Jodi Arias trial watchers are experiencing a bit of déjà vu. This week in the Jodi Arias trial included many of the same antics that seem to happen on a weekly basis in this case, and have happened rather consistently since Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander in 2008. Since then, she and her team have been doing everything they can to delay the inevitable, and change the opinion of the world to believe that Jodi Arias is anything but a cold blooded killer. Last week’s strategies attempts to change the stream of national consciousness included the infamous drag the victim through the mud strategy. This week, there was more of that, more erotic testimony that the Jodi Arias case has become famous for, and yet another motion to remove the death penalty from the table. USA Today reported Dec. 3 that the “erotic bombs” between Jodi Arias and her lover Travis Alexander were explored in detail in court this week. We are also learning that another juror has been dismissed from the case.
Jodi Arias is currently undergoing the sentencing phase of her trial. In 2008 she brutally murdered 30-year-old motivational speaker Travis Alexander in his home. She stabbed him over 25 times, with one of those wounds being a 5 inch deep chest wound. She also nearly decapitated him when she severed his windpipe, and also shot him in the head.
A 2013 jury found Jodi Arias guilty of the crime of first degree murder. They also unanimously voted on the aggravating factors stage, the stage that made Jodi Arias eligible for the death penalty. That jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision on sentencing, with the options being life in prison, or life on Death Row before being handed the death penalty.
That decision led to a mistrial of the penalty phase only. Jodi’s murder conviction stands and aggravating factors eligibility stand. This jury must decide on only one thing, the penalty for Jodi Arias. Since then, Jodi’s defense has tried to undermine that jury’s work, sacrifice, and power by asking relentlessly to remove the death penalty off of the table. And they’ve been trying to do it all in secret. And the judge has supported that.
This most recent motion is not only another motion asking to dismiss the death penalty, but asking, in alternative, more secrecy for the Jodi Arias trial. One can’t help but wonder what they are trying to hide this time. One also can’t help but wonder how confident the defense is in their previous motions to remove the death penalty, since they keep filing them. There are actually still “motions to remove the death penalty” in play that have not even been ruled on yet, that involved several begging motions to remove the death penalty off of the table. Has the defense lost confidence in those grounds that they need to keep filing more motions?
Or, does the defense actually see the inevitable at the end of the tunnel and is getting in all of the public defender’s office billing now while they can? That is a question that many Arizona taxpayers are wondering after covering Jodi’s costs for almost $3 million dollars now. This most recent motion however is one that does have some analysts saying, it may have some merit to it.
Granted, the defense has been confident about all of the motions to dismiss the death penalty prior to this date, including all of the ones that have been previously denied. This motion involves witnesses being afraid to testify on behalf of Jodi Arias, and the defense finds this to be grounds to dismiss the death penalty. This means that Jodi can’t get a fair trial, according to the defense.
It sounds like a fair claim, however that is only if you forget the fact that there are probably witnesses in every single murder trial all over the country that are afraid to testify on behalf of a defendant. That’s because, generally speaking, murderers are unsafe and scary people. Convicted murderers that are eligible for the death penalty, even more so.
And those are two things that Jodi Arias is. She is a convicted murderer whose acts were so cruel and heinous that she became eligible for the death penalty. The former jury has been traumatized for life by the Jodi Arias trial in a way that they can never delete, press pause on, or try to get back. It’s done. The defense seems to have forgotten them in his recent motion.
The current jury in the Jodi Arias trial has been ordered to remember only two things when determining her penalty. That Jodi is a convicted felon, and that she is eligible for the death penalty based on a list of aggravating factors that denoted cruel and unusual crimes. The defense is doing everything they can to get the jury to forget that the acts Jodi Arias is guilty of, made the victim’s own sister shriek in open court years after the fact.
And the defense doesn’t want anybody to watch them do that. Because they want you to think Jodi Arias is the exception to, well, everything. But they never seem to quite meet that burden of proof, at least not beyond a reasonable doubt. Forged letters that went missing, a pedophiliac moment with a photograph, computer files all, and more, went poof in the wind one day. Is that because Jodi Arias is the exception?
Jodi Arias is not the exception that her defense team wants you to believe that she is. Even so, they are ensuring every needle in the haystack that supports that theory that she is, is shown to the judge. This time the motion to dismiss the death penalty involved witnesses that do not want to testify in open court.
This motion falls after Arizona paid for a Court of Appeals ruling that had Judge Sherry Stephens eating some humble pie after allowing a witness for the defense to testify in secret. The Court of Appeals said, “No, you can’t do that for this witness” and that witness, who has been named as Jodi Arias in the ruling, must now testify in open court. That ruling does not apply to all defense witnesses, as Jodi Arias is the only one that has been named.
