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Jodi Arias Murder Trial - A Look At The Arizona Prison System

The Jodi Arias murder trial began on January 2, 2013 and has captured a national audience - many are struck by the daily trial headlines and shocking allegations made by the woman at the center of this trial, and others are watching and waiting for justice to be served on behalf of the 30 year old man who was viciously and savagely murdered in the bathroom of his own home. It has been nearly five years since concerned friends discovered Travis Alexander's lifeless body in the shower of his home, and the five month trial of the woman who claims she killed her ex boyfriend in self defense is coming to an end.

32 year old Jodi Arias was arrested in Yreka, California on July 15, 2008. She was extradited to Phoenix in September of 2008 and has been in custody at the Estrella jail complex, unable to raise the $1,000,000 bond that would have freed her pending trial. In the months that followed her arrest, Arias famously gave media interviews where she boldly stated that no jury would ever convict her, at trial Arias would attempt to defuse that statement by telling the jury she planned on killing herself and that was why she was so confident "no jury would ever convict". 

After those initial interviews, Arias remained relatively quiet as the State and her defense attorneys took years to prepare for her trial. I never forgot about this case after hearing about the sheer brutality of this murder back in 2008. With closing arguments around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to see what Arias' life might be like if she is found guilty of first degree murder. Of course there are many unknown variables at this time. If Arias were to be convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death or life ("natural" or 25 years to life) she would likely serve her time at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville, near Goodyear Arizona.

Many legal experts are predicting Arias will be convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life.  I don't like predictions, I'm superstitious about these things! If Arias were to end up on Death Row, she would serve her time at the Lumley Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex - this is where all female death row prisoners are housed. Death row prisoners are housed in single cells with a sink, toilet, bed and mattress. The cells are 86.4 square feet. All meals are delivered to the inmates on Death Row and they have no contact with other inmates. They are allowed outdoor exercise for 2 hours per day, 3 times a week in a secured area, and they get 3 showers per week. Personal property for death row inmates is limited to hygiene items, two appliances (not sure what this includes?), two books and writing materials which can be purchased through commissary. Visitation for female death row inmates is limited to non-contact visits on Mondays from 7AM-3PM, by appointment only.  They are allowed to make two 10 minute phone calls per week.

If Arias were to receive a life sentence, she would most likely end up at the same prison complex. Her accommodations would depend on her classification. When new inmates are brought to prison, they are classified in order to ensure they are housed in the most appropriate area. The classifications are:

  • Maximum custody
  • Close custody
  • Medium custody
  • Minimum custody
Visitation for (non-death row) prisoners can vary widely, anywhere from 4-four hour blocks on Saturday or Sunday to one four hour block on Saturday or Sunday. During a new inmate's initial classification, some of the things they take into consideration are:

  • Most serious current offense
  • Most serious prior or other offenses
  • Escape history
  • History of institutional violence
  • Gang affiliation
  • Current age
All inmates who have been sentenced to death are considered maximum custody. Inmates who are serving a life sentence ("natural" or 25 years to life) are classified:

  • Life sentence with 0-2 years served     Maximum custody
  • Life sentence with 2-5 years served     No less than Close custody
  • Life sentence with 5+ years served      No less than Medium custody
I think it's safe to say that Jodi Arias' life is going to change after her trial has concluded. You never know what's in the mind of the jury, but I don't think Arias will go unpunished for this crime. The severity of punishment is the big question. If the defense is successful in getting manslaughter as an option for the jury, she could receive a sentence of as little as 7 years - and she's already served close to 5 years.  I don't want to go out on the ledge and make any type of prediction. I know what I believe to be a just verdict and sentence, but I'm not sitting on the Arias jury.

Will this jury spare the life of Jodi Arias, finding it too difficult to sentence her to death after seeing her in the court room for more than 4 months? I certainly hope that IF they believe Arias lied about what happened and they believe it was premeditated, they will remember Travis Alexander - he didn't get a trial, he didn't get a jury, he was shown no mercy by this defendant. I realize that nothing will bring Travis Alexander back, but I do believe he deserves justice for having his life taken from him in such a horrific way. I'm neither for or against the death penalty. But I do believe there are some cases where nothing less than death seems suitable for the crime. Is this one of those crimes?

What will happen on Wednesday with the surrebuttal witness? Is he taking the stand to try to help buddy Alyce LaViolette, who's reputation took a header after her testimony in this case? Will LaViolette and Geffner co-author a book on this case? And I'm still wondering if Judge Stephens hair will ever move.  Have a great weekend!


