Jodi Arias Trial: Jury Foreman William Zervakos

By | May 26, 2013

William Zervakos, was the jury foreman in the Jodi Arias trial and has now given several interviews about the behind-the-scenes thinking of the jury in general and his own personal thoughts.

He was one of the four holdouts who voted against the death penalty. He has been criticized by some members of the media and soundly criticized by the public at large and social media. Does he deserve this criticism?

JodiPD8

In a word, yes. No one forced him to make a public statement or grant interviews after the verdict was in and the jury was released. No one forced Laviolette to be an expert witness in the Jodi Arias case. It was purely voluntary, self-directed behavior by both of them. William Zervakos, had no choice about appearing for jury duty but he had a choice about speaking publicly after the trial. If you present yourself to the public, you will elicit public opinions, opinions of the public. If the public likes you, then you likely will not complain. In fact the public acclaim will probably give you warm fuzzy feelings. If the public does not like you, you or some bleeding heart intellectuals, will complain loudly “it’s just not fair!”

What’s not fair? It’s not fair for the public to express an opinion? It’s not fair, if that opinion is critical? It’s not fair if the opinion is harshly critical? Let’s get over it, big babies in the media. Any public opinion is fair for someone who volunteers to leave their private world and enter the world of public scrutiny. Laviolette was very well paid. Zervakos, voluntarily made the decision to speak to the media. As you know, many of the other jurors have so far chosen their privacy.

For months, people have been asking me what I thought the verdict would be in the Jodi Arias trial. They’ve asked me how I thought the prosecution was doing and would Jodi Arias be found guilty. I responded, consistently, that it made very little difference how well the defense or prosecution did because the evidence was undeniable. I said the deciding factor, would be jury selection. It would come down to how well the prosecution selected each jury member.

Each potential juror, brings a wealth of concepts, ideology, behavioral patterns, cognitive thinking (healthy or unhealthy) and many, many more psychological variables. Some defense attorneys are paying really big bucks, to mental health consultants, to help them choose the jury. It’s money well spent, very well spent.

Zervakos should never have been on that jury. He said that when he came into the courtroom on the first day, he found it hard to believe that Jodi Arias was the killer. He went on to say that she looked so young and did not look at all like a killer. So what does that tell us about Zervakos?

He thinks he knows what a killer looks like. Now he really doesn’t know what a killer looks like because if he did, he would know that killers look like mousy little brunettes with long straight hair, poor bangs, and glasses.

Zervakos is close to 70 years of age. He keeps referring, in his interviews, to Jodi being so young and only 27 years of age when she committed the crime. To this man of 70, 27 seems young. He was hesitant, in fact unwilling to give the death penalty to someone so young and so immature. Heck, you can’t expect 27-year-olds to know the difference between right and wrong. They’re still wet behind the ears, whippersnappers, if you will. Plus, she didn’t look like a killer.

Zervakos is of course wrong. Twenty-seven years of age is not young. Not young in the way he’s thinking of it, as an age where sufficient maturity is not to be expected and mistakes and poor judgment are to be expected. Wrong, because at 27 years of age many people have completed college, graduate school and finished their PhD’s. Maybe he also thought that Dr. DeMarte was still wet behind the ears and not to be believed. So he was wrong about the age issue and he sure as hell is wrong about what a killer is supposed to look like because there is no doubt that Jodi Arias is a killer. So that’s what they look like or at least what some of them look like.

Zervakos also said that a mitigating circumstance was that Travis had verbally and mentally abused Jodi and there was no doubt about that. He also said the Jodi was a perfectly normal girl before she met Travis. So it sounds as if he is buying the testimony of the sage, old Laviolette. After all, she is sufficiently wrinkled to possess a great deal of wisdom.

Did Travis verbally abuse Jodi? Jodi and Travis had some fights in their relationship, almost all relationships have fights. It’s not good to fight but it happens. Have you had any fights with your boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, children, the neighbor, your best friend?

Have you ever said anything that you regretted? In fact, have you ever said anything that you really, really regretted?

Most people have. The real question is, does that make you guilty of abuse? If so, at the Laviolette school, whose motto is “if you’re a’breathin, you’re a’busin,” you will be found guilty.

I’ve got more to say. Look for it in the next article or for sure in the book.

