Thursday, June 20, 2013

Status Hearing Today - Jodi Arias Penalty Phase

Well folks, it's already June 20th.  It seems like it's been a long time since Jodi Arias was convicted of first degree murder for the brutal slaying of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.  Maybe it was the continuous news coverage that drew us all in for more than five months (some of us for 5 years), but I think everyone who's been following this trial and the tragedy that caused it feels a deep sense of sorrow that this thing is still out there, unresolved.

It was highly dissatisfying to have Arias convicted but not sentenced.  We all watched, read, and listened to the trial and could almost feel the family's pain every time the court cameras panned to their faces. Their grief is heavy, yet they were asked not to react as the horrible photographs of their brother were enlarged and displayed, his wonderful qualities downplayed by the defense who sought to paint him as the bad guy. In the end, Arias got the verdict she deserved and that much was satisfying. It could have been worse, the jury could have bought into her self-defense nonsense and convicted her of something less than what she received. It was never likely to happen, but then again - did anybody believe Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson would walk? 

So here we are again, waiting to hear what will come out of today's status hearing. At least three members of the original Arias trial jury were expected to attend today's hearing. The jurors who were in favor of the death penalty for Arias have been speaking out on the emotional toll the trial had on them, and they really want to see a resolution to this tragedy. 

As you know, the defense is asking the judge to delay the penalty retrial until January of 2014, citing scheduling conflicts and time needed to prepare witnesses to speak on behalf of Jodi Arias.  Juan Martinez objected to the defense's request of pushing this thing out until 2014, rather he suggested the court could accommodate defense counsel's scheduling conflict AND the defendants desire to call witnesses by rescheduling the trial for July 30, 2013.  Seems like a fair compromise to me.

We all know that delays happen, but how would pushing this back another 6 months help?  Does the defense think the jury pool will be any different in January of 2014? "Impartial" means "impartial". They have to find an impartial jury - at this point, people either are familiar with this case or they aren't.  They don't have to have lived under a rock for the last year, the just need to have the ability to be impartial. 

I've been trying to find out what time the status hearing is scheduled for today, but so far no luck.  I'm hoping to see or hear something on the hearing later today.  "Dirty Little Secrets" is set to air on Lifetime this Saturday, June 22, and I've read some fairly decent reviews on the depiction. According to USA Today.com, the movie is better than expected - and only approximately 15 minutes of the movie focuses on the courtroom drama. This movie is about more about the relationship, not the trial.

In other crime news, I just read about the arrest of 44 year old Ana Trujillo in Houston.  Trujillo was arrested and charged with murder for the killing of her former boyfriend, 59 year old Professor Stefan Andersson in early June.  Andersson worked as a research professor at the University of Houston and was reportedly stabbed more than 30 times with Trujillo's stiletto shoe after a late night/early morning argument.  Trujillo is claiming self defense. Is it any surprise this is already being called "the Stiletto Heel Murder"? I'm sure we will hear more on this unusual killing in the weeks to come.

What will today's status hearing bring?  Will Arias refuse to be photographed in her jailhouse stripes? Will Willmott and Nurmi continue to ask to be removed as her attorneys of record? Will Judge Stephens keep this train on time and on the rails? Will Arias finally take her attorneys advice and stay out of the media spotlight, or will she continue to peddle her t-shirts - which in my book is despicable, in poor taste and beyond comprehension? Will her next "cause" be Animal Shelters, after all - we know about that dog she kicked to the point that it ran away from her childhood home, and wasn't there a cat she was supposed to care for but instead left alone for a week?

Let's hope so. Travis' siblings have made it clear that they are ready to go back to trial, calling this a marathon and not a race. They are in it for as long as it takes, for Travis - they know he would do the same for them.  God bless them and may we keep them in our prayers.  More information on the status hearing when it becomes available. Have a great day!

4 comments:

  1. I must say that it was nice to see Jodi in her prison stripes and chains - no more librarian look for her! She looked very angry and absolutely evil, with those black, soulless eyes. She seemed to be staring down the 3 ex-jurors who chose to attend the hearing. Those 3 jurors who betrayed her and had the audacity to convict her of Murder 1! So, Judge Stephens is deferring her decision on the defense's motion until July 18th. That same July 18th date that Jennifer Willmott & Kirk Nurmi had previously stated was in conflict with their schedules. Either Judge Stephens finally put her foot down and told them to be there, or they were telling a little white lie - or a big fat one! I guess we all have to wait another month to find out how Judge Stephens will rule - let's hope she makes the right decision!

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    1. Anonymous (6/21 @ 2:55PM),
      You are right about the scheduling conflict! I hadn't even thought about that...Judge Stephens seems to have bent over backwards for the defense but I hope you are right and she is remaining firm on keeping the penalty phase on track. The defense has had FIVE YEARS to plan for JA's mitigation!! How can they say they need more time?

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  2. According to the Maricopa County Superior Court, Jodi Aria's status hearing has been rescheduled to July 16th~ pushed back by two days from the original July 18th date. WOW....something in this long, drawn out trial is actually starting ahead of time! I believe Judge Stephens will be ruling on the defense's motion to continue the trial until next year. Fingers Crossed!!

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  3. Anonymous,
    I hadn't seen/heard about the date change. It IS surprising that they moved it up a few days versus a drawn out delay. Guess there may have really been a "scheduling conflict" as Willmott argued? Let's get this thing finished! My fingers are crossed as well. Thanks for your comment!

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