Jodi Arias says “Death is the Ultimate Freedom”

Arias wants death penalty

After Jodi Arias heard the verdict of first degree murder from a Phoenix, Arizona jury, she said she was surprised.  “It was unexpected for me, yes, because there was no premeditation on my part,” she said.  She said she would “prefer to die sooner than later” and that “death is the ultimate freedom.”

The verdict was handed down by a jury of eight men and four women on Wednesday.  They spent fifteen hours in four days before they rendered their decision.

Arias occupied 18 days on the stand, revealing the most intimate details of her life, including some that could be considered X-rated.  She hoped that the jury would be convinced that she killed her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander in self-defense.

Alexander, a motivational speaker, was shot in the forehead, stabbed more than 30 times, and had his throat slit from ear to ear, nearly decapitating him.  The 32 year old Arias claimed he attacked her, and she killed him in fear for her own life.

“The worst outcome for me would be natural life in prison. I would much rather die sooner rather than later,” Arias said.

The trial began on January 2nd, and made headlines for its gore and sexual content.

In addition to the physical evidence that Arias had been the only individual who was responsible for Alexander’s demise, the prosecution presented a list of circumstantial evidence.

She had dyed her hair before she went to Mesa, where the murder occurred.

She rented a car, in an attempt to avoid recognition of her own that was red.  The defense claimed hers was not operating properly.

The rental car’s front license plate had been removed, and the rear one was turned upside down.

She had three gas cans in her trunk, which prosecutors claimed were to prevent a paper trail as she traveled through Arizona.  Arias claimed she carried extra gas because of her fear of having an empty tank when she traveled to remote areas, performing her career as a photographer.

She stole a .22 caliber gun from her grandparent’s home.  Arias claimed she used Alexander’s own gun, which was the same caliber, which she had retrieved from his closet.  None of Alexander’s friends were aware that he possessed a gun.

Defense attorneys claim that the events of June, 2008, were the culmination of a pattern of physical and emotional abuse by Alexander, resulting in an unplanned fit of rage by Arias.

The verdict fostered gasps and tears by family and friends of Alexander, and those of Arias.  Outside the courtroom, the announcement brought cheers.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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