92 thoughts on “Jodi Arias Trial: Jury Foreman William Zervakos

  1. Robin

    I agree with you 100%! The only problem I have is the people on social media who are digging into the jurors background in order to harrass and “ruin” the ones who voted for LWOP. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, some we may agree with, others we don’t. IMO, nothing they did gives the puplic the right to call their employers and request they be fired. We saw the same thing after the Casey Anthony verdict. Vigilantee justice is never the answer. Get involved and change laws.

    1. Barbara White

      Mr. Zervarkos, sir you must be Einstein. How does a Murderer look?
      You knew going into this trial, it was a Death Penalty case.

      And you have the nerve to Insult many of us, after seeing Jodi. “She is too young, she doesn’t look like a killer”, you said.

      Then Einstein, gives an interview? You look and sound Stupid. You can’t believe you are being harrassed?
      Give me a break, you are worst that the so called experts (Alyce and Dr. Samuels). Do you have feeling for Ms. Arias? LIVE WITH IT~Btw, who accidently made you Forman?

      1. Sandy

        The younger male juror who was on GMA agreed with the foreman. However, that was before he heard the evidence. IMO the foreman didn’t listen to the evidence.

    2. Kat

      Clarification, no one on the jury voted for life w/o parole. They voted for life, the judge makes the decision on whether it is with or without parole. This obstinate and ignorant ‘foreman’ would never have voted for LWOP given his overwhelming belief in Arias. In fact, it seems that he blatantly manipulated the process to reflect his opinion for life by completing the Verdict form rather than the Question form the jurors thought he was doing. This assured a hung jury and covered up his refusal to deliberate in good faith.
      I would still like to know how he was chosen to be foreman when he was so obviously biased against the death penalty and ignorant of a simple process.

      1. Lisa K

        It was explained to the jury … at least twice … that there is no parole process in AZ. AZ eliminated parole for 1st degree murder.

        So, Zervakos voted for LWOP. The law would have to change for “life with the possibility of parole after 25 years” is LWOP.

        Two more points. The form was viewed before it was read in court. Court staff was responsible for giving and checking the form.

        Finally, check out the Dr. Drew interview with jurors 6 and 17. In the comments section of that post, I linked to the entire interview. Juror 6 (17 was an alternate and was not in deliberations) explained how Zervakos acted as Foreman and that he did his job well and was honest and thorough in deliberations.

        Why do you need to vilify Zervakos when you know so little? 3 other jurors also voted against death. And yet Zervakos is “obstinate, ignorant, manipulative and biased”?

        1. lizzie

          @Lisa K—You filled me in on the AZ law re: Life w/ and Life wo/parole in another place on this blog. I very much appreciated that because I had some confusion about when the AZ law changed.

          But based on my knowledge of the case, I would disagree with your May 30 statement that this was fully explained to the jury, much less explained twice. When it was discovered after deliberations began that instructions about Life had been left out of the jury instructions, the jury did receive more information. (Because records are sealed we don’t know if the omission was discovered because of a jury question but it’s possible that’s what happened.)

          At that point, the judge allowed JW and JM to argue to the jury what Life would and would not mean in this case and whether any sort of “early release” would be possible. You’ve stated elsewhere that JM’s argument was flawed on this topic (not sure which argument you refer to, this one or his closing) but even if that’s true, it would seem that this would not have been a matter for argument at that point in the trial. Rather, if the jury voted Life, the judge would then decide whether to sentence Life with the possibility of parole or Life without the possibility of parole. And if she decided the sentence was with the possibility of parole, apparently that couldn’t happen until after 25 years (or in this case, after 20 years since there would have been 5 years of credit for time already served.)

          Nothing I can find anywhere says this jury was given that sort of concrete information. And the fact that the jury heard additional arguments on this point AFTER deliberations began likely DID lead some jurors to be confused on the issue. (We know the foreman said they WERE confused about some apects of the law–for example, it has been widely reported he said they thought if they didn’t decide, the judge would give some sort of life sentence versus there being another jury.) And why wouldn’t the way this all happened have caused confusion? Deliberations had already begun and so those jurors who tended to “side with” JM by that point likely thought his mid-deliberations argument was correct and those who tended to “side with” JW by then likely thought her latest argument was correct. (And we know there was ‘siding with” going on—note the foreman’s statement tbat “the trajectory” of JA’s life changed when she met Travis. Who besides JW and the foremen use the word trajectory in that context?) And without a definitive answer from the judge on the actual law (and the jury had been instructed to look to the judge on matters of law), the likely upshot was different jurors had different ideas about what the law said. And it would seem that wouldn’t be good in any trial.

