The courts have been a flurry once again for Jodi Arias to make her latest motion, and face her latest sanction as she prepares for sentencing. Both the State of Arizona and Jodi Arias are preparing for the retrying of the penalty phase in the State of Arizona versus Jodi Arias, trial for the murder of her lover Travis Alexander in June 2008. The latest update in the Jodi Arias trial centers around the issue of in-court camera access to the public, a motion that has already been before the Maricopa County Court in this trial more than once. NBC News reported on Sept. 2 that contrary to the on-camera image Jodi Arias has desired and displayed over the last 6 years, she is now strenuously objecting to live television coverage of the retrial of her sentencing phase.
NBC News reported Sept. 2 that convicted felon Jodi Arias appeared in court on Tuesday to address the matter of camera coverage and air time for the retrial of the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias trial. In the previous two phases that were concluded in May 2013, a jury unanimously voted that Jodi Arias was guilty of first degree murder with an element of aggravated cruelty that made her eligible for the death penalty.
These phases of the Jodi Arias trial were aired live.
The May 2013 jury was unable to come to an agreement on sentencing, life in prison or the death penalty. Jury selection for the retrial of the third phase of this trial is expected to begin in Sept. 29, after Jodi Arias has spent more than a year trying to delay this phase with every motion and legal move possible. Because she is using the public defender's office in her defense, every legal motion and move she attempts costs the taxpayers of the state of Arizona.
On Sept. 2 NBC News reported that Jodi Arias appeared in court to object to a new motion requesting television coverage of the sentencing phase. Judge Sherry Stephens has already created a media blackout for this sentencing phase, previously ruling that while the trial can be recorded, it can not be shown to the public until the verdict has been read.
NBC News is reporting that a local television news outlet has approached the Maricopa County Court with a motion seeking an amendment to that ruling. The new request is asking Judge Sherry Stephen to acknowledge the rights of the public that has paid for this trial to be able to watch the trial on air, 30 minutes after the end of every court day.
In other words, this station is asking for the previous ruling that the public only have to wait to the end of the day to view trial matters, rather than waiting to the end of the trial entirely. NBC reports that Jodi Arias strenuously objects to this happening. Jodi Arias feels that the public coverage of her sentencing trial could actually damage her chances in avoiding the death penalty.
This is likely good information for Juan Martinez, it shows she is not very confident in her own case. If she was, she wouldn't be so worried about what effect live airing of her process would have.
When directing Judge Sherry Stephens on the matter on Sept. 2, Jodi Arias said,
"The damage [media coverage] has already been done. There is more damage that can be done."
If you are one that believes it is the wrong thing to do to blackout the Jodi Arias trial, you are not alone. AZ Central reported on Sept. 2 similar sentiments, saying that Jodi Arias is mistaken if she believes that the media had anything to do with the outcome of the 2013 verdict.
Reporter Laurie Roberts for AZ Central strongly disagrees with Jodi's statements that the public can damage her chances, and said,
"Jodi Arias' fate was decided in a courtroom, not the coliseum and not in the court of cyber opinion. In the end, it was rule of law over lynch mob. Believe me, if the public had influenced the jury, Arias would right now be sitting on death row."
Roberts also alluded to what many have openly speculated since Judge Sherry Stephens blacked out the retrial of the sentencing phase for Jodi Arias. That is that not being able to view this live is a violation of basic, civil liberties of Americans. She said,
"This is America and a hallmark of our society is an open court. We don't try people in star chambers. We swing wide the courtroom doors, allowing people to see our system at work, in the hope that the end result will be a dogged pursuit of that elusive ideal we call justice."
Whether or not the local television network will be successful in their motion to air coverage within 30 minutes of court sessions in the Jodi Arias trial remains to be seen. Judge Sherry Stephens is expected to rule on that matter on Sept. 15 at 8:30 a.m.
It was also previously reported that Jodi Arias was already facing sanctions in this trial after refusing to hand over witness information to the State. The State was successful in having that motion granted, and Jodi Arias has been ordered to file the information to Juan Martinez under seal to ensure the public does not gain access to that information.
It is a very interesting turn of events, over the slightest motions, as both the State and Jodi Arias make preparations for the retrial. There are many speculations as to why Jodi Arias is dragging out every little thing, and one speculation is that by so doing she is not getting the upper hand at all, that in fact she is showing her weaknesses.
