rageful and savage manner in which he was killed, her lack of injuries and the outrageous claims that he was a pedophile, I hope the jury sees through her flimsy story. It just doesn't make sense!! Thanks so much for writing and sharing your theories!

  5. My Forte,

    Your "Questions the jury should ask" are really Martinez's closing argument. Excellent points, observations and questions. Very concise and to the point. Simple. I just hope that Juan Martinez reads your post. While I think he's done a fairly decent job, I think Jodi has helped him a lot. He does seem to go all over the place at times and seems a little unorganized. You should see if you can get your "Questions the jury should ask" to him.

    Very nice put

    1. Anonymous (3/15/13 at 7:45PM),
      Thank you for your comments! I agree that Juan Martinez has done a good job prosecuting this case. Granted, most prosecutors do not get as much as he has to work with! recovering the deleted photos was the turning point. Had she not left her palm print, and taken the camera with her, they likely wouldn't have had enough to convict her. I think the prosecutor's office would be wise to take a look at what the viewing public is saying and writing about this trial too! This was something the legal "pundits" discussed following the Casey Anthony acquittal - people were saying that the public had a negative opinion about George Anthony, or they felt he was hiding something. That may have been helpful for Jeff Ashton to know. Thank you for commenting, enjoy your weekend!


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