          It may be that arguments had to be allowed midstream to head off a successful defense motion for mistrial given that an error had been made in instructing the jury. But I do think the add’l arguments confused at least some jurors and may have made compromise impossible. (And if the jury had voted for the DP even with those add’l arguments, it would seem the intial error might still have been grounds for appeal. Screwing up jury instructions is usually a pretty big deal, I think.)

  2. Patty Raddock

    On the money as usual, but my favorite line is that there will be the book we all want! Thank you, Dr. Randle!

  3. Bud Allen

    So, the fact that JA admitted on the stand, under oath, to killing TA did not factor into “Scrotum-Heads” thinking? She confessed to the murder…

    Would cutting TA’s head completely off have made a difference in Zervakos’s evaluation of JA? How slaughtered do you have to be? –Bud Allen

      1. Lisa K

        I didn’t question his right to name-call. I simply asked if it was necessary.

        Why do you think I’m attempting to or wish to block free speech?

        Good lord; how rabid have some readers become?

  4. Sherrie

    I totally agree with your article. Last night while in bed, I was thinking about the foreman having an issue with Jodi’s age and the reason why he did not vote for the death penalty. My thoughts were at 27 years old many 27 years old have graduated from college and have careers. In addition, I was thinking about soldiers who can enlist in the military at 17, attend Basic Training in the summer, and then graduate from high school to continue their training. Soldiers 18 years and older have died in wars. Were they so young they did not know what they wanted to do in life and did not have the cognition to make that choice? Perhaps, in the foreman’s idea of age, the age to enlist in the military should be at least 30 years old and above. At 30 years old the body starts the gradual decline of muscle mass, and the brain cells starts to decline In cognition.

    I am sure at 70 years old 27 looks very young, but we ourselves can look at someone 10 or 20 years our junior we see them as young. My son is 35 years old and I see him as a kid; however, if he was to commit a murder he would still be a child to me but the law says he is a man and he must pay. Such as Jodi, she may appear youthful and appear young at 27 to a 70 year old man, but that is just an opinion and a feeling, not the law.

    The foreman’s duty was to follow the law with evidence and to leave out emotions, he did neither one. If the tables had been turned and Travis was the one on trial for those things that Jodi did to him, do you really think the foreman would have had an issue with age?

    Men are gathers and protectors and that is seen more prominent in older men. That instinctual protection of the ” weaker” sex in my opinion is why the foreman decided he could not vote for the death penalty. He was probably one heck of a father but he was not one heck of a juror.

    When jurors are chosen we never know what we will get in the end. Will the next set of Jurors be different with a decision one way or the other? We shall never know until the end.

    What is sad though, the foreman did not protect Travis’s family. Did he not see the sisters crying out their hearts about losing their brother who was the glue of the family during the impact stage? Did he not see Jodi delivering a power point presentation with no remorse and no emotions? Did he not see the sneers and laughing from Jodi for five months of the trial? Where was he? Did he have a senior moment for five months? Perhaps he was in a fog for five months. Maybe he had his daughter in his mind when rendering his decision. It is too bad he did not look at Travis’s sisters as one of his daughters. He did not look at his son and think if that would have happened to his son he would want justice.

    Jodi a manipulator, and a 70 year old man with values of protecting women did not see the truth of what Jodi is.

    1. Cyndi

      Amazing write up, plus your spot on statement, Sherrie, gives me some peace with my anger towards this juror. I’m just glad to know that I am not alone.

    2. Jan

      When I first laid eyes on ja in Jan. of 2013 I said that no jury would be able to sentence her to the DP because of the way she looks. So sad people like the old Goat Jury foreman place so much value on looks and no value on the facts of the case. I will continue to pray for justice for Travis and his family.

    3. Lisa K

      Hi Sherrie,

      I tried to post this last night but on my tablet.

      My next sentence may be viewed as insensitive (not to you) but it isn’t .

      The jury isn’t there to “protect” anyone. It is the job of lawyers to protect their clients. When a State brings a case before the court, their clients are the victims and the community. Juan Martinez did a brilliant and masterful job on behalf of his clients.

      Juries exist to judge based on the evidence they see. Juries are comprised of 12 citizens so that healthy deliberation occurs. Each juror sees the evidence in their own way; such is human nature. Deliberation allows jurors to challenge other juror’s perceptions in effort to be as non-biased as possible.

      You say that the jury failed in part because they did not “protect” the Alexander family. Doing so is in conflict with your criticism of Zervokas’ job. You accuse him of letting emotion sway his vote but then accuse him of not allowing emotion to sway his vote.

