May 8, 2013

CRIME EDITION: Jodi Arias Verdict ~ Armchair Anal-ysis.*


Posted by Ethne~

Well, Friends, Lori and I have been sweating this day for months now.  What will the Jodi Arias jury do?!  It was back in February that I wrote my post on this case, certainly not figuring it would be May and STILL going on.  Good-ness.

As predicted, it was full of drama and sex; they were sure to drag the deceased through the gutter and make him out to be the bad guy. (Seriously, they had to know it was a risk calling Travis a pedophile.)  Shame, shame Jodi.  Fortunately, the jury didn’t buy it! 

Credit: CNN

They didn’t find it believable that she could remember what drink she ordered on her road trip to visit Travis (she has a very good memory and, it turns out, even wrote a “manifesto” – her words – and considers herself to be as smart as Einstein – I am not making this up!!) – but then things go fuzzy only during the time of the murder.  Yeah, that’s what we thought too.  We didn’t buy it.

The jury had several options for conviction (which was good, since they didn’t in the Casey Anthony jury – it was first degree or nothing and they chose nothing), including acquittal – she’d go free; manslaughter – where she essentially killed him by accident; second-degree murder – where she killed him, but not with advanced planning; felony murder – where she’s guilty of first-degree murder by virtue of killing Travis in the process of committing another felony (here, stealing his gun); and first-degree premeditated murder – where she planned the whole thing all along.  If she’s guilty of first-degree premeditated murder or felony murder, she’s eligible for the death penalty.

Having been burned in the Casey Anthony trial (the judge in that case was just on Headline News, Lori tells me, and said that when he read the verdict, he had to do a triple-take because he couldn’t believe they were acquitting her), Lori and I were gun-shy about making predictions about what the jury will do.  Seriously.  Just when you think you know, they surprise you.  I really didn’t know in this case.  I had a feeling that the prosecutor had really done a good job based upon the questions that the jurors were asking Jodi and the other witnesses.  But it’s a weird case – how often do jurors get to ask questions anyway? (only 3 states)  And the prosecutor was really aggressive and the pundits didn’t like him for that, so would it turn off the jury?  Plus, he got to do a rebuttal closing argument – I’d never heard of that oddity.  And craziest of all, Jodi testified.  Defendants almost never testify, especially in murder cases.  So it was anyone’s guess as far as I was concerned.  (I was leaning toward second degree murder in the end, if I had to pick, figuring that the jury wouldn’t be unanimous on first degree, so would go with the lesser murder charge.)

But then Lor called me and said the jury’s verdict was in, and I couldn’t believe it!  (I can confirm that we are, in fact, in ND and MN, respectively, not down in AZ amongst those crowds – we don’t love Nancy Grace and her handcuff necklace that much.)  The jury was unanimous that Jodi is guilty of premeditated first-degree murder and seven of them also voted for her guilt in felony murder.  Interesting!

Handcuff necklace, now available at Zales - I am not even lying.

The case will immediately go to the death penalty phase; I believe she’ll start wearing her jail jumpsuit to court.  Arizona’s law appears to support the death penalty for Jodi (based on how Travis died and the fact that the jury believes she planned his death); with her only hope being they have mercy on her after hearing her family speak.  They obviously didn’t believe what she said.

Lori and I will follow it, and we’ll let you know what happens.  And we’re on the hunt for the next great case to follow.  The George Zimmerman one down in Florida has the makings of some intrigue, but we’re torn as to what we think about it. (I’d love to see that awful guy in Ohio fry after holding those women hostage for a decade, but I doubt he ever goes through a trial.)  If you all have heard of any other good cases, please, do tell.

Ohio bad guy - you're going down!

*Aside from Jodi’s salacious testimony, there is nothing ‘anal’ about this post.  I couldn’t resist, though. 

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