While the guilt phase has concluded in the Jodi Arias murder trial, decisions over her fate are still pending as the aggravation phase is expected to begin on Wednesday, May 15 2013. The jury that delivered a guilty verdict on first degree murder will hear arguments from prosecutor Juan Martinez on the pain and suffering Travis Alexander likely endured while being repeatedly stabbed, slashed and shot by Jodi Arias on June 4, 2008.
Medical examiner Kevin Horn is expected to return to the stand to describe the nature of the wounds Alexander suffered from and their likely effect on him prior to his death. The defense has argued that Arias shot Travis Alexander prior to the stabbing and slashing of his throat. I don't see how they can effectively argue his death was not cruel, heinous and depraved. Having built their defense around the notion of self-defense, they furiously argued at trial that Jodi Arias shot Travis Alexander first and the gunshot did not incapacitate him, rather he continued to verbally and physically threaten Arias.
Having made that argument, how can argue now that he did not feel the effects of being stabbed repeatedly in the chest, torso and back before having his throat cut? It seems their all-or-nothing trial strategy has painted them into a corner. I think if Jodi Arias had been more honest about everything, she would have stood a better chance of arguing that she snapped and killed him in the heat of the moment.
Within minutes of the guilty verdict, Arias sat down with reporter Troy Hayden from Fox affiliate KSAZ and gave another television interview. Arias left Hayden the following message via voice mail on Sunday prior to the verdict:
"Hi Troy. Jodi Arias. Umm, it's Sunday. I just wanted to let you know...umm, a deal is a deal kind of thing, but I regret saying that. But I'm a person of my word, so I'll keep our deal. Umm, but I also wanted to let you know, if for some reason the jury comes back with first degree just come down to the jail.
Because I'm not sure how things are going to go...well, I have an idea but I don't want to wait. So, umm, we tend to get back from court around 6:00-6:30 so if the jail....your going to be down that way, and that's cool, we can go forward. Umm, if it's second degree or less, I will wait 'til after sentencing. But if it's first degree, for some reason, it'll come right away, but like I said if it's second degree or less, we'll wait 'til after. So, that's that....take care, bye.
The fact that Arias would only grant the interview if she was found guilty of first degree murder seems to point toward another attempt to manipulate the public. Earlier this year, Arias' friends (Donovan Bering and Ann Campbell) told reporters that while Arias understood the need to be punished for her actions, she did not feel she deserved the death penalty. In addition to those statements, Arias' attorneys went all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court in an attempt to have the death penalty option set aside. I suppose these things if taken at face value don't necessarily prove that Arias actually would prefer life in prison to the death penalty. The best possible sentence she can hope for is to receive life with the possibility for parole after serving 25 years. That would have Arias out in time to get her AARP card - much too generous of a sentence for this crime!
It's hard to tell what's going on in Jodi Arias' mind. That's the problem when a person tells so many lies. I personally question that she would prefer to get the death penalty to (natural) life. As we have learned throughout this trial, Jodi Arias has talked about killing herself more times than I can count. She's had the time and opportunity to commit suicide, prior to being arrested she even purchased her very own gun. Is this just another attempt to manipulate the public or to garner sympathy in light of a verdict she wasn't expecting?
While Arias remains on suicide watch in the psych ward, she may have managed to delay her trial but justice will not be denied. As Arias has time to grasp her new reality, will she ultimately plead for her life? Or will she be defiant to the end and continue to take no responsibility? Arias continues to give the state more ammunition to use against her, through her poor decisions to contact the media, Twitter activity and her moneymaking schemes from behind bars. I almost feel bad for her attorneys, but that feeling doesn't last for very long when I remember the allegations and arguments they made at trial. The defense continues to operate in poor taste in their latest bid to have the victim impact statements delivered via videotape! Are you kidding me?
What will happen on Wednesday during the aggravation phase? What can Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott possibly say about the manner of death that would sway this jury away from the death penalty? How much sympathy will the jury have for Arias after they hear what she's been up to during her own trial? This will be a very interesting week. Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother's Day!
NancyB posted a link to the latest portion of Arias' interview w/Troy Hayden - Arias seems just fine, composed - but the broken-finger-pointing has begun!
The Fox affiliate is releasing this interview in portions, unfortunately. It would be nice to hear the entire 45 minutes in an uninterrupted manner! Yeah, the media is having a field day with Arias' antics. Thanks for posting the link NancyB!
If anybody is interested in the numerous petitions related to Travis Alexander and this case, Change.org still needs your signatures. There are literally pages of petitions started by the public in an effort to shut down some of the offensive websites out there and more importantly there is a petition for "Travis Alexander's Law" - which would prevent the prejudicial and malicious testimony against a murder victim when no evidence is offered and when not directly relating to a defense. We can collectively be a part of positive change!