  1. I found this on a trial forum, I dare you to read it and not cry. It had me choked up.

    1. Thanks for the link to The Katie Did. That is what this trial is all about. The loss of a beloved brother, grandson, and friend. I wish the jury could read that!

      And as for this post from My Forte: I have to say, I have been against the death penalty, as I think that the state killing even ONE innocent person is
      beyond what we as a society can allow. HOWEVER...this time, as it is obvious that Jodi Arias is guilty of premeditated murder in an especially cruel and heinous manner, I am totally 100% for the death penalty. I do believe that this woman would kill again given the chance.

    2. Anonymous (4/27 at 8:29)
      Thank you for posting that link, very moving. During the penalty phase, the jury will finally get to hear from family members who have had to hold their thoughts & emotions inside during this trial. The victim impact statements should be powerful.

  2. My Forte, I also hopes she gets the DP. It will probably be many years before they actually kill her anyway but just knowing she'd be so isolated and cut off from everyone gives more satisfaction than knowing she could be out there in the general prison population. Knowing her, she'll put on a prison performance of Glee and give interviews every other day if she's not completely locked up.

    1. Anonymous (4/28 @ 12:47PM),
      I read somewhere that in AZ the average time a person spends on death row is 12 years. But yes, she would be isolated and only get visitors on 1 day, and phone calls are very limited too. I agree, I wouldn't be surprised to see Arias on MSNBC's "Lockup"! They could create a show around her, "American Idol - Inmate Edition". She's vain enough to participate! Thanks for your comments.

  3. How's this for manipulation at the master level and pure deviance.

    Jodi Arias ‏@Jodiannarias 27 Apr

    I'm working on a little project that is going to help support domestic violence shelters.I'm hoping it'll be off the ground this coming week

    1. Holy Effin' Moly!!! She is truly something else isn't she.

      She's tweeted after that saying she feels sorry for the poor guy that paid for her "panties" on Ebay, he got suckered. I'm sure if he sends the money to her she'll send him a real pair.

      I wish the jury could see these tweets!!! I never thought I'd say this but she's worse than CA. At least CA knew to keep her big pie hole shut and behave herself in prison.

    2. NancyB & Anonymous (4/29 @ 4:44AM), Unbelievable. Now she's rallying to raise money for women's shelters? She should be raising money to pay for her own damned defense!! I agree with Anon and hope the jury gets to see some of these tweets during the penalty phase of this trial. Is this somebody who seems remorseful whatsoever, or someone who is using her newfound infamy for her own personal profit? Let the jury decide.

  4. Hopefully,

    JA’s new digs!

    1. NancyB,
      Wendy meet Jodi, Jodi meet Wendy!

  5. The reason I would like to see JA get the DP is that it will take years (even with AZ's accelerated rate). So for a decade or so she will try and try to appeal, squirm and manipulate the system and end up getting death as she deserves. The whole time pretty much completely isolated and unable to profit from her crime. I think it's as close to justice as we can get. She won't talk her way out of it, get any sympathy or otherwise discredit TA anymore. I can't wait to hear the family at the penalty phase. They should get 18 days too! They have shown such restraint in that she only sits maybe 25 feet away from them! And then they were sat directly behind her! I can't imagine what it takes for them...


    1. Sonja,
      I hope you are correct in your thinking. I have a difficult time thinking a jury could sympathize with this cold blooded killer. The fact that she was so normal when she returned from her fatal road trip speaks volumes about her. She could not stop thinking about Travis with someone else, and she was probably more relieved than anything else when she knew this would never happen because she killed him. I hope the family takes AS MUCH TIME AS THEY WANT to read their victim impact statements. They have had to bite their tongues and listen to this BS for far too long. Thanks for writing!

  6. Jodi Arias ‘Original Art’ Dubbed Fake! She Copies Print Ads For Profit!
    Jodi Arias is not known for her honesty, and now the controversial “original artwork” that she has been selling has been revealed to be blatant copies from print advertisements!

    1. I was just coming here to post the same info Anon! Are we surprised though? I was reading through the comments and someone mentioned that her artwork isn't even really selling. Her BFF/tweeter/fellow criminal Donovan was putting phony bids up on Ebay which is the real reason she was banned from selling on there. She's charging $1,500 for these pieces of crap!!! Even the people supporting her on her Innnocent site (yes, I peeked!) are saying they can't afford those prices.

