Monday, May 27, 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? 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?



30 comments:

  1. I feel very hopeful that the next jury will be unanimous in their decision. I do know the family is hoping for the death penalty so, for their sake, I'd like to see it happen but I take comfort in knowing that either outcome...she's not likely to see freedom again.

    I plan on watching the Lifetime movie but I'm not giving it much credence. Just watching purely for entertainment.

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  2. My Forte or anyone else who can answer, I'm curious about whether all trials have these separate deliberation phases. I watch a ton of ID channel but never knew this! I thought the jury just deliberated once and came out with their verdict. I had no idea there was a penalty, aggravation and sentencing phase. Is it this way in every state?

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  3. To Anon @ (11:03 a.m.). No, every state isn't set up this way. And I know it isn't in mine. It's a straight-shot process here.

    It would be nice if oneday AZ and any state like it would rethink this multiple phase process. It would seem to me it would cost a lot more in monies, time and energies on everyone.

    Happy Memorial Day everyone!

    ~M. Bethnae~

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    1. Thank you so much for your response:)

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    2. You're very welcome Anon. I wish I could do the research for you and tell you which state does what...that is the ones that have the DP (some states don't as you know) Anyway, I am not well today/tonight, and I just can't think how best to research it. However, I bet My Forte or NancyB or Sonja or Sue may know when they read your question. They are all quite bright and on top of all this kind of thing.

      Have a lovely night!

      ~M.Bethnae~

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    3. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I was quite surprised the jury actually chooses the penalty. To my understanding in most non-DP cases the judge picks the sentence. Which I think is best since the judge knows all of the facts of the case even the withheld and understands the case law. In most DP cases I think the Death Penalty is recommended by the jury and the judge makes the final decision. Which again would make sense because you don't want just one person to make that decision. That being said I do believe in AZ the judge could overrule the DP decision from the jury...

      Sonja

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  4. My Forte, I read this in the comment section of another blog. I believe it was copied from a lawyers Twitter acct. and thought it was interesting.

    Apparently, when the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision it comes in as a question...not a verdict, because obviously, it is not a verdict. When the jury first stated they could not reach a unanimous decision, that was sent in as a question and Judge Sherry gave them the dynamite charge. The 2nd unsuccessful attempt at a unanimous decision was also supposed to come in as a question. Judge Sherry would have again been able to give a 2nd dynamite charge.

    For whatever reason, Mr Zervakos used the verdict form to report the non-unanimous decision. He was not supposed to use that form. This why it was read out as if there was a verdict, when in reality, it should have come in on a question form. After this happens twice the Judge will announce a mistrial.

    The person who posted this info said this was the reason for Judge Sherry's shock and needing to take a breath. She was anticipating that a verdict had been reached, not an in court announcement of no unanimous decision.

    I found this really interesting because I did find it odd that it was read out that way. I hope what I wrote makes some sense!

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    1. Wow...very interesting! I have thought so much why Judge Sherry had such a hard time speaking and seemingly almost breathless! Thank you.

      *Tomorrow night (HLN) JVM and Nancy Grace will have some of the jurors on..can't wait. I believe it is two women and one man, but I could be wrong about that part,*

      ~M.Bethnae~

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    2. My intention is not to bash the jury or foreperson but my understanding has been that the foreperson steers the ship so to speak during deliberations. I have heard from the jurors that have come forward thus far(including the foreman) that they were shocked Judge Stephens declared a mistrial...what were they expecting? I question if these jurors were truly able to ever sentence someone to death. I understand it comes down to mitigating factors that go to a life sentence, but in this case? Arias is not a mother, her relationship with her family is questionable to say the very least and the remaining factors were nonsense, artwork, starting a recycle program, donating hair to locks for love, which incidentally routinely makes trips to female prisons to collect hair. There was nothing else...I too hope there is a retrial of this phase and they get it right.

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  5. 750.316 First degree murder; penalty; definitions.
    Sec. 316.

    (1) A person who commits any of the following is guilty of first degree murder and shall be punished by imprisonment for life:

    (a) Murder perpetrated by means of poison, lying in wait, or any other willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing.

    (b) Murder committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, or third degree, child abuse in the first degree, a major controlled substance offense, robbery, carjacking, breaking and entering of a dwelling, home invasion in the first or second degree, larceny of any kind, extortion, kidnapping, vulnerable adult abuse in the first and second degree under section 145n, torture under section 85, or aggravated stalking under section 411i.
    Michigan Penal Code
    To Anon, 1103 AM, We do not have
    the DP here, this is what I found for the state of Michigan.

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    1. Thank you for this info. anon. It's amazing how the laws differ from state to state!

