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May 21, 2013

Jodi Arias now pleading for a life sentence before sentencing jury

As reported in this new USA Today piece, "Jodi Arias, who said after her murder conviction she would prefer death to life imprisonment, stood before the jury Tuesday and pleaded for her life instead, asking them not to punish her family for her actions."  Here is more on today's action in a high-profile capital case:

Speaking as the only witness on her behalf in the penalty phase of her trial, she also referred to the family of her victim, onetime lover Travis Alexander, saying, "I never meant to cause them pain."...

Last week, the jury determined that the murder was committed in an "especially cruel manner," making Arias eligible for the death penalty. They heard tearful comments from Alexander's brother and sister as they described how his killing has torn their lives apart.

Arias acknowledged that her plea for life was a reversal of remarks she made to a TV reporter shortly after her conviction, when she said she preferred the death penalty. "Each time I said that, I meant it, but I lacked perspective," the former waitress said. "Until very recently, I could not imagine standing before you and asking you to give me life."

She changed her mind, Arias said, to avoid bringing more pain to members of her family, who were in the courtroom. "I cannot in good conscience ask you to sentence me to death, because of them," Arias said, pointing to her family. "I think death is tantamount to suicide. Either way, I will spend the rest of my life in prison. It will either be shortened, or not. If it is shortened, the people who will be hurt is my family. I am asking, please, please, don't do that to them."

After she finished speaking, the judge told jurors they can consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to recommend, including the fact that Arias has no previous criminal record. They also can weigh defense assertions that Arias is a good friend and a talented artist. Arias, wearing glasses, looked at the jury from time to time, but largely read from notes on a sheaf of papers she clutched in her hand.... At one point, she held up a white T-shirt with the word "survivor" written across it, telling the jurors that she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse. She also said she would sell her hair to charity while in prison, and had already done so three times while in jail.

At one point in her remarks, Arias said she regretted how her trial, which drew national attention, had become a spectacle. She said she especially regretted testifying to the "darker elements" of her relationship with Alexander and how the "graphic, mortifying, horrific details" got into the public arena.

She said she had tried, instead, to avoid a trial. "I got on TV and lied about what I did and lied about the nature of my relationship with Travis," she said. "It has never been my intention to malign his name or character. In fact, it was a goal of mine to protect his reputation."

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Comments

This woman couldn't tell the truth to save her life, so to speak.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 21, 2013 4:40:04 PM

Bill, we can now appreciate why juries are not composed of former prosecutors or police, or defense attorneys, but 12 ordinary citizens. And even if every juror believes she's a lying dog, one or more may still vote for life for any reason whatever--and I like it that way.

Posted by: Mindy | May 21, 2013 5:40:45 PM

Mindy --

Will you like it equally if the 12 ordinary citizens unanimously vote for the DP? They'll still be the same unbiased crew.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 21, 2013 5:47:15 PM

Of course. If they vote death, that's it.

Posted by: Mindy | May 21, 2013 6:40:10 PM

"vote for life for any reason whatever--and I like it that way"

OR

'I wouldn't accept it, no matter what the evidence is.'

OR

B. Clinton identifying his rationale for White House violations with Monica Lewinsky: “because I could”
* * *
Come now: even this lacking luminary eventually realised that not all arguments are sufficient,
characterising it to Dan Rather as “the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything.”

{www.globalethics.org/newsline/2004/06/21/because-i-could...}

Posted by: Adamakis | May 22, 2013 10:54:39 AM

| "They also can weigh defense assertions that Arias is a good friend and a talented artist." |

Perhaps irrelevant or even aggravating factors?

Was not Halderman a good friend of Nixon?
Holder of Obama?

Was not Jack the Ripper a talented artist?
Stephen Griffiths?

Posted by: Adamakis | May 22, 2013 11:06:11 AM

Adamakis --

She such a "good friend" that not a single person who knows her would testify to try to help save her life.

I would say the defense is grasping at straws, but there ARE no straws.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 22, 2013 1:52:44 PM

Nice. So when are we going to see the arrest and trial for our glorious govt fucktard obama who just confessed to killilng 4 americans oversears.... 3 they weren't aiming at!

Sound's like murder to me!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 22, 2013 11:40:38 PM

Bill Otis, contrary to your conclusion, it appears that some of the jurors may have found a straw or two, but we'll just see what happens.

Posted by: Mindy | May 23, 2013 11:52:22 AM

So four jurors voted for life (according to what I read). So the defense did have a straw or two after all.

Posted by: Mindy | May 23, 2013 11:54:48 PM

Mindy --

I must tip my hat and concede that Ms. Nicey did indeed have straws to grasp, those being the material from which four jurors' brains were made. Perhaps they could get together with the Casey Anthony jurors and create an entire farm.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 24, 2013 5:52:35 PM

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