Friday, November 14, 2014

Jodi Arias Trial - Public & Media Allowed Back In

At last, sanity prevails!  A 3 judge panel at the State Appeals Court ruled that the media and public be let back in to the Jodi Arias penalty phase retrial, over ruling Judge Sherry Stephens decision last week to allow at least one defense witness to testify outside of the presence of the public and the media. Judge Stephens closed the court room to the public and media last Thursday at the request of the defense, a move that raised many eyebrows and angered others.  Who is the witness? 

Lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi continues to argue that many, if not all of their mitigation witnesses are reluctant to testify publicly out of fear of the repercussions for supporting Arias. Hmm. Something smells fishy to me.  If you are a supporter of Arias and if you are telling the truth, why be so afraid of the public hearing your testimony?  This is no witch hunt, Jodi Arias has already been convicted to I don't see why this person or persons would be afraid to be heard.

It's not like standing up to defend Charles Manson or some other mass murderer.  You either believe she is worthy of living and should not be put to death or you don't.  Even murderers have friends and family who love and support them even after they have committed an act they could never have imagined them committing.  I don't believe my mom or my sister would be capable of killing somebody, but if there were circumstances that led them to I'd still love them, support them and I certainly would not be afraid to testify to the reasons why they should be granted life.  What gives?

I know I'm late in posting all of this because my computer is in the process of crashing, and I haven't had the time to get it fixed so logging in has become somewhat of a time consuming task but one of the more appalling things I've read about recently was that Sandy and Bill Arias had posted a video via You Tube asking people for money to use to obtain "the best possible legal counsel" to handle Arias' eventual appeal(s).  I hear the video was taken down within 2 days, without explanation but that doesn't surprise me at all. Jodi Arias seems to have no boundaries whatsoever in the lengths she is willing to go to in order to get people to give her money!  I'd be willing to bet that she's gathered more money while sitting in the Estrella jail that she made as a free working member of society.  That's just plain wrong, especially given the fact that had she not butchered a well loved and respected man 6 years ago, nobody would know who the hell Jodi Arias was - let alone would they be purchasing her wares.

We have a convicted murderer skirting the Son of Sam Laws and selling everything from "artwork" to eyeglasses to t-shirts and wristbands, shamelessly claiming to be a domestic abuse survivor and trying to attach her name to as many charitable causes as she can while lining her own pockets and her commissary with money and nobody seems to be doing anything to stop her.  Can somebody please make her stop?  She SHOULD be facing an audit by the IRS and I truly hope that a letter makes it's way to the Internal Revenue Service and Arizona Tax Board begging them to take a look at this tax dodging inmate before the money has been laundered or spent. Whatever happened to the old Tweet that claimed that she would file for bankruptcy but didn't have enough money to do so?  I've heard estimates that she's raked in well over $35,000.00 but I'd bet she's received more than that. There's nobody watching so her hand will remain in the cookie jar as long as she's allowed to.

Hey Jodi, how about giving those funds back to the taxpayers who are footing the bill for your $2.5 million dollar defense (and counting)?  How about giving some of that money to the victims family?  Do you think your family is the only ones who have suffered financial loss from this long and drawn out court battle?  Let this all be over with.  Whether she gets life or death, just let it be done. I'm sure Jodi Arias will reinvent herself while in prison, get herself a hobby card and continue to sell her murderabilia and keep herself stocked with commissary items.  There are many that would argue she doesn't deserve to live in prison, rather she should be sent to Death Row where she may spend the next several decades but maybe that's what justice calls for in this case.  I've heard Arias talking about how long the case will drag on if she's given the death penalty due to the automatic appeals, and wouldn't it just be easier for everybody involved to send her off to prison and forget it all happened?

Travis Alexander has already waited more than 6 years for his killer to be brought to justice.  There shouldn't be any shortcuts along the way.  It may be cheaper and easier to sentence her to life, but does that punishment fit this crime?  I only wish we could hear what's happening in that courtroom.  I get the feeling Jodi Arias is STILL trying to sell her self defense story to this new jury, despite the fact that this trial is not about that.  Another jury already made that decision, but she doesn't seem to be willing or able to let that go.  Of all of her websites, I think the "Justice4Jodi" site is the one that's the hardest to swallow.  Think about it, justice for Jodi?  What injustice has been done to her?  Does she really consider herself to be the victim in this tragedy?  What does "justice" look like to Jodi Arias?  A walk or acquittal is what she was banking on.  She claimed that "no jury would convict me, you can mark my words on that", guess what - she was wrong.  I don't know that she ever considered there would be ramifications for the murder because she never planned on getting caught.  She thought she had the perfect alibi.