Arizona Family reported on Dec. 1 that, according to the most recent motions and responses paid for by the state of Arizona, there are now 3 witnesses saying they won’t testify if that happens to them. Prior to this ruling, those same witnesses had agreed to testify. So obviously those witnesses thought they were going to be able to surpass Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure and testify in secret like Jodi Arias wanted to, on the taxpayer’s dime.
Otherwise, why all of a sudden are we hearing about this now? Is this a calculated move on the defense? At the tune of almost $3 million dollars, Arizona taxpayers are now asking, “What isn’t?”
This most recent motion was filed right before Thanksgiving last week. The defense team is saying the witnesses are worried they are going to be threatened or harassed if they testify. This means, the defense claims, Jodi Arias is not getting the “complete defense” that she is entitled to.
Arizona Family reports those witnesses have not been identified publicly, however we do know that there is a former co-worker of Jodi’s on that list, as well as a former boyfriend, and someone who was a friend of Travis before meeting Jodi Arias. As legal analyst Monica Lindstrom for KTAR writes in her “Legally Speaking” column,
“Does the motion have merit? The simple and unpopular answer is yes, yes it does.”
Again, this all goes back to that Court of Appeals ruling that overturned Judge Sherry’s big bad decision that left the Constitution and the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure policies wincing a little. In that ruling, only Jodi Arias was named as being forced to testify in open court. As Monica Lindstrom writes,
“A big part of our criminal justice system and Constitutional principles is that a defendant has the right to confront their accusers, see the evidence against them, and call witnesses to testify on their behalf.”
This means that Jodi Arias has the Constitutional protection of defending herself “in all possible ways” as Lindstrom writes. As Monica points out, the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure do state that “all proceedings shall be open to the public.” But they, specifically Rule 9.3 states that,
“The court may in its discretion, exclude all spectators except representatives of the press during the testimony of a witness whenever reasonably necessary to prevent embarrassment or emotional disturbance of the witness.”
In his response to this motion then, prosecutor Juan Martinez points out that the witnesses can be subpoenaed. What happens then? Monica Lindstrom writes,
“Therefore, until the defense can prove Judge Stephens can’t practically use Rule 9.3 or subpoena the witnesses, then the motion probably won’t be successful.
However, if the witnesses refuse to comply with a subpoena then the defense’s motion to remove death has merit and will become much stronger.”
Like all others, this motion will be ruled on at a later date. In the meantime, testimony with the witnesses who finished last week continued this week in the Jodi Arias trial. Last week testimony ended with sex expert Dr. Fonseca testifying about the relationship between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias.
During cross-examination of the witness, prosecutor Juan Martinez showed that in fact Dr. Fonseca may not be an expert on the relationship between Travis and Jodi. She was not sure when they started dating, she was not sure about a lot of things. She wanted to testify that Travis Alexander was a pedophile but could not bring herself to say those words, and testified that she has not seen any alleged evidence about his possible pedophilia.
She did like to say that it was “implied”, however prosecutor Juan Martinez ensured that it was also implied that Dr. Fonseca actually knew very little about the nature of the relationship between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias. Dr. Fonseca wants the jury to believe that she thinks Jodi Arias was an emotionally abused victim in this case, and that Travis was the big bad guy.
During her testimony Dr. Fonseca did a lot of rounding up and rounding out her answers in an extrapolated non-responsive kind of way. An instant chat exchange between Travis and Jodi was discussed in court, that did not shed good light on the relationship, and Dr. Fonseca extrapolated the event to make it look worse than it really was. Juan Martinez was on it.
When she tried to make it look like Travis had ranted and turned Jodi into an abuse victim in an instant message chat for five hours, Juan got Dr. Fonseca to admit the facts of that situation. Travis did not rant and make an abuse victim out of Jodi Arias for 5 hours, it was a chat session that lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes on and off. Judging by the words that came up in testimony on the chat subject, it wasn’t Travis that ended up looking bad in that conversation. The chat included statements by Travis that sounded like,
“I want you to know how evil I think you are…..You are the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
In texts from Travis to Jodi just weeks before she killed him, he also called her a “whore”, a “3 hole wonder”, and a “sociopath.” When testifying to the nature of the relationship, Dr. Fonseca described how “toxic” that she thought it was. This is not exactly breaking news that Arizona needs to pay an expert witness to reveal. Travis is dead.
