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? For the sake of murder victim Travis Alexander, and all of the Travis Alexanders out there, I certainly hope so. Jodi Arias deserves to have her fate decided by the citizens of Arizona, cost should not be a deciding factor. Cost wasn't a factor in granting Arias a defense - the family of the victim deserve no less! We will see, when that June 20th status hearing occurs. In the meantime, Lifetime Movie Network has released some clips of their upcoming movie on the case, set to air on June 22, 2013. I've seen two clips, one is a 30 second clip that depicts Arias standing over a washing machine with blood on her shirt, and then answering questions after her arrest. There isn't much to the clip, but I found another one that's longer in length and has commentary from the actress playing Arias:
Jurors have been speaking out on what they called a "gut-wrenching" experience during their deliberations. Diane Schwartz, juror #6 is a retired 911 operator who spoke to abcnews.com about her experience in this trial. She voted for a death sentence, and she is the juror who was widely reported as mouthing "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry" as the jurors walked out of the court room. She called Arias' testimony "scripted" and "repetitive" and she believes that Jodi Arias was being untruthful in her testimony. Schwartz says the decision was not easy for any of them, and she personally had to do some soul searching before making her decision - but after considering the aggravating factors against the mitigating factors, she looked at the planning and cover up, the continual lying and the mechanism of death before voting for death.
Another juror in favor of death was Marilou Allen-Cougan, who believed Arias was playing the jury. Allen-Cougan said the State proved their case of premeditation. Juror #13 was banker Kevin Spellman, who was also in favor of the death penalty. In some other states, such as Florida - an 8-4 vote would have been good enough for sentencing, but in the state of Arizona there must be a unanimous verdict. I've been unable to find any comments or interviews for jurors in favor of a life sentence for Jodi Arias. The three jurors who spoke to abcnews seemed very solemn, saying they felt like they failed the justice system by not rendering a verdict. That's got to be a very unsatisfying feeling to sit through 5 months of testimony and not see the case through to the finish.
What do you think Arias' chances will be with a new jury? Will a new jury have less of a connection with Jodi Arias, not having spent 5 months looking at her in that court room? Will a new jury be able to take a more objective view of the crime, the aggravating and mitigating factors? Depending on what testimony is included in this phase, I think the prosecutor may have an edge with a new jury. What do you think? On one hand, the original jury got to listen to the far-fetched stories straight from the mouth of Jodi Arias. Many of the jurors reported they didn't believe much of her testimony. Lying to the jury doesn't win Arias points, and obviously the savage nature of the murder doesn't earn her points. Will the defense attempt to get a change of venue for the re-trial? Would a change of venue matter in this case?
I haven't been able to find much information on actual cases that had sentencing phases re-tried, so I don't have a feel for what will be introduced or how this works. Obviously the jury has to accept the guilty verdict and the aggravating factor was established. They will need to know about the testimony during the first trial, but will that come from trial transcripts or will the new jury hear new testimony from any of the witnesses? If anyone is familiar with how this process works, please comment! I'll continue to look for information in the meantime. Did Sheriff Joe Arpaio shut down the Jodi Arias interviews? I thought I heard that he did - he would be wise to shut this activity down out of consideration to Travis' family, who must cringe every time she appears on their TV screens. If the Sheriff won't shut her down, the media should! On Friday, a judge ruled that "America's Toughest Sheriff" was guilty of racial profiling. Will Sheriff Joe become the newest pawn in Jodi Arias' defense team's shell game of blame?
It wouldn't surprise me, but then again nothing about this case surprises me anymore. Despite being behind bars, Jodi Arias' twitter activity continues. Her last tweet was on May 25 and read: "WOW...OccupyHLN.org...just wow" If you look at that website, it's an anti-Nancy Grace, anti HLN website that is critical of their handling of coverage of the Jodi Arias trial, among others. I'm sure Arias is completely flattered at all of the attention she's received and continues to receive. I really have to wonder if she could really be so clueless that she is not well-liked, as she talks about the outpouring of love she feels from her supporters. Can it really be equal to the number of people who feel she is a cold-blooded killer?