    2. Anonymous (4/29 @ 9:52AM & 11:58),
      Wow, what a scam "artist" she is turning out to be! She's managed to sucker a few people into believing she was justified in murdering another human being and these people have helped her to cash in on her crime. I've got to say I'm relieved that she's being exposed for the scam artist she really is! Thanks for posting this.

  7. Hi Anon & Anon - Thanks for posting this! So perfect, isn't it?


  8. Here are comments from a story about Daniel Freeman who was one of the first to testify. Remember he went on numerous trips with JA and TA

    Part 1

    PHOENIX – A mutual friend of accused murderer Jodi Arias and victim Travis Alexander is speaking out for the first time since he testified for the defense in January.

    Daniel Freeman was the friend caught in the middle. He was closer to Alexander, but so charmed by Arias he considered her part of his family.

    “She was like a sister. She was part of the family and in my family when you’re a friend you’re family,” said Freeman of his once close relationship to Arias.

    Freeman said what most people don’t know is that he was closer to Alexander, but wanted to give Arias the benefit of the doubt when fingers instantly pointed her way after Alexander was found dead.

    Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home.

    “I kind of defended her and said ‘you know I don’t know if she did it or not, but I can’t treat her like she has unless I know, and the person I know wouldn’t have done it,” said Freeman.

    Freeman said he now realizes he really didn’t know Arias all that well.

    On the day she was arrested a friend called to “rub” it in, but the news came an hour after his brother committed suicide and Freeman was consumed by a different tragedy.

    “At that point, it really didn’t matter,” said Freeman.

    1. Part 2

      Freeman visited Arias several times in jail, but the visits soon stopped. He just needed to move on.
      “People would tell me to go see her when I was in town. I would think about it, but then never went,” said Freeman.
      In 2010 Freeman was told he could be called to testify for either the prosecution or the defense and not to watch news reports.
      He didn’t watch the news and his friends held back telling him things.
      “My grandmother has watched the entire trial and hasn’t told me a thing,” said Freeman.
      So Freeman had never heard Arias’ third and final claim that she killed in self-defense. He only knew the intruder story.
      Arias’ attorneys called him to testify with only two choices, come on his own free will or be subpoenaed.
      “I was just there to tell the truth and whoever called me would’ve got the same answers” said Freeman.
      When Freeman took the stand he said Arias didn’t look like the Jodi he knew.
      “Whey started the questioning that’s when I realized they were trying to paint Travis as the bad guy. Sitting on the stand, I kind of smiled because I knew that wouldn’t work. He was a good guy – there wasn’t anything bad in anything I ever saw,” recalled Freeman.
      Freeman remembers looking over to Arias wondering what was she thinking, but only got a blank stare in return.
      He also recalls looking over at Prosecutor Juan Martinez chuckling with Detective Estaban Flores. He said he knew Martinez was about to make him a witness for the prosecution and he welcomed it.
      “At least it crossed my mind and whether or not it crossed his I don’t know. But what crossed my mind was he realized I was just telling the truth and that I wasn’t for the defense and that most of what I said he could actually use,” Freeman told ABC15
      Arias’ final story that Alexander physically, emotionally and sexually abused her was too much for Freeman.
      “To me, I see someone who was a good man being dragged through the mud. We all have our weaknesses; we all have the things in our lives that we struggle with that are vices and it’s not often that we have all our vices and dirty laundry dragged out for the whole world to see.”
      In court, Freeman told jurors Arias and Alexander fought, but nothing out of the ordinary from a typical couple.
      He said Alexander wanted to move on, but Arias just kept coming around and Alexander had trouble saying “no” to her.
      “When you’re living a lifestyle that conflicts with your belief’s to the degree with what Travis was doing, to me, that was why he said he couldn’t marry her. He told me that before he said ‘I love her, I care about her, but I can’t marry her.’”
      And as for Arias’ latest claims in court, Freeman shakes his head.
      “I don’t believe her story. He (Travis) was murdered.”
      Read more:

    2. It's funny but the defense hasn't brought up one single person in Jodi's life who's really raved about her. The ex BF she borrowed the gas can from said a few nice things about her but hey, the guy didn't want his face shown!!! Nobody has popped up defending her character, saying she was a wonderful woman who would never murder someone unless it was absolutely necessary. Her only allies have been her paid attorney's and paid expert witnesses.

    3. Also, Chris Hughes is going to be on Dr. Drew tonight talking about the email the defense used in court. He said they wanted Jodi out of their lives and out of Travis' too but the email was used by the defense to sound as if they were warning Jodi.

