Jodi Arias has been on trial in Phoenix, Arizona this week, facing the death penalty for killing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008. The violence of the act was shocking. Alexander was not only shot, but his throat was slit as well. Arias was convicted of first degree murder in 2013, but the jury could not unanimously decide in favor of or against the death penalty.
A sentencing retrial with a complete new jury was necessary to give the prosecution one last chance to sentence her to the death penalty. According to HLN,Arizona law prohibits more than two attempts to obtain a ruling for the death penalty. If the second endeavor to elicit the death penalty also fails, then the option of the death penalty can no longer be sought. The decision would then revert to the judge, and the choices for sentencing would include either life in prison with no possibility of parole, or the potential for release after a period of 25 years.
The defense, led by attorney Kirk Nurmi, pleaded with the jury to decide against the death penalty for Jodi, citing a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, as well as an allegedly abusive relationship with Alexander. Nurmi played on the heartstrings of the jury as he presented happy pictures of Arias and her late boyfriend, as well as photos of the convicted murderer as a little girl.
“Do you kill this girl who grew up in horrific conditions and was a victim of abuse? Do you kill a girl who lived an otherwise good life, except for these few moments? If you mark death on your form, you’re choosing to kill this girl. You’re ending this girl’s life… If you sentence Ms. Arias to death, you are killing this girl.”
Fox2News reports that Jodi Arias has admitted to being responsible for the death of Travis Alexander. However, she claims that he attacked her and she only acted in self defense.
Arias declined to address the jury herself. She would agree to speak in her own defense only if the courtroom was cleared, but her request was denied.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez endeavored to lead the jury to return a decision in favor of the death penalty. He brushed her psychological issues to the side, stating that the diagnosis provided no excuse for the violent murder she committed.
Martinez spins quite a different story from the defense, stating that Arias was in a jealous rage because her lover wanted to leave her for another woman. They countered the defense with gruesome photos of Alexander’s autopsy, featuring the slit throat.
“This is not a case about love, it’s a case about murder. She’s the one that used a gun, she’s the one that used a knife… There was anguish. He knew what was happening to him. I’m asking you to vote for death.”
Which way do you think the jury will sway? Do you think Jodi Arias deserves the death penalty for her actions?
[Image via the Daily Beast]