As the pubic continues to wait to finally learn what punishment lies ahead for convicted killer Jodi Arias, the inmate continues to Tweet from her jail cell while trying to pick the pockets of the public to foot the bill for an appeal that seems to be as far off as her sentencing verdict! Yes, she has been found guilty of first degree murder and that's a huge relief. However, in the weeks and months since the guilty verdict Arias has seemingly ramped up her efforts to play on any sympathy she may have garnered from her 18 days of testimony. Sure, she has her supporters and she has sought to monetize their support in numerous ways. "If you believe in Jodi, support her"......
OK, I know my commentary has run amok lately because I simply cannot fathom how a convicted murderer could be running so many enterprises while locked up in an American jail. I don't see how Sheriff Joe Arpaio is allowing this activity to continue now that Arias is no longer presumed innocent. She was convicted by a jury of her peers, fair and square. Her words and actions are wrapped in contradictions. Her defense team fought to force potential jurors to disclose social media information, namely Twitter handles. Is this because prosecutor Juan Martinez or some other representative of the State is Tweeting about the case and she doesn't want jurors to be unfairly biased against her? I don't think so - in fact, Jodi Arias herself was perhaps the most active of Tweeters during her own murder trial. Contradiction #1?
Contradiction #2 - on her website, Jodi Arias continues to sell "Survivor" t-shirts even though the jury seemed to reject her claims that Travis Alexander physically abused her. Sure, there were some angry written exchanges between Jodi and Travis but not a single shred of actual evidence that he ever struck, choked, body slammed her or was the cause of her now infamous crooked finger. The defense was never able to produce one single witness to testify that they witnessed said abuse or violence, nor could they produce any former girlfriends of Travis who said that they experienced violence at the hands of Travis Alexander. I know, I know - domestic abuse can be hidden from family and friends. But women who are physically abused usually tell someone, or the telltale signs of bruising becomes apparent to those around the abuse victim. The domestic violence claims are only substantiated by Jodi Arias' words. How many of you were shocked when she displayed that Survivor t-shirt during the mitigation phase?
Contradiction #3 - Jodi Arias Tweets that neither she or her family members have received funds or have profited from her art sales. Where has the money from those early eBay art auctions and other art sales gone? She originally posted that money received was going to help pay her family's travel expenses to and from the trial. We also know Arias has sold a few limited edition prints - and although I don't know what has been sold prior to the two prints that are currently being offered through her site, I have been keeping track of the number of "Sailing at Sunset" and "Picasso Calla Lillies" that are still up for grabs. Is her support losing steam? As of this morning, her site still shows there are 89 Picasso Calla Lillies and 66 Sailing at Sunset prints for sale. These numbers haven't changed in a long while, which appears to point to a diminished interest. That being said, we know Jodi Arias has taken in thousands and thousands of dollars since she was arrested. Yet she recently Tweeted that she planned to file for bankruptcy protection, but she lacked the funds to do so. Contradiction #3 is a big one with me. She's probably received enough money in her commissary fund to pay for 5 bankruptcy filings.
Contradiction #4 - Jodi Arias has been trying to fire her lead attorney Kirk Nurmi, basically telling the courts through a lengthy hand written letter that Nurmi hasn't been to see her once since her conviction. She also wrote about Nurmi not being in touch with her feelings; this I believe was mainly prompted by the playing of she and Travis' "sex tape" at her trial. That audio tape back fired on her. Instead of painting her as the shy and inexperienced young woman who went along with Travis' sick fantasies, it really called into question who was the aggressor in their intimate relationship. At the very least, it absolutely showed that Arias was an equal and willing participant in their sex life. This was not the effect Jodi Arias expected the recording to have on the jury or the viewing public. It was the first real look into who Jodi was when she was with Travis. We got to hear how she interacted with him, and it just reinforced my belief that Travis had absolutely no idea that she was recording the call. She lured him into the sexually charged conversation, and there is little doubt in my mind that her reasons for recording it was to use it against him in the very near future. She knew that recording could cause Travis a lot of pain and humiliation. So Kirk Nurmi played the tape against Jodi's wishes for it to not be played in open court. Arias also later would claim that Kirk Nurmi gave up on her early and Jennifer Willmott did the bulk of the research and real trial work. Jodi Arias is also on the record for pleading with the trial judge to retain Kirk Nurmi as her lead attorney when he left the public defender's office before her trial began. She told the Court that he knew her case inside and out, and he was the person who was best qualified to represent her because of the amount of time they spent on her case, and she argued it would be very detrimental to remove him and get another attorney up to speed on her case.