Does Jodi Arias really think the public is powerful enough to damage her chance to save her life? This shows that Jodi Arias does not have confidence in her own case.
Do you think this actually gives Juan Martinez an advantage going into this sentencing phase?
Possibly, he already has many advantages going in. In addition, he simply needs to do 3 other things to secure a death penalty for Jodi Arias, all of which he has already been successful in establishing with at least 8 former jurors on this case.
The first thing Juan Martinez needs to do is poke holes in her mitigating factors.
After the May 2013 verdict in the guilt and aggravation phases, followed by the jury deadlock on the sentencing phase, a juror from the Jodi Arias trial came forward publicly to discuss what were the main reasons they were deadlocked. He stated that the biggest reason was her mitigating factors. This is very useful information to Juan Martinez. Now he just needs to poke holes in every single one, and not give them a reason to pause on this decision. This task has been made even easier for Juan Martinez after mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa had her wrists slapped earlier this year for activity that bordered on misconduct.
One of her mitigating factors when pleading for life in prison at her May 2013 trial was that she was going to "give back" to society by donating her hair to cancer patients.
Why does she think that's a good idea? Furthermore, why does she think that is a big enough reason to save her from the death penalty?
She's not actually curing cancer, she is simply donating hair.
It's not that it is not a bad idea for the average person to do so, it is a loving and generous gift. But there are religious cultures that believe energy of a soul can be found in a person's hair. And it's not just religion and spirituality. There is a wide body of hair science studies in literature that show just how much information about a person can be found from one piece of hair.
In an FBI study examining the microscopic characteristics of hair identification, Cary T. Oien, Unit Chief of the Trace Evidence Unit in the FBI Laboratory out of Quantico, Virginia, stated that hair characteristics are very unique to the individual. He stated that hair characteristics are so unique to the individual in fact, that hair qualities and traits allow humans to have an "instant recognition" from someone, and identify people immediately.
"Hair comparisons are a combination of a pattern-recognition process and a step-by-step analysis….It is an instant recognition, based on our experience with that person. It is not conducted in a logical, step-by-step process, evaluating first the height, hair color, skin color, eye color, and other characteristics. It is an almost instantaneous evaluation of all of these characteristics together. The identification of our friend does not carry any less weight based on the mechanism we used to identify him or her."
In other words, it is physically impossible for the hair samples of Jodi Arias to instantly become "anonymous' when she donates them to an organization that makes wigs for cancer patients. Her hair, its characteristics, and the life that hair lived, will live on in the wigs of the organization she donates to.
The author of this study on the microscopic characteristics of hair also stated that human hair is so robust that it could reasonably last thousands of years. Oien said,
"Hairs are remarkably robust, retaining their comparable microscopic characteristics for a very long time….Hairs recovered from Ice Age sites, between 10,000 and 18,000 years old, were still able to be identified as human hairs. In fact, one hair still had its follicle attached. In its reference collection, the FBI Laboratory has hair samples collected from mummies identified to be more than 2,000 years old."
So, it looks like Jodi's hair really could last almost forever. Is that the real reason she is donating her hair?
Is it really a good idea to spread Jodi Arias energy around via hair, to sick people?
Would you wear hair or a wig that was created from her hair? Would you want one of your sick loved ones to?
Reading the very words is making many cringe right in this very moment. This is just one of the many mitigating factors Jodi Arias has presented in her attempt to save herself from the death penalty.
The State simply needs to poke holes in her mitigating factors, and in her mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa who has had her wrists slapped more than a few times in this case, to make a case for the death penalty.
The second thing Juan Martinez needs to do, which will be very easy for him to do, is emphasize the death penalty eligible element of cruelty she displayed on Travis Alexander.
One jury has already agreed that she was exceptionally cruel when she killed Travis Alexander three times. They believed the theory that Juan Martinez presented in his closing arguments, that she is essentially guilty of three different murders. One by the infliction of the fatal stab wound to the heart found in evidence, the second by near decapitation where she bled him out, and the third by what would have been a fatal gunshot to the head if he weren't already dead.
That's right. She inflicted cruelty on him even after he was already dead. To many, this is the sickest of the sick.
A jury has already found her guilty of this, which is how she became eligible for the death penalty to begin with. It will not be difficult for Juan Martinez to illustrate this. He already has, quite successfully.