We know it was a toxic relationship. The jury can see that. The jury can also see that he was obviously afraid of her, and we all know now, that he had good reason to be.
Dr. Fonseca also told the jury this week that she felt Travis “closeted” Jodi Arias. She was also asked by the jury if she felt that his relationship with Jodi was similar to other relationships she had. Dr. Fonseca was mostly unsure, but said that his other relationships weren’t as “sexually charged” as the one he had with Jodi.
In Arizona, jurors are also allowed their own form of “cross examination” of a witness to clear up any questions they may have. These questions are anonymously submitted in writing to a basket in the court, and the Judge then reads the juror questions to the witness, who must answer. This particular question was asking Dr.Fonseca if she thought that an incident involving child pornography might change the relationship between Jodi and Travis.
Dr. Fonseca said it wouldn’t be unusual if the relationship changed because of that. The defense of course jumped on this line of questioning in a desperate attempt to cast credibility on the claims that Travis is a pedophile. They showed text messages that illustrated that Travis liked Jodi’s bathing suit parts groomed in a specific way that some might consider “child-like”. The defense also reminded the jury about how Travis told Jodi in their sex tape conversation that she sounded like a 12-year-old girl.
Juan Martinez was on that too. He asked Dr. Fonseca if the child pedophilia incident in question involved a young girl or a young boy. Dr. Fonseca agreed that the alleged incident involved a boy, not a girl. This is important testimony to get in because the victimology of pedophilia is gender specific, a person that suffers from pedophilia generally is pulled towards boys, or girls, rarely both.
Dr. Fonseca still to date has not provided testimony or evidence that shows she conclusively believes Travis to be a pedophile. But she doesn’t have a problem implying it. The defense still to date has not provided testimony or evidence that surpasses the burden of reasonable doubt to support their allegations of pedophilia. But even Dr. Fonseca acknowledged they do like to imply it.
It is tough testimony for many people to hear, most importantly the members of the family of Travis Alexander. But the State of Arizona is getting tired of it too. Why is Jodi Arias allowed to try and hide all of her testimony, and all of her witness testimony, but is allowed to say out loud whatever she wants to say about Travis Alexander?
This is a death penalty case. Reporter, after reporter, after reporter has said, this is a death penalty case. That they are trying to do as much as they can in secret is a very big problem, and very scary. The very name in the state of Arizona makes people cringe, or as Laurie Roberts for the Arizona Republic wrote last week,
“The very name Jodi Arias makes people’s ears bleed.”
One can’t blame Laurie for her sentiments. Anyone that has toughed it out for more than a full day of the Jodi Arias show knows full well the wounds her words alone can cause. Bleeding ears, indeed. The court doesn’t mind making the brothers and sisters of Travis Alexander sit through hours, yes hours, of cross examination about dirty school girls, and shaved or waxed bathing suit parts, and not only pictures but also discussions of the unknown penis.
But for some reason when Jodi or anyone on her witness list speaks, she’s special? Some people would really like to know what is exactly the rationale of Judge Stephens on why it’s okay for them to talk about the unknown penis out loud when they are dragging Travis through the mud, but when the spotlight is on what Jodi or any of her witnesses, it needs to be a big fat secret?
Why? What could she or any of her witnesses possibly say that could make ears bleed any worse than they already have? Well, we know what the answer to that is, the truth. But she may be too afraid of making her own ears bleed on that one.
What Jodi has to say is not the only secret pending in the Jodi Arias trial. Another secret is the State costs, and they are not talking about it. They will not answer the question. If Oprah herself called, they will not release that information. Mrs. Obama, maybe. But few others. Why is that do you figure?
Because when Arizona finds out what the grand total is, they are going to flip their….horse piles. When you think about the fact that for every 59-page motion that Nurmi has billed for, the prosecution has had to respond. They both have to appear in court for the same number of hours, every time. The States costs are going to be comparable to the defense.
And that’s not counting inmate costs, court transportation and labor costs, and all of the costs on this nature on a case that has been going since 2008 between two jurisdictions in California and Arizona. Arizona might want to wake up and smell the very real possibility they are looking at a 5 million dollar trial, if we are rounding down. There are a lot of people, both for the defense and the prosecution, that believe with every fiber of their being that Judge Sherry Stephens could have put a stop to that a very long time ago. The case is making reporters ears bleed, as well as the wallets of Arizona.
Arizona will pick up the tab for more hearings this week when the defense tries to prove that Travis Alexander watched porn, and that this means something in relation to the case. Here’s what we know about that. Travis dated a lot and allegedly maybe even sometimes watched porn and allegedly maybe sometimes did things that were against his religion. That is because he was a grown 30-year-old, single man.
