The jury in Jodi Arias’ trial was scheduled to determine whether she would receive the death penalty or life in prison yesterday, but they were unable to come to a unanimous decision. Is it possible her manipulative suicidal confessions the day before actually swayed the jury?
After only two and a half hours of deliberation, the jury reported to the judge that they were at an impasse and unable to make a decision. Judge Sherry Stephens, presiding judge, asked them to ascertain the areas of disagreement and try to come to a unanimous decision.
The jury deliberated through the rest of the afternoon, per the judge’s order; however, they were still unable to come up with a resolution. Deliberations are set to resume at 10:00 a.m. local time.
A hung jury in Arizona during the death penalty phase will result in the selection of a new jury selection, new opening arguments, new presentation of evidence, new proceedings, new witness statements, new closing arguments, essentially a new trial. If this jury cannot come to a conclusion, it will likely mean months before a decision is made regarding Arias’ fate.
If the second jury does not make a unanimous decision, her sentence will be determined by the judge; the judge cannot impose the death penalty, so she will likely get life in prison, or even get 25 years.
The second jury will only be brought in to determine the penalty phase, not to determine guilt or innocence, as she has already been found guilty.
Lifetime Television Movie
With the jury set to reconvene today to determine the fate of Jodi Arias, her suicide saga now another drama-filled grab at attention as she begs not to be put to death; after all that has happened over the course of this macabre tale, how tacky do you think the made for television movie will be?
Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Travis Alexander, her former boyfriend. Alexander, 30, was found in his Mesa, Arizona, home in June 2008, brutally murdered; he had been shot, stabbed 27 times, his throat slit from ear to ear, and his body was found in a shower stall, bloodied and naked days after the murder.
Theirs was a tumultuous relationship; he was a motivational speaker, she was his “dirty little secret”, according to Arias. They were on-and-off; at the time of the murder, she was living in Yreka, California, and she came to see him when something went awry after a sexual liaison.
The trial has been filled with scandalous details regarding sexual trysts, Alexander’s character has been slandered, Arias’ lack of character has been questioned, America has been mesmerized, and the media has covered every minute.
Now, Hollywood has determined to get in on the action with a made for television movie, just in case watching it day in and day out on the news, Court TV, reading it on the Internet, or picking up or local paper and reading about it was not enough. Oh, and I just saw this morning that a friend of Arias’ is sending out tweets for her, so there is that, too.
The Lifetime movie will air June 22, exactly a month after Arias learns her fate. Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, the aptly named movie stars Tania Raymond from the series Lost.
The movie has been filming parallel to the trial is a morbid Twilight Zone parallel universe, delayed by a few days pending the outcome of each step of Arias’ path.
One can only imagine how they will portray Arias staunchly standing up to the face of death as she practically begs for the gallows, “I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”
Raymond will have to conjure up a stony face to read her plea, as Arias did, pleading for her life, making claims of suicidal thoughts; describing letters written to family members, of razor blades, and family members asking her to reconsider. Arias should have become an actress herself; she would undoubtedly have received many awards for the display she puts on.
The fascination with the case is shameful; the house where Alexander took his last breath looks like every other house in the neighborhood. It is a quiet desert community, you would not know what happened there that fateful day unless somebody pointed it out to you, and even then, you could not comprehend the evil that lurked behind the doors that day in June 2008.
However, according to some neighbors, the media influence in this case has turned the area into a circus at times. One neighbor saw so many people there one day slowing down, taking pictures; they thought it was a graduation party. Instead, sadly, it was only the morbid curiosity of an America obsessed with the macabre.
Respondents to the poll are almost split; 52% of those responding feel it is too soon for a television movie, while 48% are voting no.
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By Dawn Cranfield
Senior Correspondent / Product Specialist