Justice4Jodi, really?  Soon enough, we will all find out what justice is in store for her.  It won't be long now until we know how this all ends.  It's been a sickening thing to watch, the absolute horror of the actual killing and the string of lies Arias was caught in and even more she told that can't be proven false. I can think of few things that are worse than a person cashing in on the death of another person when that death came at their own hands.  It's truly despicable.  And her "abusive and unsupportive" parents seem to be right there along side of her now.  So what was it, were they uncaring, neglectful parents who dished our corporal punishment that scarred her and effected all of her future relationships or are they parents who loved their out of control teenage daughter who rebelled regardless of what actions they took?  Why won't they testify for their daughter?  Why won't one single member of the Arias family get on that witness stand for mitigation?  Or are they this time around?

I also am highly suspicious of Maria de la Rosa and her relationship with Jodi Arias - her name has come up one too many times as being associated with Arias' auctions and PayPal accounts.  Not to mention being caught red-handed smuggling out Arias' murderabilia/artwork after a jailhouse visit.  Talk about conflicts of interest!  Where is the bar association on all of this?  Do they have an internal affairs office or some type of compliance or watchdog department to investigate these allegations?  MDLR got paid six figures for NOT putting on a mitigation case during the trial in chief.  Wasn't that enough income?  Why would she be willing to jeapordize her career for Jodi Arias?  It's all highly suspicious and unscrupulous.  Perhaps Jodi Arias isn't so fond of Kirk Nurmi because maybe Nurmi wised up to the type of client he is representing. The whole cast of characters is something to think about.

What should never be forgotten through all of this murky water Arias has created is that a young man with a promising future was snuffed out in the prime of his life.  From all accounts, Travis Alexander was somebody that many many people looked up to and he inspired those around him to be better people and live life with purpose.  Sure, Jodi Arias made certain that his name was muddied and people found out he seemingly was leading a double life of sorts in that he had strayed beyond his Mormon faith around sex before marriage.  That's not a crime, and it seems that Travis punished himself for those lapses and was trying to make a change - keeping Jodi Arias out of his life was the start and sadly the finish for him.  Who knows what he'd be doing now if he had not been butchered in his own home only days before he was to embark on a trip to Cancun with another woman who may have been a better match with his personal and religious beliefs.

Travis Alexander did not deserve to be murdered.  Nobody does, but had Travis not met Jodi Arias at that convention all those years ago, he would be alive and well today.  The Alexander family has suffered a loss so great that his brother still has nightmares about him being killed. He can't take a shower without locking the door.  There is an empty chair at family gatherings and holidays and forever will be empty. Travis' chair. And for what?  Out of jealousy, rage, lust or revenge?  We may never know the whole truth.  We know what forensic evidence there is and THANK GOD for that memory card in the camera.  The bloody palm print and hair helped too, but Jodi Arias can be very convincing when she needs to be.  That memory card told a story, a story she could not get out of.  Even when confronted with her own date stamped photo in Travis' bed on the day he was murdered, she tried to lie her way out of it.  "Are you sure that's me"?

That's all for now.  Will have to catch up on my reading because I don't know what's going on now.  Last I heard, the media and public were back in per the State Court of Appeals and the trial was postponed until 11/12/14.  Is the mystery witness finished testifying?  How much testimony was given while the courtroom was closed?  How many of Nurmi's witnesses will refuse to testify if the public are allowed in the courtroom?  This is definitely a case for the law books.  It has to be one of the most outrageous court trials in Arizona history. What do you think?  Did the 3 judge panel make the right call in allowing the public and media back into the courtroom?  Will Nurmi fold, as he did in the first penalty trial when things didn't go their way?  Will this end in another deadlocked jury, leaving it up to Judge Stephens to decide whether Jodi Arias has the possiblity for release after serving 25 years?

