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Showing posts from May, 2013

Lifetime Releases Clip From "Dirty Little Secrets"

It's been 4 days since a mistrial was declared in the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial, but the shock is still fresh.  We are all left to wonder what happened in that jury deliberation room, why couldn't they reach a unanimous verdict?  Why was the 8-4 split something that couldn't be overcome?  It's my opinion that Arias' gender played a role in those 4 jurors inability to hand down a death sentence, and statistics seem to back that theory. According to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, women commit roughly 10% of murders - yet women represent 2% of death row inmates. Slightly less than 1% of those executed in the US are women, of 1300 inmates executed since 1976, only 12 were women.

Murder is an equal opportunity crime, why isn't the punishment?  My questions now are will the State of Arizona ultimately empanel a new jury for the sentencing phase, as Judge Stephens indicated after declaring the mistrial?…

Dark Day In Phoenix - Arias Remains Unsentenced

I am still shaking my head in disbelief this morning, following yesterday's "non-verdict" in the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial.  Disappointment, shock and heartache were on the faces of each and every one of Travis Alexander's family members and friends as the decision was read in court yesterday.  I can't express how badly I feel for that family. After losing their beloved brother to a vicious and senseless murder, they sacrificed the last 5 months of their life away from their homes, their jobs and their lives - to be sure Travis' death did not go unpunished.  Sure, Jodi Arias was convicted of first degree murder with an aggravating factor, but this nightmare will not be over until Arias has been sentenced.

For the rest of us who have been following this story since 2008 and have watched this trial as it unfolded, it's disappointing and frustrating that justice has once again been delayed!  I just looked back at my first few posts for t…

Jodi Arias Trial - Life Behind Bars In Arizona

The jury is expected to return to their deliberations later this morning in the Jodi Arias death penalty trial.  They have deliberated for more than 7 hours without reaching a unanimous verdict.  While I find this concerning, as I pointed out in yesterday's post, this can happen in death penalty trials - and the "Allen" instruction Judge Sherry Stephens read to the jury yesterday is the exact same instruction the Wendi Andriano jury was read when they appeared to initially be hopelessly deadlocked. They ultimately continued deliberations, and after four days came back with a sentence of death.

In my April 27, 2013 post, I wrote about what life would be like for a female serving a life sentence in the Perryville Prison Complex in Goodyear, Arizona - and what life on Death Row would be like.  Considering the jury could potentially decide to show Jodi Arias the mercy she failed to show Travis Alexander and sentence her to life in prison, I wanted to take another look at the …

Arias Jury Having Trouble With Unanimous Decision

Oh no. After only 3 hours of deliberating over life and death for Jodi Arias, the jury has sent Judge Stephens a note that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.  Judge Stephens spoke to the jury in court and encouraged them to continue to forge ahead, and if they have any questions on the law she encouraged them to ask her.

I'm surprised that after such a short time, they are seemingly deadlocked!  I don't know how unusual this is for a jury, but I'd imagine it's a difficult decision for each of them.  If they are unable to reach an unanimous verdict, a mistrial will be declared for this phase of the trial - they would then potentially enpanel a new jury to handle the sentencing phase. The new jury would have to accept the guilty verdict, complete with aggravators. The decision would be life or death.  How long would this process take, if they had to choose a new jury? Given the pace of the current trial, this could potentially drag out for some time - also th…

Jodi Arias' Arrogance Evident From New Media Interviews

One would think that a person convicted of first degree murder and waiting to hear whether they will be sentenced to death would be solemn and silently hopeful. Then again, we've never come across the likes of Jodi Ann Arias before.  Arias, shortly after delivering her allocution to the jury via a PowerPoint presentation was returned to the Estrella jail in Phoenix and promptly began what is expected to be a flurry of media interviews.  Are you kidding me? Why is this happening? Why did Judge Sherry Stephens lift the media ban for this convicted murderer? Aren't her attorneys complaining about the excessive media coverage as grounds for a mistrial?