    4. Anonymous (4/29 @ 4:49PM),
      Great point, the defense hasn't even called any of her relatives to testify on her behalf! I'd expect to hear from them during sentencing phase. It's pretty bad when the defense doesn't call a defendant's own family!

    5. NancyB,
      Thanks for posting that Daniel Freeman interview. Very nice to hear the truth being told from someone who seems to be very genuine and not at all happy that Arias turned out to be a killer.


  9. And Justice4Travis tweeted the following response to JA's DV tweet:

    “The State is working on a little project also – the NEEDLE”

    Maybe I'm sick but I love that response!

    1. NancyB,
      I guess I'm a sick-o too because the tweet from Justice4Travis seems fitting.....

  10. Since Dr Horn did not offer any *new* testimony compared to his testimony on Jan 8th I thought that meant that the defense will not be allowed to have their own (if they can find Dr Werner Spitz or someone of that ilk) ME to refute Dr Horn’s testimony in their sur-rebuttal.(Assuming the defense does not ARGUE that he offered “new” evidence that they would be entitled to rebut–AND the court were to agree)

    I watched Dr. Horn’s entire rebuttal testimony, and my understanding was that Juan simply had him answer questions to refute Jodi’s killing-sequence-claims, and that he only referred to evidence previously admitted during the state’s case-in-chief.
    Therefore, I was saying that the defense will not have any opportunity to “rebut” his rebuttal testimony.
    (If the defense could have found ANYONE to refute his original testimony, we would have heard it during their case. Says a LOT, doesn’t it.)

    BUT...they have filed a motion today to allow Dr Geffner to refute Dr Horn's testimony. This BS! How can a PhD psychologist with a specialty in neurophysiology be capable of refuting an MD? Geffner is NOT a pathologist - Horn is. If the judge allows this, I will *never* understand how she could justify such a pathetic decision! I'm pissed that they have even filed the motion. They are sluts, in my book.

    1. NancyB, I really don't think Dr. Geffner will make a big impact on Wednesday. I've heard the judge may allow it if it's a couple of questions but I agree, if it's not his line of expertise he shouldn't be allowed to be questioned on it. The defense is grasping at straws.

    2. Anonymous (4/29 @ 4:46PM) and NancyB,
      Judge Stephens, in my opinion has been much too lenient with the defense in this case. Allowing JA to trash TA and call him a sexual deviant and domestic batterer without any evidence was bad enough. The only thing she has ruled against as far as the defense is concerned is the motions for mistrial! Dr. Geffner was a GIFT and his testimony should be strictly limited! This is total nonsense, for a Judge to allow a defense to push her around with their veiled threats of misconduct and appellate issues! They are desperate and it shows. She's given them every benefit, but it's time to end this sideshow. These last minute hail mary's aren't going to pan out, unless they can change the FACTS of the case!

  11. NancyB, thanks for clarifing what the defense saying filing a motion to refute dr. Horne. I thought they are going to bring a new doctor not dr. Gaffner to testify about which comes first, the gun shot or the stubbing..desperation of the worst kind.

  12. MUST WATCH! Jodiariasisinnocent Exposing Simon Johansson's SCAM

    I expose a few websites that are wide open for anyone to access that these scammers use to blast emails to thousands of people. I don't expect these websites to be up very long after this video is published so spread the word quickly!

    Help stop these scammers from profiting from high profile cases like Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias and prevent these scum from making money off others

    1. Anonymous (4/29 @ 6:19PM),
      It's disgusting that there are people out there just waiting to exploit money from people - just look at disaster relief scammers. I think the public did a fairly good job of shutting down any profits Casey Anthony stood to make by vowing to not watch or buy anything she participated in. People need to take the same stance here!

  13. New info on people getting Money from JAii

    jaii donations go to famosamos3838

  14. Chris Hughes said Ms. LaViolette did all the speaking for him and his wife re: the email and that is was all bogus. Jodi showed up unannounced at their house, whining and trash talking about Travis, telling them she had a vision she was supposed to marry Travis. Sky and Chris told her "Jodi, move on, he's never going to commit to you" so that was where the email stemmed from. Chris said one sentence was taken out of context and his words were manipulated by Ms. LV during the trial.

    1. Anonymous (4/30 @ 2:52AM),
      Wow, I didn't know that ALV took those comments so far out of context! I wish Juan Martinez would have called Chris or Sky Huges to the stand in rebuttal! Good info and it totally makes sense. Thanks for your post!


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