I hope not.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Public Kicked Out of Jodi Arias Retrial

I haven't had as much time to watch for news relating to the highly secretive and closely guarded Jodi Arias retrial, and given that the public has been denied the right to view the trial on television I'm simply waiting to hear the outcome and hoping at some point it will be televised and we will know the end of this long drawn out drama.  There has been news relating to the dismissal of jurors and I believe the State has called most if not all of their witnesses.

It sounds like a condensed version of the original (pre-verdict) trial, with the Mesa Police Department recalling the events surrounding the murder of 30 year old Travis Alexander and one of the State's most important witnesses is arguably Dr. Kevin Horn, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy and recorded all of the injuries inflicted onto Travis. Both sides have made arguments over the sequence of injuries and whether Travis Alexander was shot in the head first or whether that injury came last, almost an afterthought in this overkill murder.  Does it really matter? Can anybody argue that this murder wasn't cruel or heinous regardless of whether he was stabbed or shot first?  I think the State put on enough witnesses who testified that Jodi Arias walked out of that "life or death" struggle with little damage to her person. This clearly appeared to be an ambush killing.  To continue to argue self defense is ridiculous.  

The defense is still trying to convince the jury that Travis Alexander was the real "bad guy" who pushed Arias to the brink of insanity with his callous and abusive behavior - using Jodi Arias as little more than a booty call.  Coupled with what they have described as an abusive childhood with two unsupportive parents, will it be enough to spare Arias from a life on Death Row?

Thursday's proceedings came to an abrupt halt, with Judge Sherry Stephens kicked the public and press out of the courtroom following what is being described as a secret meeting with attorneys on both sides.  Apparently she is allowing an Arias witness testify in complete and total secrecy, with only the jury,attorneys present - she reportedly allowed members of the Alexander family to remain.  Who is this top secret witness and what are they so afraid of?  This is highly irregular, and seems to be an over reaction on the part of the Judge!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It's bad enough the whole trial has been top secret - does the Judge believe Jodi Arias' trial was more talked about and watched than the OJ Simpson, Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony or Dr. Conrad Murray trials?  So much for the concept of tranparency in the justice system.

Apparently Judge Stephens has a reason for closing the courtroom to the public and the press, but naturally her reasons and rulings are sealed so who knows?  All that we know is this mystery witness would not testify if what he or she says became public.  Who could this be and why are they so afraid to testify?  Arias and her attorneys have made a big stink about the fact that her mitigation witnesses backed out of trial #1.  We know at least one of those witnesses seemed to be more afraid of her own prior bad acts coming out at trial, and perhaps the potential for legal or financial repercussions. That witness instead said that they wouldn't testify because of "threats" made by the public.  Were any such threats ever validated? There has been no hints as to who this mystery witness is or what they have to add to Arias' mitigation case but sadly it's par for the course in this shameful trial.  His or her testimony has been sealed until the conclusion of the trial, and according to Judge Stephens it was "necessary for the administration of justice". Hmmm.

Also on Thursday, two of Travis Alexander's siblings reportedly gave tearful testimony about how the murder of their brother has effected their lives.  Steven Alexander told the jury he still had nightmares, ulcers and constant trauma from losing his older brother Travis.  He also told them he locks the door whenever he showers, clearly this is something that will forever be linked with the death of his brother.  How very sad how Jodi Arias has changed this family forever.

It appears by some of the newer still photos from the trial that Jodi Arias' hair is now shoulder length - did she just recently cut it so she could donate it to Locks of Love to show what a humanitarian she is?  Or is she selling that online too?  This is just too much!  The family and friends of Travis Alexander have to be seething over this trial and can you blame them?  Their brother was murdered in such a violent way and his killer is getting all of the consideration in the world while dragging him through the mud every step of the way.  I don't know what justice will look like at the end of this trial, but we can rest assured that regardless of the jury decision, the very best Jodi Arias can hope for is a fairly long stay in the Arizona prison system.  She may spend the rest of her life there, if her life is spared.  Do you think it should be?  Will the delays in getting this back into a courtroom help Arias in the long run?  Will this jury pool remain through the duration of the trial and deliberate to a unanimous decision one way or another?  I certainly hope so.