Today was Jodi’s last chance to plead for her life to the jury that convicted her of first degree, premeditated murder. Although the day started slow, it picked up just over an hour after it was supposed to start. In front of a packed courtroom filled with Travis Alexander family members and supporters, her own family, some court watchers, media and 15 men and women on the jury, Jodi Arias voiced her plea for her life.
Wearing what looked to be all black, she approached the podium stationed just front and center of the jury box with notes in her hand. Although I have watched every day of this trial and heard everything she has said in the past, I was wondering what she would say now. Would she stick to the after verdict interview on Fox 10 and request death? Or would she change, predictably, and plead for her life? Within a couple sentences she disclosed that it was life in prison she was requesting.
She started with a moment she shared with her mother where they discussed that the Alexander family was going through hell. Jodi Arias stated that nothing drove that point home for her more than hearing Steven and Samantha speak last week and that she never meant to cause them so much pain. Jodi Arias sounded choked up this point. She explained she had avoided looking at the family during trial and that she did not learn, until last week, that Travis Alexander’s grandmother, the one she sent flowers to after his death, had passed away just prior to trial starting. She shared with the jury that knowing that both Travis and his grandmother are gone and that she may have inadvertently caused the grandma’s passing destroys her.
Jodi Arias addressed the fact she asked for death. She explained when she said that she lacked perspective and did not realize the programs she could be part of in prison and how she could contribute such as teaching Spanish and American Sign Language; recycling programs, and starting a book or literacy club. She showed a picture of Locks of Love and told the Jury that she has donated 3 times since she has been in jail and would continue to do so.
If experience has shown us anything it is that Jodi Arias will get her “dig” in somehow and that she did. She held up a t-shirt explaining that she designed the shirt and that all proceeds go to domestic violence survivors. However, she quickly followed it up with the comment “some may believe I am not a survivor of domestic violence and they are entitled to their opinion.” I personally believe she should have left this entire part out and kept it inside her; however, I do not think that sealed her fate.
Many were wondering why Patty Womack did not speak on her former best friend’s behalf and Jodi Arias answered that. She explained to the jury that Patty was her best friend for years but she did not come back to testify because her and her 9 year old daughter were being threatened and harassed about returning to Phoenix. I believe that and I do not blame her at all for not coming back.
Jodi Arias then took us on a brief history of her life showing pictures of her family and former boyfriends in a slide presentation. Some were of the opinion this was callous and unfeeling with not enough emotion. I believe that she is incapable of showing any more emotion than what she showed today. If this was the most emotion she could show, and her life was on the line, why would we believe there is anymore she could give?
Jodi stated again that she did not want to reveal the skeletons in her or Travis Alexander’s closet and have the most negative things about their relationship come to life. Remember, she offered to plead to Second Degree Murder but the State rejected it. She went on to state it was never her intention to hurt Travis Alexander’s reputation or reveal the ugly text messages to the world and their families. She reminded the jury that when she took the stand back in February 2013 that she was quick to defend Travis Alexander because, at one point, he was the world to her.
She finished with saying it was the worst mistake of her life and the worst thing she had ever done. Before now she had never even hurt a spider and that to this day she could not believe she was capable of this violence and she will be sorry for this for the rest of her life. She asked for life and explained that she could never, in good conscious, ask for death because of the pain it would cause her family. She ended with saying “Please don’t do that to my family, don’t give me death.”
Although many expected more from Jodi Arias, I am convinced this was all she could give. Whether this is due to a mental deficiency or emotion deficiency I cannot say; however, I did not expect anything more from her.