There were tears and audible sobbing heard in the courtroom yesterday in the Jodi Arias murder trial after Prosecutor Juan Martinez suddenly displayed a graphic photo of a deceased Travis Alexander's throat, which was cut by defendant Jodi Arias.
There is a slideshow of 161 photos associated with this crime/trial on the Huffington Post's website. I have to tell you how graphic they are. We've all heard the injuries to Travis Alexander described in detail during the court proceedings and prior to, but seeing them puts it in a whole other context. They are awful. It still stuns me that a person is capable of doing this to another person - let alone somebody they claim they love so dearly. I'm not sure if the link below will work for you, but the slideshow is not hard to find. Just be warned....there are several heartbreaking photos of the victim, left to decompose in the shower of his own home. Even if you are opposed to the death penalty, I understand why it exists - for cases where such cruelty and great pain was inflicted that no other punishment is great enough:
Member's of Travis Alexander's family ran out of the courtroom in tears - not expecting to be shown the graphic photo of their brother during the cross examination of defense witness Lisa (Andrews) Diadone. Defense attorney Jennifer Willmott focused much of her questioning of the witness around a e-mail Diadone sent to Alexander after she became aware that he had lied to her about the nature of his relationship with Jodi Arias. The e-mail itself was not admissible (hearsay), however Willmott highlighted the areas that seemed to show Alexander had lied to Lisa Diadone and cheated on her during their 7-8 month relationship.When it was time for the prosecutor to cross examine Diadone, Martinez tried to put the e-mail in it's context - with Diadone confirming she had written it at a time when she was extremely upset with Alexander and admitting perhaps it was an unfair depiction of their true relationship. He brought the focus back to what this trial is about - physical abuse, asking her if he ever harmed her physically or acted aggressively towards her, and she said she was never afraid, threatened by or forced to do anything she didn't want to do during their relationship. It became clear that he was more serious about the long term potential and possible future with Diadone (then, Andrews) in a way he wasn't about Arias. I think this is the crux of the issue. Arias may have felt slighted by Travis Alexander - but the defense really didn't score any points in my mind because Diadone was able to better explain that angry e-mail and put it into it's proper context through the cross examination.
Did the prosecution cross a line by throwing that graphic photo up on the screen, bringing Arias, Travis's family and friends and many in the courtroom gallery on both sides to tears? The State must have felt this was necessary, to show that during Lisa and Travis's relationship, they had many of the problems Jodi and Travis had - the lying and cheating in particular, however - Diadone didn't kill him, she reacted like most of the population does and broke off the relationship. I think Martinez wanted to drive that point home, and I think he felt the focus needed to remain on the brutal nature of this murder and not become an examination of Travis Alexander's personal flaws. After all, he is no longer here to defend himself.
Again, I know the defense is doing its' best to set a theme here that Travis was misleading the Mormon community by claiming to be an honorable virgin while having premarital sex with Arias - but I think too much is being made of this point. There's a big difference between lying to people about your virginity and being a domestic batterer. Let's keep the focus where it should be. What matters here is can Willmott persuade the jury that Jodi Arias, after telling three versions of what happened felt at that moment that Travis Alexander was about to kill her for dropping his digital camera? So far, nothing points to him as having a bad temper or being a bully. He may have been ashamed at the physical nature of his relationship with Arias, but let's not forget that Arias herself converted to Mormonism too and was professing to her former boyfriend that she was now "saving herself for marriage" after they had had a long term relationship that included a sexual relationship.
Although that graphic photo wasn't shown on television, you could see Jennifer Willmott jumping up in protest of the photo calling it "irrelevant", after which the attorneys on both sides were called to the judges chambers and outside of the presence of the jury, the courtroom gallery was reminded by Judge Sherry Stephens that they should not react audibly to the testimony or evidence that was being presented. Wow, it was quite a moment. Lisa Diadone helped the State more than they helped the defense, in my humble opinion. Testimony continues this morning - will Jodi Arias have to take the stand to tell her own story? I don't think the words of an expert witness are going to be enough to convince a jury that she was a battered woman or somebody who experienced post traumatic stress disorder. She is the only person who knows exactly what happened and how she felt. Problem is, she has little credibility after telling so many lies and the jury knows this.
I think she has to take the stand and that's what many people are waiting for.