The defense wants the jury to believe that means Jodi Arias should have her first degree conviction overturned and be free from jailed life. It is as ridiculous as it sounds. All that really means of course is Travis was doing what most men do every single day. Forbe’s Magazine reported last year that not only is porn a 13 billion dollar industry, but that there are more porn websites on the Internet than there are of all other industries combined.
The Forbe’s data suggests that Travis isn’t the only person in the world that may or may not be accessing porn files on his computer at any given moment in time. What that does not mean is that because of those things, Jodi should walk, as some people seem to think it does.
None of the defense’s porn allegations changes the fact that Jodi Arias is a convicted murderer that was found to be particularly cruel, unanimously, by a jury last year. The jury has not heard these allegations, and ended the week with the testimony of Dr. Fonseca.
Following the testimony by Dr. Fonseca, juror drama happened during the lunch break in the way of juror No. 3. After lunch break Judge Stephens announced that No. 3 was dismissed, no explanation was given.
This pretty much wrapped up testimony for the day, and week actually. Testimony before the jury will continue next week Monday on December 8. Some evidentiary matters in the Jodi Arias trial regarding current motions on the docket will be heard Thursday and Friday this week, without the jury present.
Meanwhile, across the Internet, Jodi Arias is doing everything she can to convince the world that she is not the “solid form of evil” that her murder victim says she is. A recent posting on one of the Jodi Arias websites has garnered the attention of the social media sphere. Last week our news desk reported on a tweet that someone on behalf of Jodi Arias tweeted for her.
The tweet was in response to a punishment Jodi Arias was given for sharing food which is against the rules for a Maricopa County inmate. Because she shared food, she was placed on restriction. One of our readers has shared what happened that led to Jodi being put on restriction. Em said,
“Actually. this incident happened last Thursday. After lunch, when Jodi walked into the courtroom, we instantly saw she was upset about something. She told whatever this was to Wilmott and MDLR. You could tell something was wrong. We then found out that on her way back from the hallway right there where there is a line of holding cells. that she gave her leftovers to a person thru the bars of one of those holding cells. That is against the rules so she was put on restriction.”
This is one of many accounts of what has put Jodi Arias on restriction. Regardless of how it happened, we do know that Jodi Arias was put on food restriction and a tweet went out from her camp that said,
“No good deed goes unpunished.”
Jodi clearly thinks it’s better to look charitable than follow the rules that apply to all inmates of Maricopa County Jail, and took to the “Jodi Arias blog” to explain herself.
“Yet true to the adage ‘No good deed goes unpunished’ my random act of kindness resulted in restriction, meaning no phone calls (except legal) and no canteen. The latter is where the crux of the irony lies…I chose to give food to someone who was hungry, and for that I was punished by being made to go hungry – on Thanksgiving no less……Does this justify my breaking a rule? That would depend on whom you’re asking.”
For Jodi, if you are asking one of her supporters if she did a good thing, on Thanksgiving no less, they will say yes. They will say what she writes here, that in the world of Jodi Arias, she should be excused from the rules handed down to the general public and to society. She used some quotes by Martha Beck in her blog to support this by saying,
“If everyone kept all of the rules, we’d still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery, and public hangings.”
For the record, the states of Delaware and Washington still keeps the rules and use the “cherished tradition” of hanging as a method of their death penalty executions. They do have lethal injection as an alternate, but it is still a method on record in these states. The last public hanging was in Delaware in 1996. It hasn’t happened since, but that’s not because the rules have been bent for Jodi Arias.
Here in this blog Jodi shows that no matter how big, or how small the rule is, she is above it, willing to break it, and willing to put in writing why she thinks she is above it. She worked diligently with her Martha Beck quote and five dollar words to make herself appear more intelligent in this post, but in true Jodi style, she left out some key facts. It’s an article that has left a bad taste in the mouths of people that want the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure followed, so that she can be expediently sentenced for her crime of brutally slaying Travis Alexander.
Testimony in the Jodi Arias trial will continue Monday. This week on Thursday and Friday the courts will hear evidentiary hearings without the jury present. We will soon find out what the court thinks about Travis’s alleged porn addiction, and whether that will be submitted to the jury. Sooner or later Jodi Arias supporters will come to the realization that she still will not be home by Christmas. The slideshow contains pictures from inside the court this week. If you missed the hearing before the Court of Appeals on this controversial ruling, you can watch it all right here.
What is your position on the secrecy in the Jodi Arias trial? Do you think the porn allegations have any place in this case and if so, based on what evidence?