      I've heard FL only needs a majority for the sentencing, rather than unanimous, like AZ.

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  6. States with DP
    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, N. Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, S, Carolina, S, Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, Also U.S. Gov't

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    Replies
    1. TEXAS should be in caps.

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  7. States without DP
    (Year Abolished in Parentheses)
    Alaska(1957) Connecticut(2012) Hawaii(1957) Illinois(2011) Iowa (1965) Maine(1887) Maryland(2013) Massachusetts(1984) Michigan(1884) Minnesota(1911) N. Jersey(2007) N. Mexico(2009) N. York(2007) N. Dakota(1973) Rhode Island(1984) Vermont(1964) W. Virginia(1965) Wisconsin(1853) Also Dist. of Columbia(1981)

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  8. Edit Michigan(1846)

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  9. Here's a video about gender bias that I think affected the jury:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-57-i1S95Kk

    Sonja

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  10. Here's the link for a great essay by Wendy Murphy on the Defense's Non-Mitigation Strategy that is very thought provoking.

    http://wendymurphylaw.com/jodi-hannibal-lecter-arias/

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    1. This was a great read NancyB. I always enjoy Wendy Murphy. Thanks a lot.

      ~M. Bethnae~

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  11. Thanks NancyB and Sonja for two excellent sites-one to read and one to watch-both were very informative! I really enjoyed the way Wendy Murphy writes,almost as much as I enjoy MyForte,ha! I anxiously await the status hearing and LOVE that Jodi's stage has been removed!

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  12. To Anonymous on May 27 @5:43pm - I was astonished after reading your comment because if what you state is true it appears that this jury foreman used the wrong form when submitting their second "question" to the judge. I have no words to express how negligent or careless this action was.

    Since it's the foreman's duty to submit these forms, I guess he really screwed up! What a waste of time and money. My heart goes out to the Alexander family for having to endure more time in court. I hope and pray the next jury foreman is alert enough to catch a mistake like this.

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    1. The foreman seems to be a little biased towards Jodi... He said something like that he wouldn't want to be on the stand w/JM and he thought she was normal before TA and I heard jurors were shocked that JSS declared a mistrial. You know Freud says there are no mistakes, just sayin'. I wonder if it may have been an "error" due to his subconscience.

      Sonja

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  13. http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/domestic-violence-industry/wtf-fatigue-jodi-arias/

    This is a good read!

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  14. Hello everyone,

    For the first time, I visited Jodi Aries website and saw discussions that listed several scenarios that will lead into a reversal of the guilty verdict in the appellate court and gain her freedom. Since I don’t know anything about the law that can be used to reverse the verdict, is any one of you know anything? Are they dreaming of the possibilities? I was really shocked to read some of the discussion of the possibilities she might be free of the crime one day.

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  15. This guy is hilarious!

    http://ariasloveletters.tumblr.com/page/2

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  16. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DLFlB4ux6Ds

    Please light a candle in remembrance of #travisalexander on June 4 at 5:30pm (your time).

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  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DLFlB4ux6Ds

    This very beautiful video of Travis made me cry.

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  18. A message from Steven Alexander:

    June 4th will forever be a dark reminder of who has been ripped from our lives. June 4th will always be the day we stop and think this is the day Travis was murdered. You will think about all the horrible pain and suffering he went through. That day will always come.

    I believe with every ounce of my being that June 4th will be an everyday reminder to her. A reminder of why she sees the inside of a cell for 23hrs a day. A reminder of what she did. All alone, every day, a living hell. Until she gets the ultimate freedom, the needle. I hope its many years before that happens.

    Soon June 4th will be a day that we remember she is on death row. Watching the hour glass until the last grain of sand. I hope her last thought is of Travis and June 4th.

    Until then we have to take a look at our loved ones and remind ourselves that tomorrow is a gift. It’s never too late to love them more. Hold them close. Cherish every moment. Remember tomorrow is a gift.

    Justice for Travis Victor Alexander “The Great” has been delayed. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. We all will be standing behind Travis, my big brother. Moving forward, passing down his legacy. You were born to be great, you are special! That is your destiny! Except nothing less! A pebble has been thrown into the pond. We are the ripples. Thank you for your love, your stories, your support and your prayers. June 4th is Justice for Travis Day!

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  19. One more tribute to Travis. It's another fine one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpa4YAFtF_w&feature=player_embedded

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  20. Please Click on a Candle that is not burning to light one for Travis Alexander this June 4 2013 – GROUP *TVA* Candles
    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=TVA …

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    1. Thank you Nancy for updating us with everything you posted. I want you to know that you are very valuable to us who want to know what's going on concerning the case. Indeed today should be the day to remember Travis...I will light the candle in his name.

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