My shock and outrage is beyond words. I suppose we could blame the media for feeding into Arias' ego by eagerly sitting down and talking to this woman, or we could lay blame with the public. Like a automobile accident, the wreckage is horrific yet you can't look away.  I would have hoped the media would shut Arias down, much …

Jodi Arias' Fate Is Now In the Jury's Hands

Well folks, the decision over Jodi Arias' life is now in the hands of the jury.  After a 90 minute delay this morning, Jodi Arias stepped up to the podium and delivered what seemed to be more of a campaign speech than a plea for mercy.  Using a Powerpoint presentation, Arias flashed photos of herself as a baby, a small child - family photos taken during holidays through the years.  Sure doesn't look like a family that was abusive and not supportive.  This was one of the problems with the mitigating factors the defense presented to this jury.  While on one hand, they described Jodi's family as being neglectful and abusive to her while she was a child and as an adult, all the while these family photos are being shown.

There's a reason her family can't testify for her, and the fact that we know that makes this hard to listen to and even harder to swallow. Back to Arias' 19 minute speech. At times, she seemed to be on the right track while discussing a jail visit fr…

Jodi Arias' Lies Prevent Character Witness Testimony

Wow. It's almost a full day later and I'm still left with "wow"!  Jodi Arias is expected to speak to the jury this morning at 9:30AM PST and with all that has happened during this trial, I'm hesitant to speculate on whether or not that will even take place.  Yesterday, the defense was supposed to call character witnesses to speak on behalf of convicted murderer Jodi Arias - childhood friend Patricia Womack was supposed to speak first.  When she declined and was a no-show in court, a meeting in the Judge's chambers ensued. Another trial delay was no surprise in this trial, where on most days delays have become standard.

What happened after the parties came out of chambers was shocking.  If you read yesterday's post or watched the trial, you know what happened.  Womack apparently had second thoughts about publicly testifying in this trial, but the reasons for her reluctance vary depending on whether you believe the prosecution or the defense. The defense cla…

Justice Delayed - Jodi Arias Penalty Phase

This morning, mitigation witnesses for Jodi Arias were supposed to begin testifying in the penalty phase of the death penalty murder trial - if you recall, childhood friend Patricia Womack was supposed to testify on Thursday but court was abruptly cancelled after the lunch break.  The reasons for the shortened day on Thursday were unknown, but there was speculation that Womack did not want her face to be shown in the televised proceedings.

Court was supposed to begin at 10:00AM PST today, but there were several motions that delayed the proceedings - all I can say is "wow"! We have learned that the defense filed a motion for mistrial, citing three main issues:

1)  Biased media coverage
2)  Witness intimidation (Patricia Womack, Alyce LaViolette)
3)  Failure to sequester the jury

Kirk Nurmi argued that Jodi Arias has not received a fair trial from the start. He alleged that the extensive media coverage has made it impossible for her to have a fair trial. This argument is coming fro…

Jodi Arias Trial - Dirty Little Secrets Or Dirty Little Lies?

The Lifetime movie based on the murder of Travis Alexander, "Dirty Little Secrets: The Jodi Arias Story" is reportedly set to air on June 22, 2013 on the Lifetime Movie Network.  The cast and crew who have been filming for several months halted the filming to watch as the verdict aired live in mid May.  The ending is being re-worked to include the guilty verdict.  

Actors Jesse Lee Soffer and Tania Raymonde are playing the lead roles and are pictured below in character as Travis and Jodi:

What do you think of the casting? Some believe Raymonde to be a ringer of Arias. Appears close enough, although I believe Travis was a little heavier than Soffer appears in this photo.  Nonetheless the docudrama airs in around a month.  I think a more appropriate title would be "Dirty Little Lies: The Jodi Arias Story", but that's just my opinion!

The Arias defense team takes center stage tomorrow as the sentencing phase of Jodi Arias' trial resumes in Phoenix.  As mentioned …

The Arias Defense Witnesses - Sentencing Phase

The sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial is expected to resume on Monday following the sudden cancellation of the Thursday afternoon court session.  The reason for Thursday's delay is still unclear, but rumors point to a potential issue with defense (character) witness Patti Womack not wanting her face to be shown during testimony.  Womack is one of two known witnesses who are expected to speak on Arias' behalf - former Arias boyfriend Darryl Brewer is the other.  I didn't know who Patti Womack was, but when I did some digging around, I quickly recognized her from her telephone interview with HLN's Nancy Grace.

In case you don't watch the HLN News lineup, Patti Womack is described as a "close childhood friend" of Jodi Arias.  When interviewed by Nancy Grace recently, Womack shared childhood photos of the pair and video of her wedding in which Jodi Arias was a bridesmaid.  This is Arias and Womack in an undated photo from HLN's website.  Woma…