      Might it be we (I include myself in this) that haven’t separated our emotions when it comes to evaluating the work of the jury rather than the jury who failed to separate emotions from evidence?

      Finally, there is nothing to support the argument that Zervakos’ sex had anything to do with his vote. He voted his conscience. He sat with 11 other men and women and deliberated over this for 2.5 days. He did his job and he did it well. Obviously he wasn’t the only one to vote life.

    1. Uppity

      Geeze he’s not much older than I am and I Get It. Cut us ‘old’ people some slack will ya? We aren’t all living in a state of hardened arteries, you know. The problem isn’t his age. It’s his mentality and his attitude towards women and what he **thinks** they are capable of – both good and bad–as well as their ‘place in life’ compared to big macho Him. However, I don’t see much difference in his attitude compared to some men much younger either. In short, he’s just a social moron. And he probably would love to have one of those Phone Calls with Jodi too because, Jodi had him doing just what she wanted him to do –thinking with his dick.

      1. Anne

        I think Charlie’s post was probably facetious, playing off Zervakos’s statement that Jodi Arias looked too young to be a killer. Just a thought.

    2. Inez Morlewski

      Please don’t say age had anything to do with this mans vote…I am older than he is..I heard his statements and understand how he came to this decision… His first impression of her, and his believing the testimony of abuse…He had mitigating factors in his mind that he chose to believe..Right or Wrong, that is our Jury system..I would have voted for Death Penalty.. nothing was a mitigating factor to overcome what she did..

  5. Dennis

    I couldn’t have said it better!! kudos to you,I’m glad someone else had same conclusions as myself..
    Dont know if you answer questions,or if you could ask someone qualified to answer this..(or maybe you are:)
    This juror was told not to equate the feelings, emotions,etc plus only deliberate on thmitigatingng factors in this phase of deliberations..Now that he admitted he did everything but follow those rules,can anything be done about that or is it all in the past

      1. Smitty

        There’s nothing that can be done. It’s over and all that will happen is that the state and prosecution will learn from what he said and use the info to choose better jurors in the future.

  6. Terry

    But the juror was able to get over his bias about the physical appearance he expected a killer to display. He did find her guilty of premeditated cruel murder. Gender may have been a stronger issue than age. Alyce may not have swayed him, but perhaps dr Samuels did.

    1. Tori

      Another blogger who was in the court room through out the trial had pointed out weeks ago that one juror was nodding in agreement to ALV’s testimony. That juror was Mr. Zervakos.

      1. Zooyork

        Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly dislike ALV more…
        I wish she could be charged for her lies and for being a hostile witness when questioned by Juan.

        1. nance

          You and me, Zooyork. I can’t understand why Vilette disgusts me so much but I can’t get over it. She must remind me of someone in my past or something. She is a liar and I think probably has done great harm in her career. I just feel that in my bones. Surely she didn’t really believe the lies that Jodi told her. Nobody (except the jury foreman!) could be that stupid. Nobody. I am 68 so age isn’t the problem; actually I would think age would make a person MORE able to see these two women are horrible people.

          1. Zooyork

            Thank you Nance. I also cannot stand LaVILEtte and was disgusted watching her behaviour on the stand.
            Something I thought you might find interesting:

            While scrolling through some of the posts about ALV on the Amazon page for her book, I came across a post from a woman who said her boyfriend once took a college course taught by ALV.
            Apparantely she would disgregard the males in the classroom, for example, not take their questions.

            I also read a comment on a site (unfortunately I forget which site, it may have even been this one), where the commenter said that it seemed like ALV made it her mission to try to humiliate and cut down Juan Martinez, a gregarious and confident MAN.

            I agree with that persons assessment.

          2. nance

            Thanks for the info, Zooyork, and that type of behavior is what I would expect from Vilette. And worse. I doubt anybody will look back on some of her testimonies in civil cases, where she could testify for or against one parent or the other giving her “professional” recommendations, but it makes me think that if somebody were to check that out, it would be found that she was very biased, just like in the trial. Now that she is in the public eye, I wonder if some of the clients in her “time-out” sessions will be making complaints. And Dr. Randle’s description of the people who agree that Jodi should have killed Travis and that he deserved to die and who think Jodi is the victim (not believing any evidence presented, preferring to believe her lies) sounds exactly like Vilette. Exactly like her testimony. Doesn’t it? Wow. Think about that. And she got paid big bucks to believe the lies!!!

