|Photo by Ross Franklin, AP News|
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 like they did with Casey Anthony when the public vowed to not allow Anthony or her family to receive money for interviews, photographs or anything else relating to the death of little Caylee. The public in that case vowed to boycott any media outlet that dealt with the Anthony family. Why isn't the same thing happening now?
The way in which Jodi Arias has handled herself since her arrest is nearly as shocking as her crime. In her latest interview last night with the Associated Press, she publicly denounced prosecutor Juan Martinez's portrayal of her as someone who sought fame and the spotlight - funny, coming from the woman who demanded hair and makeup products be provided to her for the very interview she sat for. Attorney Jennifer Willmott told the jury yesterday how low Jodi's self esteem was, saying she has "no ego"! Really? No ego or self esteem? She seems perfectly happy as long as those cameras are rolling and the focus is squarely on her. She is still alleging to be a victim in this trial.
I haven't seen the entire interview yet, but as predicted she's already pointing the (broken) finger at her attorneys, throwing them under the bus along with her mother and father. It must be getting crowded under that bus! She repeated her self-serving statement about her desire to avoid a trial, hoping instead to have plead guilty to second degree murder which carries a maximum sentence of 22 years in prison. Yeah, it's the state of Arizona's fault they didn't make that deal? In this country, we don't plea bargain to avoid trials. I'm certain a plea deal would have saved the taxpayers a boatload of cash, but a plea deal would not have given Travis Alexander or his family the justice he so deeply deserves.
Arias insists that her attorneys let her down by failing to call at least three witnesses who allegedly saw bruising around her neck from the alleged choking incident. Notice I'm using allegedly a lot, that's because I don't believe she was choked and I never will. She's already saying she did not receive a fair trial and blames the media and her attorneys, among others. She said last night that her attorneys felt a little "betrayed and blindsided" by her post-conviction interview but gave her their blessing for last night's interview - warning her to be cautious! Arias was evasive when asked about her conflicting stories and cited possible appeals for her non-answers in certain areas.
Arias said that she wishes she never met Travis Alexander - yes, I'm sure he wishes he never met her too. She firmly believes had she never met Travis, she would now be a "happily married woman with children, good finances and a successful wedding photography business". No, she doesn't have an ego or self esteem. This case has sickened me to the point where I can hardly stand to watch anything related to Jodi Arias anymore. I want to hear the sentencing, and I pray that justice will prevail. But I've really heard enough of Arias self-serving statements about all of the good she can still do - she said yesterday in court that her previous claims of wanting the death penalty "lacked perspective". That may be the biggest understatement of them all.
Throughout the trial we have heard Jodi Arias, her attorneys and their experts talking about Jodi's death wish and the numerous suicide threats. A week ago she made the same claims, since that's all we have heard coming out of her mouth, it seems more likely that those claims were made for the sole purpose of garnering sympathy and not a sincere wish to be dead. She has played the jury, she has played the public and she's playing the media still. Her continued assault on Travis Alexander is unforgivable. She's still attacking him, with her veiled statements and her "Survivor" t-shirt.
Also concerning: Jennifer Willmott & Kirk Nurmi have made pleas to the judge that the jury isn't seeing "the whole picture" in the mitigation phase. I happen to agree with that statement in that the jury hasn't seen how Arias has really been spending her time behind bars. I understand, it would be "too prejudicial" for them to know most of this stuff, but I truly believe it could make a legitimate difference on what they sentence her to. They have no idea that Arias has been making money selling her "art" (some appear to be simple tracings of magazine ads), they have no idea of the snide comments that Arias has been tweeting from behind bars, they have no idea of all of the money she has pocketed for commissary items and funds that have been funneled to her family for travel expenses - and the biggest deception of all, yesterday she told that jury 100% of the proceeds from sales of those Survivor t-shirts was going to non-profit domestic violence organizations! As early as last week, Arias' art website said "a PORTION" of the proceeds would be donated. That may mean 1% for all we know. How is the jury supposed to make an informed decision about this woman's integrity and her life when they don't have the whole picture?
I honestly believe if Arias is given life, she will continue to torture the Alexander family with these activities and God knows what else. I am saddened that Travis never had a trial, he never had the benefit of legal counsel or a jury - he was simply executed. That's exactly what she did to him, yet she's crying foul because the jury simply rejected her far fetched stories during her 18 day testimony under oath. She will blame everybody around her, she will blame the system, her attorneys and her parents. She accepted very little responsibility for her horrendous actions. Very little. And the thing that angers me the most is that we will probably hear a number of additional interviews before this thing is over, feeding into her enormous ego and this is making her far too important. If Arias and her attorneys are so concerned about her case being tried in the media, why does she keep seeking out the media for interviews? She can't have it both ways!
What, if anything can we do? We can collectively vow to not watch these interviews, we can vow not to read any book she or her family writes and we can vow to never spend one red cent on anything remotely related to Jodi Arias. I have no idea how many interviews Arias has lined up, but the AP article I just read said that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office reported they went well into the night. Here is the link to that article:
While the jury weighs the punishment Jodi Arias will receive, I pray the decision they make will bring a little sense of relief to Travis' family and friends. While I understand that people make mistakes and I truly believe in forgiveness and mercy, and every life has value and most people have redeeming qualities that make it difficult to vote for a death sentence - I hope the jury remembers that Travis' life had value too. I have no doubt that he had much to offer to the world before Jodi Arias decided he didn't deserve forgiveness or mercy. His life was worth sparing.
How long will it take for the jury to decide life or death for Jodi Arias? Will this jury be able to reach a unanimous verdict, or will there be another hung jury? What do you think she deserves, and what do you think the jury will decide? If she's given a life sentence, how do you think the other inmates will react to her? Did Arias come across like she was a better class of inmate than the other poor illiterate women in prison? I thought her words to the jury sounded more like a campaign speech, complete with prison reform initiatives and the promises of book clubs, art lessons and recycling programs to create jobs. All of this from the woman who just last week said she prefers a death sentence to life in prison. Just goes to show that she really hadn't come to terms with the fact that the jury found her guilty and she wasn't going to be going home any time soon.
What are your thoughts?