When Jodi Arias killed boyfriend Travis Alexander she probably didn't realize Arizona was possibly the worst state in which to murder somebody. Presiding Judge Sherry Stephens ruled this week that even though the first jury was unable to unanimously agree she deserved the death penalty the prosecution could try a second time for the death penalty with a new jury.
Many states, including Texas which leads the nation in executions, have rules which state that if a jury is unable to unanimously agree on the death penalty, the defendant will receive a life sentence or something other than the death penalty. No re-do for the death penalty in most jurisdictions.
However, Arizona is different. In the land of the cactus, the law allows for two stabs at the lethal injection.
The defense filed a motion in the Arias case that the Arizona statute is unconstitutional. So a second jury will be convened which will most definitely consider killing Arias.
Arias was convicted of capital murder for stabbing boyfriend Alexander approximately 30 times. The number of wounds varies depends upon whom one consults ranging from the medical examiner to journalists covering the trial.
This case soared to national attention when Headline News (HLN) was allowed to cover the trial live last summer. Commentators from HLN even re-enacted the murder countless times on their set with commentators taking turns playing the roles of victim and killer. HLN even brought in their own juries to comment on each day's testimony and vote on the case.
The shadow jurors were introduced on a daily basis to national and international TV viewers. Only someone living in a cave in Afghanistan could not know of the grisly details of the murder.
Arias, 33, was convicted of the 2008 death of her boyfriend by stabbing and shooting him to death. His throat was slit and he was shot in the forehead in addition to being stabbed all those times.
Defense attorneys were hoping until this week that Judge Stephens would rule their client would not have to face the death penalty a second time. But this past week Stephens made her ruling and as a result Arias will have to face twelve new faces in the jury box who will decide her fate.
It will be interesting to see if the news media coverage can come close to last summer when the world was inundated on a daily basis. Exactly why this boyfriend-girlfriend killing has ascended above the level of serial killers in news media saturation is a question which may never be known to the average citizens of this country.
Countless domestic violence cases result in murder across this country on a regular basis with virtually no national news media mention. If this case does make the nation more aware of the domestic violence our police officers have to face on a regular basis, then something good will have come from the media-overhype of this case.
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