The Toronto Relationships Examiner has reported this week the wide number of speculations surrounding the May 16 court appearance for Jodi Arias. Among the speculations offered were the CNN filing a motion requesting camera access for the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias trial. Other speculations centered around a possible change of defense team members after mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa was banned from visiting Jodi Arias at the Maricopa County Estrella Jail. On May 12 the Latino Post confirmed that both of these matters are precisely the matters that will be heard with Jodi Arias in court on Friday May 16.
But will this mean justice for Travis Alexander, the victim of this convicted felon?
It was one year ago in May of 2013 when Jodi Arias was convicted of first degree murder with an element of cruelty and premeditation for the murder of Travis Alexander. In July 2008, Jodi stabbed Travis over 25 times in his Phoenix, Arizona home, slit his throat, and then shot him in the head. She then left him alone and dead in his shower, made many attempts to cover up her crime, and then went to visit another boyfriend in Utah.
Travis Alexander would be alone in his home for another 5 days before his family would even be notified of his horrific demise.
Since 2008 the family of Travis Alexander has been waiting for justice. Although the jury that convicted Jodi Arias of first degree murder in 2008 was able to find her guilty of premeditated first degree murder, they were deadlocked when it came to the sentencing phase. In Arizona, murder trials undergo three phases.
The guilt phase, the premeditation phase or aggravating factors stage, and finally the sentencing phase once the guilt and premeditation decisions have been determined. Since May 2013 the Alexander family has been waiting for this trial and the sentencing of Jodi Arias to come to a resolution. The trial dates for the sentencing phase have been put off and stalled many times, and tweets from the loved ones of Travis Alexander suggest that their patience is wearing thin.
A Twitter page has been set up for the loved ones and family members of Travis Alexander. It is found @Justice4_Travis and on the profile page are the words: Justice delayed is NOT justice denied. Some posts on this page, and seen in the slideshow, reveal the frustrations and desperation of the loved ones seeking justice for Travis Alexander.
In July 2013, near Travis Alexander's birthday, @Justice4_Travis tweeted "I hope everyone has a blessed weekend. Don't forget to hug your loved ones."
On December 2, 2013, the @Justice4_Travis page tweeted: "Arias and attorneys back in court tomorrow…It's been 11 months today since trial began. Closure is now at a desperation stage."
A few days later, @Justice4_Travis tweeted a post from the brother of Travis Alexander, Steven, who was very vocal during the trial and provided an emotional and moving victim impact statement before the first sentencing phase began last spring. On December 10, he wrote to @Justice4_Travis:
"Letting everybody know, the trial isn't due to start until mid February. We believe this is a tactic to try and get us to throw in the towel. We will not! I say again it won't happen. Our family will come together and see it through until it is finished. There is a monster that haunts us, but once the correct sentence is given, it's her who will be haunted until the most the most humane punishment comes to her. Nothing compared to the sentence she gave to a good man. Anyhow, the entire Alexander family thanks all of you. Thank you for having our backs."
Several times in 2013 following the May 2013 verdict the Alexander family waited patiently for the retrial date to be set, only to have it delayed again. Christian Science Monitor reported in January 2014 that hopes were raised again, until on January 14, 2014 the trial was delayed again to begin March 17, 2014. Once again, this was stalled due to a conflict with another high profile murder trial that prosecutor Juan Martinez is currently involved in.
The next court appearance for Jodi Arias is scheduled for May 16, 2014, but will this be justice for Travis? The Latino Post reports that prosecutor Juan Martinez and Jodi's defense team will be presenting arguments regarding camera access during trial, and whether or not the Maria de la Rosa incident will be included as evidence during the September retrial. Maria de la Rosa previously had her wrists slapped for reportedly smuggling artwork of Jodi's out of the Estrella Jail, and was temporarily banned from visiting her client. The Toronto Relationships Examiner reported this week that court documents revealed that a change of mitigation specialists had been listed on the Arias file in the Maricopa County courts.
The retrial for the sentencing of Jodi Arias is currently scheduled to begin September 8, 2014. Jury selection will begin on this date. After which, the jury will hear evidence that will help them in their decision to lay the sentence for Jodi Arias. If this jury deadlocks, Judge Sherry Stevens who has been presiding this entire trial will make the decision.
Once two juries deadlock on the death penalty however in the State of Arizona, the death penalty comes off the table. If the decision goes to Judge Stevens, she will be determining whether or not to sentence Jodi Arias to life in prison, or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years according to Reuters.
How would you be feeling if this was your family member and 6 years later you still did not have closure? What do you think the sentence should be?