  7. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

    I agree that Zervakos misinterpreted or misunderstood the evidence regarding what motivated Jodi Arias and what really happened to Travis in his tragic entanglement with this black widow. It is very difficult to hear.

    I would like to suggest some additional issues that I think many criticizing Zervakos on other forums are missing. He’s been criticized, for example, for saying that this was such a difficult decision because Jodi Arias is not Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer. We can learn from what he says. He inadvertently provides the distinction between why some defendants are sentenced to death and not others.

    The death penalty is easy if the convicted person scares us. Death qualified juries are nevertheless taken aback in seeing a defendant that does not scare them. When the crime appears to be a one time event, even if it is particularly heinous and cruel, reason may support the death penalty but if the fear element is missing, jurors are stumped. I sympathize that he was not prepared for the idea of imposing death on a “young woman” that does not cause him a sense of terror like Manson or Dahmer.

    He is only expressing the reality of what stumped him. Because he failed to discern the true nature of this sadist, he lacked the necessary fear that would make imposing death congruent on an instinctual gut level even if his reasoning tells him this crime qualifies. Truth be told, I would not be able to impose death on someone that did not scare me as much as Manson or Dahmer.

    Most of us non-jurors who support the death penalty for Jodi Arias are not conflicted because we have seen her in a larger context that convinced us she is as evil and dangerous as any person could ever be. She scares us. She inspires the level of generalized anxiety and fear that Manson and Dahmer inspired, because we know about her other malicious actions and the pleasure she takes from causing extreme suffering to others.

    We know of her toying with Travis’ grandmother’s grief, her sending emails and letters to his family, her cutting her finger slitting Travis’ Adam’s apple and telling Alyce she cut her finger cutting an apple, her malicious intentions towards Chris and Sky Hughes, Lisa, Mimi, and we know about the gun and two butcher knives she was concealing in her rental car when she was arrested. We know knives give her pleasure in a way that defies our understanding.

    Personally, I believe there are clues all over the place that nothing consensual happened between her and Travis that day. She succeeded at staging the scene so well, the prosecution could not present that there really had been a rope (fibers were found and injuries around his ankles) used on Travis, and that the photos of Travis where you can’t see his feet or left arm are staged. Even one of the shower photos shows the moment she ordered him to sit down, the surprise in his face, the fumbling with the camera as she was probably screaming at him, and the timer shows how quickly he complied and sat down. But people can only see evidence they are already willing to believe, and good prosecutors understand they should only present what jurors are able to see.

    Prior to admitting she killed Travis, we saw Jodi on 48 hours attempting to portray herself as the person closest to him to the point she could say what he would think of her mug shot and could speak for him on any variety of subjects. It was not enough to kill him, she had to consume him, merge with him, place herself between him and everyone else who really was close to him.

    We see the enjoyment she takes in attempting to psychologically destroy the Alexander family–even pretending in an interview last night that she too has nightmares like Steven Alexander.

    We have the context to see her as a sadistic sociopath, shape-shifting, deceiving, taking pleasure in being a vampire. But if a juror does not see those scary aspects and believes they are only imposing death as punishment for one crime rather than to extinguish the life of a dangerous irredeemable sadist, they cannot do it as easily as the public acting as virtual jurors online.

    Juror Number 6, who voted for death, was interviewed last night. She said that Jodi “concerns” her. This is another way of saying she scares her.

    Some misunderstand the law (on other forums) and say that emotion was supposed to be disregarded in the penalty phase. It is the exact contrary. At this stage, being in touch with one’s instincts–the feeling one gets from the person and surrounding circumstances–is not only permissible but critical in making a wise decision. The penalty phase is also the stage where the prosecution would have been able to inflame the jury, for lack of a better word, with Jodi’s lack of remorse and enjoyment of the crime in rebuttal evidence but for the neat trick Nurmi pulled in refusing to put on witnesses so he could set up an almost certain reversal for ineffective assistance of counsel. We don’t know what Juan would have presented or if fear would have finally be evoked in Zervakos if a complete mitigation phase had occurred.

    1. Tori

      Great comment! I am so glad you brought up the bad dreams and waking up screaming! She’s trying to mimic the hell Steven’s going through right now because she’s totally void of feeling that herself. I also noticed she started taking the very deep breaths, like Samantha was doing during her statement.