Lastly, all that Juan Martinez will need to do is showcase the multiple victims that Jodi Arias has created in the wake of the murder of Travis Alexander, her first victim.
The death penalty is reserved for very serious criminals. Criminals that can't be rehabilitated and are a severe danger to society, or show an exceptional display of cruelty in their one criminal act, or have multiple victims. Historically speaking, these are the criminals that receive the death penalty.
It is a very subjective process to adjudicate a criminal to this sentence, even with how clearly the law is written. But, when multiple victims are involved, historically speaking juries have a very big problem with that and have an easier time voting unanimously for the death penalty.
Not only that, but the law leans closer to the death penalty when multiple victims are involved. It is one reason Chris Lee is possibly facing the death penalty, he is currently being accused in California for first degree murder of Erin Corwin. If the official and final autopsy report of Erin Corwin shows that she was pregnant at the time of her death, regardless of how far along she may have been, California requires a consideration of the death penalty.
Jodi's most recent victims are the family who now live in the former home of Travis Alexander. It has been recently reported that this family will now become subject to a home visit, so that Jodi's investigator can revisit the crime scene on her behalf. This latest move by Jodi has been considered to be "sick" by the court of public opinion.
While that may be her most recent offense in creating victims, it is by far not her most serious.
She's made victims of the Alexanders, the brothers and sisters of the man that she murdered. She continues to do so with every passing day that she drags this out.
Juan Martinez needs to show that after creating a victim out of Travis Alexander through near decapitation and gunshots, she's made victims of his family.
Metaphorically, she has been stabbing them repeatedly, and firing gunshots through their head, every single day this passes on without justice for Travis Alexander. Travis's hell with Jodi Arias only lasted 90 seconds. His family however has been subjected to the most cruelty and torture since June of 2008.
They listened to her endless lies in court, and they themselves were raked over the coals when she slandered a man who was unable to defend himself by calling him a pedophile and an abuser. She continues to make these allegations, thus continuing to victimize the Alexander family, who walk over those hot coals every single day while this goes on, with an unprecedented amount of dignity and grace.
She's also made victims of the public.
She's already faced sanctions over her inability to represent herself properly. Her insecurities over her own inabilities leaked out over the camera matters that have been before the courts multiple times. She is now doing everything she can to ban cameras, and ban the public's rights to watch this play out.
This after spending years begging for the cameras, hair, wardrobe, and makeup, with multiple outlets, including posing and undergoing hair and makeup for 48 hours just so that she could release nothing but lies. A total waste, of everybody's time.
And then there's the State of Arizona.
After spending over 2 million, Arizona wants to see this play out. Why aren't they being allowed? Now this time Jodi Arias is making victims of the entire state of Arizona.
She may as well be saying to them, "Yes, please pay your taxes, please don't stop, this trial is costing you a fortune. But you can't see it happen on TV. No way. Convicted felons have rights."
She thinks that cameras are going to ruin her due process. But she seems to have forgotten it is not her innocence being tried! That is done. She is not innocent. What is going through her mind that makes her truly believe that at this point, whether or not the public sees this live will actually affect the outcome?
Take a moment to walk through any page on the Internet that discusses this case. 1 out of 50 is going to be a site that agrees with her, and are very sparsely populated. All of the others offer hundreds of thousands of pages, and posts, and comments by the public that want only one outcome in this case.
The death penalty. As Arizona Central said, if it was up to the public, she would already be on death row.
Juan Martinez does not have a tough job ahead of him. The public has made their opinion very, very clear. As have the supporters of this Maricopa County Inmate. But the evidence and the odds are clearly very stacked against those supporters.
It will all come down to jury selection that begins Sept. 29, and these 3 things that Juan Martinez needs to show to secure a death penalty in the State of Arizona versus Jodi Arias, the Travis Alexander murder trial.
Some people believe that the foreman was swayed as a father figure and softened by her sad story of abuse. Some believe that she will try to slant her jury with men, and older men at that, to achieve this same goal again.
Do you agree? What kind of jury would you like to see in the Jodi Arias trial? Do you think it's possible to get an unbiased jury right now? What do you think Juan Martinez needs to do in order to secure a death penalty in this case? Are you an Arizona taxpayer? What are your true feelings on this case?