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 this blog, back in November and December of last year and it reminded me of how many delays there were in this trial - even in the jury selection process. I have so many questions on how this will play out. Will Jennifer Willmott & Kirk Nurmi be allowed to now withdraw from the case? I thought I heard they were remaining on to see the case through, but I'm not certain. With Arias criticizing them publicly after the work they have put in for her, I can't say I blame them. They had a difficult job with a even more difficult client. I don't agree with their distasteful trial tactics but they did their jobs.
If they were allowed to withdraw or if Arias were to get new representation, can you imagine how long this could be delayed? If anybody knows for certain if Willmott/Nurmi are staying on the case, could you please post the info? If they remain as attorneys of record that should speed up the process in empaneling a new jury. I have no idea what the rules are around the voir dire process, or what Juan Martinez needs to do in order to get the best death qualified jury he can. I don't understand how this jury became so splintered (reportedly 8-4 in favor of death), after agreeing on guilt and aggravating circumstances. I don't know how they viewed the jury instructions, they seemed long and over-complicated to me. Is it possible there were jurors on the panel who could not hand down a death sentence to a female regardless of how they answered their jury questionnaires?
Murder is an equal opportunity crime, however it seems that juries have a harder time sentencing women to death than men. I don't know what the jury went through during their deliberations, however the jury foreman spoke to my new favorite reporter, Ryan Owen - he told Owen there was a significant split on sentencing from the start. He also said he thought Jodi Arias made a poor witness and she didn't do herself any favors by being on the stand for 18 days. I wonder how these jurors are going to feel once they have seen how this woman has been conducting herself during the trial, during their deliberations? Will they feel duped, scammed, played? Would it have made a difference if they had seen the real Jodi Arias before sentencing? I think it would have gone a long way towards showing the arrogance and self-centered Arias has no real remorse for what she did. When she talks about this being "the worst thing she's ever done", that's about the closest she came to taking any responsibility for the lives that she's ruined.
I don't know what to say at this point! I don't think Sheriff Joe is going to to allow Arias' media tour to continue - that would be a good start. At least Arias is now in a single cell situation, no more dormatory-style setting with other inmates to hang out with. The Alexander siblings are expected to file a wrongful death suit against Arias, I hope the sentencing delay doesn't interfere with anything they have pending. I suppose now that she's been convicted of murder, they could proceed whenever they wanted but clearly this is their first priority.
I have to run right now, but I will continue to post information here as things play out. I'd miss reading your comments too much to stop this blog now. Have a great weekend!