As the June 20th status conference date nears, speculation has begun on whether convicted murderer Jodi Arias will be offered a plea or whether the state will forge ahead with seating a new jury to repeat the sentencing phase of the murder trial. Judge Sherry Stephens set a conference hearing date of June 20 immediately following the mistrial late last month.
Arias attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott have been using their downtime attempting to have the death penalty taken off the table, all motions have been denied at the highest levels. Their next ploy has been to use the states expert's diagnosis of Arias having borderline personality disorder to their advantage - now referring to her as having a "mental illness"! OK let's see - first, they claimed she only killed Travis Alexander in self defense, having been a battered woman who was sexually exploited and abused. That didn't work, so they then tried to sell the heat-of-the-moment "she just snapped" defense. That didn't work either. When all else fails, play the mental illness card. How many more cards does this defense team have in their deck? Clearly Jodi Arias isn't playing with a full one.
I'm no attorney or a psychologist, but I don't know that BPD is considered to be a mental illness as much as a personality disorder. As far as I know, there is no pill one can take to combat BPD nor is there a treatment per se. Willmott & Nurmi wrote a statement to one of the largest news publications in Arizona recently, the Arizona Republic. In their statement, they now raise the concern about expending taxpayer resources in a second trial for sentencing. They wrote "It is solely for them to determine if continuing to pursue a death sentence upon Ms. Arias, who is already facing a mandatory life sentence, is a good and proper use of taxpayer resources". Hmmm. So now they are worried about taxpayer resources? If Jodi Arias is entitled to a $2,000,000 defense, Travis Alexander is entitled to a similar prosecution! Travis Alexander lived and worked in Arizona, he was a resident of the state. He payed state, local and property taxes in the state. Jodi Arias didn't. Note to Nurmi/Willmott - quit pretending to care about taxpayer resources. You kept your experts on the stand for WEEKS at $200-$350 an hour! Travis Alexander, an Arizona resident and taxpayer is entitled to a full prosecution regardless of the cost. To act as if he has less rights than Arias simply because he is no longer living (because of Arias) is insulting.
So what's next in this ongoing saga? I haven't seen Arias' mug in any recent interviews, thankfully. She's still taking her message to Twitter, although as I've mentioned many times before - she mostly quotes other people and poets. Doesn't she have any original thoughts? Her most recent quotes:
"When you learn, teach. When you get, give." - Maya Angelou (May 27)
"I will be sorry for the rest of my life - probably longer". - Me, my allocution on May 21, 2013 (May 29)
Let's hope that Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery will not cave to the financial threats a new sentencing trial may pose. That would not be justice in this case, and Travis Alexander who was an Arizona resident and taxpayer deserves to have his murderer prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Allowing California resident Jodi Arias a multi-million dollar defense and cutting budgetary corners for the victim would be bad for the state and citizens of Arizona. July 18th is the date the judge set to begin jury selection, but a lot can happen between now and then. Would life without the possibility of parole be enough for Arias? I don't think that is the issue here. The issue is the decision should be left to a jury. That's the law in the state of Arizona. If the second jury deadlocks, then the judge can decide if Arias serves natural life or life with the possibility of release after serving 25 years.
In the latter scenario, Arias could potentially be walking among us when she's 52 years old. That is a day I hope the Alexander family never has to face. What do you think? Has anybody heard anything new relating to this case?