The penalty phase retrial for Jodi Arias should have been starting on Monday, but once again the defense has successfully argued for more time to prepare for their case. Unless you've totally avoided the countless stories about this trial, you know that Ms. Arias has decided that she is the best possible person to represent herself this go around. Oh man, that has to have Juan Martinez grinning big time! On September 29th, jury selection is supposed to begin and this 6 year long ordeal may finally come to an end. Justice may be delayed, but we have to believe it won't be denied.
Convicted murderer slash attorney at law Jodi Arias faces the death penalty or life for the June 4, 2008 murder of 30 year old Travis Alexander. Since this sad story came to light 6 years ago, it seems it's been all about Jodi Arias - when it should be all about Travis Alexander. He is, after all the true victim of this horrendous crime - brutally killed in what should have been the safety of his own home at a time when he was most vulnerable; in the shower of all places. Naturally, as Arias tells it he attacked her and she fought back. The jury apparently found plenty of reasons to doubt her kill or be killed story because they found her guilty of murder in the first degree. It's truly a shame they were divided on her punishment after months of testimony and millions of dollars were spent providing the defendant with legal council. With judgement day just around the corner, what could Jodi Arias have left in her bag of tricks? She's a well documented liar, probably the most well documented liar seen in a courtroom since Casey Anthony. Casey Anthony had the sense to keep her mouth shut, which probably went a long way in gaining an acquittal in her murder trial. I have a feeling her verdict may have been much different had she spent 18 days on the witness stand and had she taken any of those media outlets up on interview requests!
In choosing to represent herself, Arias has reportedly gained additional phone calls and time out of her cell to prepare for trial. It's been a huge sticking point for people around the country, myself included who are outraged that Arias has been able to peddle her artwork and fund raise from behind bars! We all know who is footing the bill for her defense after all - so where is the money going that she has managed to get her hands on? Does anybody actually think one red cent of it will be used to repay the good citizens and taxpayers of Arizona, or is it more likely Arias' family will retain control of the funds and use them however they see fit? Who knows, but it is outrageous that she's been "free" to do so much while incarcerated. First there were the arts sales at auction websites such as ebay (who later banned the sales due to public outrage), then Arias managed to get people on the outside to create and maintain websites for her where she could post her artwork for sale to the highest bidder.
And let's not forget those "Survivor" t shirts, the ones she told jury #1 that 100% of the proceeds are donated to battered women's shelters and domestic violence causes. Most of us have been paying close attention and know for a fact that the website said "a portion of the proceeds.....", not 100% of the proceeds as she claimed in her mitigation speech. She must have had that footnote amended to 100% just prior to her trial, in an attempt to make herself look less opportunistic and greedy. Then there were the Jodi wristbands, did they say "Free Jodi" or something to that effect? I just remember they were like $20 or $25 bucks. And who could forget the "JAA Appellate Trust Fund"? Created for the purpose of collecting the public's funds to foot the bill for legal fees associated with any appeals. Call me skeptical, but I feel like she's pulling a fast one - I'd love to see that trust document which probably gives Arias free reign to spend the money however she sees fit. I do remember the site had a disclaimer that the money was non-refundable!! Naturally.
Sorry I seem to go off on this aspect of the case frequently, but it's just such an outrage. One more comment on Arias' fundraising. There's a snippet on fox10phoenix.com that's reportedly part of a taped conversation between Jodi Arias and an unidentified person in which Arias can be heard telling them "I wanted the collected money to stay within my family.." Doesn't that say it all? Hard to believe it but she does actually have some "supporters" out there, as well as a whole lot of what she refers to as her "dedicated haters". Those would be the people who didn't buy into the abuse and pedophile allegations she smeared Travis Alexander with at trial. The latest reports has Arias hiring an investigator (probably with those very same funds!) wanting to snoop around the crime scene. What does she hope to gain by these types of activities? She does realize this trial isn't about her guilt or innocence right? She should be focusing her energies on finding a way to make herself come across as a remorseful and humble human being who made the worst mistake of her life. She needs to take responsibility for her horrible act and stop portraying herself as the victim in this. In my opinion, that's the only way she stands a chance of getting life in prison. She needs to own it and stop the slander and smear campaign on the murder victim.
That being said, does anybody out there think she is capable of doing that? Or will this trial be all about justification of her crime? Will she try to convince the new jury that despite what the first jury decided, it was a case of self defense? I don't know what exactly the Judge will let into this phase of the trial, I have no idea what to expect legally. It's hard to decide the penalty without hearing the story to some degree. What will be allowed in, will the defense be allowed to introduce new evidence at this trial? I wouldn't think that would be allowed. How long will the retrial last? And will Arias really end up questioning witnesses or will she ultimately defer to Willmott or Nurmi? The questions racing through my head are endless. I've never seen a penalty phase retrial and there's been so much secrecy around this one it's hard to know what to expect. But with this case, we've all come to expect the unexpected. You just never know what Jodi Arias is going to do.
It's truly a shame and disservice to the public that the trial will not be televised until after the verdict is announced. Our justice system is supposed to be open and on display to the public. But apparently Jodi Arias feels the very same media she had lined up at Estrella jail to interview her turned the public against her and influenced the jury. I seriously doubt the media was to blame for her guilty verdict. She was convicted because she did it, and with an overabundance of evidence beyond any reasonable doubt. Let's lay blame where it belongs. Had the media coverage been as big of an influence on the first jury, don't you think Jodi Arias would be sitting on death row right now? I do.