Jodi Arias seems to be back-pedaling on the death penalty now

Haven’t written a lot about the Jodi Arias case, maybe because the Internet is utterly littered with the case already and I felt like I wouldn’t contribute a great deal to the discourse. Basically, Mormon horny guy (Travis Alexander) has steamy, volatile relationship with Jodi Arias, and eventually, she kills him (or so the story goes). The murder happened in 2008 — after a sexual encounter, naitch — and the verdict didn’t come down until May of 2013. You can find a lot of the basics at this link, and then there’s also this golden nugget:

She was no stranger to the media in the years of her court proceedings, and certainly had a large number of Twitter followers, but just minutes after being found guilty of first degree murder in the death of Travis Alexander on May 8, Arias, maintaining that there was no premeditation, tells KSAZ-TV that rather than being sentenced to life imprisonment, she prefers death. “The worst outcome for me would be natural life… Longevity runs in my family, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place…I said years ago I’d rather get death than life and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it.” Although she expressed regret, she offered no apology to Alexander’s family. After her interview she was moved to the psych ward in the Estrella Jail in Phoenix on suicide watch.

Alright, so … at the time (May 2013), she preferred death. Let’s flash-forward about 14-15 months. Here’s the new situation:

Arias petitioned to have an investigator return to the home to gather info sometime this week, and was successful, bring into question what info she wants to gather.

“This is a death penalty case, and Jodi Arias is going to do anything possible to save her life,” Bryan Claypool, a criminal defense attorney, told HLN-TV.

So here’s what’s going on now — Arias basically is going to have an investigator go into the house (in Mesa, AZ) where the murder happened. He/she (gender of investigator) is likely going to measure out showers and floors and all that, and try to find some contextual way where the murder could be shown to be self-defense — where Travis Alexander attacked her and she retaliated, and that was how everything went down. This might be a tough sell for some, because there are reports that Alexander was ostensibly decapitated (you don’t usually go that far in simple self-defense, I’d reckon), but the real reasoning behind everything is this:

“I don’t think this is manipulation. I think this is a desperate woman trying to come up with a plan–and here’s her plan: She’s going to hire an investigator to go over there, and he’s going to take some kind of measurements, maybe in the bathroom–who knows where–but he’s going to come up and concoct some theory that maybe she was responding to a traumatic event, that he attacked her first.

This isn’t necessarily surprising, per se — oftentimes people will say something like “Death is freeing!” and then when they’re actually confronted with the real possibility of death via the legal system, they back-track and want to find loopholes out of the entire deal.

There is a chance the P.I. isn’t going to the house, but will just be reviewing evidence:

But then again, there’s this take as well:

Personally, I feel like she’s guilty (I think that’s been pretty conclusively established by this point). I don’t really have the best feeling about the death penalty as a concept, but … clearly something not-so-ideal should happen to her.

You need to troll the Internet for information on Arias Round II: The Sentencing, which begins Sept. 29 — it appears there’s going to be a media blackout of those proceedings.


Ted Bauer