Contradiction #5 - Testimony about Jodi's lack of family support during her crucial early years in life was peppered throughout her defense case. The alleged beatings with a wooden spoon at the hands of her mother and an overbearing and foreboding father were described by Arias herself during her weeks on the witness stand. The defenses' expert witnesses testified how this lack of support may have effected Jodi's adult relationships. Yet Sandy Arias and her twin sister sat in the courtroom to support her day after day. Her father Bill doesn't look so foreboding now, as age and failing health seem to have taken a toll on him. Jodi testified about a dysfunctional family, and how she was out on her own at the age of 16 or 17 years old. She wanted to leave the jury with the impression that she grew up in an abusive household. Yet the defense never called her mother, father, aunt, brother or grandparents to the stand to back up the abuse claims. She collectively threw her family under the bus at her trial in an attempt to explain away one of the reasons why she remained in an abusive relationship with Travis Alexander. But during the mitigation phase, Arias showed the jury photo after photo of her family together on vacations and holidays. She spoke fondly of her childhood memories, at one point calling it "idealic". I think she forgot what she was trying to accomplish earlier in her trial. This is what happens when people lie. "With the truth, there's nothing to remember". Didn't Juan Martinez say something to that effect? It's a simple statement, yet it's so true. Jodi Arias wanted jurors to believe she lacked family support growing up and she used it as a mitigating factor during the trials penalty phase. Yet she contradicted herself in asking the jury to let her live "for them", pointing her crooked finger towards her family in the gallery.
The latest Arias shenanigan that has raised many eyebrows was the announcement that they are now accepting donations for Jodi's planned appeals. They have created the JAA Appellate Fund, an irrevocable trust. Donations made to this entity are non-refundable and non tax deductible. The donation site says that 100% of the funds collected will be used to pay legal fees and expenses relating to her appeal (for her wrongful conviction), but they only give the bare minimum information about this trust. Who paid the attorneys to draw up this trust? Who are the trustees? Who will be charged with auditing the fund to ensure monies are used for the purpose the trust was drawn up for? Why aren't the trustees listed and why isn't the trust document itself being made available to the public? Make no mistakes, Jodi Arias wants the public to foot the entire bill for her defense - AGAIN. "If you believe in Jodi support her!" Her site also claims that proceeds from the sale of her jodi-bands will be used for her legal fees as well.
Setting up an appellate fund before the sentencing phase has even gotten under way seems suspicious to begin with. Once Arias' fate is known, there is an automatic appeals process that begins. Let's say Jodi Arias' case gets to the appellate court and she claims she is indigent or unable to retain her own counsel to handle the appeal - wouldn't she get another court appointed attorney? What happens to the money collected from the JAA Appellate Fund then? Will the Arias family foot part of the bill with the funds they have collected from these sources? Remember the trust that was set up in little Caylee Anthony's name, where very little of the money was actually used to help any other family who had a missing child? If memory serves me, the Anthony's paid themselves salaries from that trust and it quietly and quickly was dissolved. I firmly believe that Jodi Arias has a plan in place to divert any funds she has collected since her incarceration from the reach of Travis Alexander's family. She has to know that a wrongful death suit is imminent, but she also knows it won't move forward until after the criminal proceedings are over. Think OJ Simpson. The Goldman family and the family of Nicole Brown Simpson won a multi million dollar civil suit against the former football hero, but collecting the funds has proved difficult.
We haven't heard much about Kirk Nurmi or Jennifer Willmott since the mistrial was declared at Jodi Arias' sentencing hearing. I wonder what they have been up to? What will their strategy be at the new sentencing hearing? Will Jodi Arias' family and friends step up to the witness stand and testify on her behalf this time around? Or will it again be a one-woman show? I trust that Juan Martinez has been using these last six months fine-tuning his arguments for a sentence of death for Jodi Arias. Mr. Martinez seems to take his cases very seriously, and I'm certain that he wants to get justice for Travis once and for all. There are those people out there who believe getting a death sentence for a female is an unlikely outcome. That may be true, the odds may be stacked in favor of a life sentence for Jodi Arias. All I can say about that is that an Arizona jury handed down a death sentence for a young woman with two small children in the same jurisdiction. Remember Wendi Andriano. Her mitigation case was similar to Arias' - no criminal history, her age at the time of the crime was cited, and she had two young sons at the time of sentencing. The jury decided Andriano's killing of her terminally ill husband was indeed heinous enough to warrant a trip to death row.