There have been some key rulings handed down from Judge Sherry Stephens in the never-ending saga that is the Jodi Arias penalty phase re-trial. In a December 3, 2013 minute entry, Judge Stephens denied Defendant Arias' Motion to compel juror Twitter accounts:
"In the Motion, Defendant Arias requests the Court order all juror seated in her case to disclose Twitter accounts and/or handles. Defendant claims the disclosure of this information will assist in investigating whether the jurors have been subjected to any extraneous influences during jury service. Defendant argues that improper communications between jurors and third parties can invalidate a verdict". In her ruling, Judge Stephens said "There is no lawful basis for the Court or parties to investigate or monitor jurors absent a credible allegation that juror misconduct has occurred.
The Court will not presume juror misconduct will occur. The Court will not require all jurors to provide their social media account information to the Court.
IT IS ORDERED denying the Defendant’s Motion to Compel Juror Twitter Accounts.
I'm certain that I'm not the only one rolling my eyes at Jodi Arias' audacity at this Motion. After all, she was "tweeting" throughout her own 5 1/2 month trial. So it would seem that Ms. Arias wants jurors to hear what she has to say, but not what other people may have to say via Twitter. Had she not been tweeting and using other social media tools while behind bars, I may have seen her point. But since she was the one who WAS using every online tool to her advantage.....I think she has made her jail cot and now she needs to sleep in it!
Another key ruling was handed down by Judge Stephens, outlined in a December 4, 2013 minute entry:
IT IS ORDERED denying the Motion to Reconsider Change of Venue and Request for Individualized Voir Dire filed December 1, 2013.
So there you have it. I believe the only Motion that Arias has been successful with relates to televising the re-trial live. We won't get to witness the trial in real time, and this is quite disappointing. For those of us who were glued to our televisions watching every minute of coverage and were hugely disappointed with the non-verdict at the penalty phase, we will be scrambling to keep up with the trial coverage the old fashioned way.
In other Arias trial-related news, Travis Alexander's brother Steven's recent posting on the Justice 4 Travis Facebook page that the re-trial is set to begin in February of 2014. FEBRUARY of 2014! Hard to believe that a person can murder somebody and remain unsentenced for 5 1/2 years. It would appear that at least some of the Arias' defense's attempts to delay punishment have been successful. But if they think the delay is going to make people forget the brutality and senselessness of this crime, I think they are greatly mistaken. The public is still outraged and people want justice for Travis Alexander. It sickens me that so much time, money and focus has been spent on ensuring that Jodi Arias gets a fair trial while she sits behind bars directing so many websites and online ventures that have $$$$ attache to them. She not only wants your sympathy, she also wants your money. And I whole heartedly believe if she hadn't been caught red handed with her own lies and the physical evidence left at the crime scene, she'd still be sticking to the two masked intruder story.
In Steven Alexander's Facebook posting, he says that the family remains united and ready to see Arias' sentencing through to the very end. "We believe this is a tactic to try and get us to throw in the towel, we will not", he wrote regarding the trial delays. "Our family will come together and see it through until it is finished. There is a monster who haunts us, but once the sentence is given it's her who will be haunted until the most humane sentence comes to her", he wrote. "Nothing compares to the sentence she gave to a good man". The family continues to support the death penalty for their brother's murderer.
I checked Arias' website to see how her limited edition prints are selling. The website still lists the two limited edition prints of her "Sailing at Sunset" and "Picasso Cala Lillie's" for sale. There were 100 of each for sale, the site says there are 89 of the Picasso prints left and 66 of the Sailing at Sunset remaining. If my math is to be trusted, that means she has sold 45 prints in total, at $39.00 each. This means she has taken in $1,755.00 for the two so far. Again, I can't explain why this bothers me as much as it does. Just seems so wrong that she is selling stuff from JAIL! And now that she is a convicted felon, it should not be happening. The fact that she seems to do this with such ease is troubling. Do you think that $1,755.00 will be given back to the State to offset her $2,000,000 defense? Do you think it will be used for her appellate attorney? Do you think it will be placed in a fund for the victim's family? No, no and no. When will somebody do something about this? A convicted murderer is running a business from behind bars, she isn't reporting the income or paying taxes on it. She is essentially fund raising via her new JAA Appellate Trust. Why don't the authorities seem to care? Are they really unable to prevent her from releasing personal property to her visitors when they must have an idea that it's being sold? Come on. She is making a mockery of you, Sheriff Joe. So much for being the "toughest Sheriff in America".