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          That reminds me, I have a business idea to make some money on a new Jodi Arias Halloween costume. She’ll have an old DSM III in one hand (like Samuels), a gas can in the other, pig tails in her hair, and a sharp little pencil held in her mouth where she has that ugly third hole.

    2. RuthyHope

      I am beginning to think that juries should be made exclusively of those who know the law. That would certainly cut through much of these issues if attorneys were the ones debating each other impassionately over guilt versus innocence. Maybe this is the only way to ensure justice prevails in the trails of the OJ’s, Casey Anthony’s and the Arias’.

      1. Shazzer

        I honestly think if I was being tried for a crime and I was innocent I’d pick trial by judge. You do get a choice. I’d rather trust one educated trained person than 12 unknowns.

        1. Anne

          Yes, Shazzer! Ever since I was on a jury some 35 years ago, I’ve felt that way.

          On that jury, after we rendered our verdict, the foreman let us know that he had talked w/ a couple of lawyer friends as well as read some law books to help form his opinions!

          Even though the trial was over, a co-juror and I reported him to the judge. She later informed us that after discussion w/ defense and prosecution, they were both OK with the verdict. If not, she said it would not have been too late to call a mistrial, IIRC.

    3. Sandy

      Agree that Nurmi was smart to put up no witnesses for Jodi, even though at the time it sounded like a temper tantrum. Makes me wonder if that mistrial motion as well as the motion to withdraw were a set up to say because you won’t grant me my motions I will not call any witnesses? As it was happening I said to the group I am in that he did that so Juan could not bring in any “rebuttal” witnesses.

    4. Lisa K

      Maria, you are my favorite co-commentor on this blog. Thank you for a well-reasoned and well-explained comment. We need a lawyer around here and I’m delighted that you comment.

  8. Debee

    Any guesses on what his verdict would’ve been if the defendent had been fat and ugly?
    Or if she had appeared in court with a bag over her head? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure how biased he was.

    1. Barbara White

      Debee, you would’nt have to guess/DP. I have 2 beautiful daughters, if they slaughtered someone, the way jodi did. I will keep Mr. Zervakos, interview. My daughters are too young and pretty~Really. smh

  9. kalikrome

    Hopefully you’ll do a book tour so I can get a signed copy! Excellent analysis as expected.

  10. Shazzer

    When did Zerkavos admit he was one of the holdouts? I have read all I could find and I’ve never seen that in print…

    1. Elaine

      @Shazzer

      Zervakos admitted it when the other 8 jurors voted for the DP. His son has reinforced that message through his Blog to the world; “And they know that on his watch, that criminal was not sentenced to die.” He thinks “his dad would have liked to be famous.” His son goes on to reinforce that notion when upon his dads return home after the mistrial, the media is outside his door, and he invites them in, after the jurors agreed to wait. Zervakos never expressed that he had no comment.

  11. Paul

    How anyone with even a couple of neurons left can be fooled into thinking that Jodi Arias was being abused by Travis is beyond me. Its obvious to the rest of the planet that she made up this entire defense just like she did her previous two stories. And she did so for a simple reason: for self-preservation. Your dad might be honorable, but he is also very gullible and dare I say, an idiot.

    1. Dennis

      Well after laughing from reading your comment I looked everywhere for a “favorite” button or :”like” to acknowledge your great reply….
      Someone has to pull this guy over in a corner and tell him its time to hide…His 15 minutes have come and gone and the more he talks, we are going to see 1st graders come on here and try to explain where he failed
      Anyways you manage to make me laugh after this horrible week :-)

  12. Patty

    Another great analysis! I’m only 4 yrs. younger than Bill Zervkos, so I’m going to claim a generational right to critique his comments. From what has come out about his careers, Zervkos hasn’t led a quiet life, hidden away in a corporate cubicle, rarely straying from a rut in the road between home, work, church and the weekend golf game. This is a man who is goal-oriented, motivated by his love of cars, and willing to work hard to become an entrepeneur. Add to that a degree of media savvy to chart a course for his own radio program, and it’s pretty safe to conclude that Bill Zervkos is no babe in the woods. And yet he sounds as if he’s never heard of a young woman turned killer. He and I were coming of age when Manson and his girl-gang butchered 7 people, including Sharon Tate’s unborn son. Not since the 1959 Clutter family murders (the basis for the book/movie, “In Cold Blood”) was the nation rocked on its’ heels by the sheer senselessness and brutality of a murder. Ours is a generation that lived thru our late teens and 20’s with the murders of two Kennedys, Martin Luther King and John Lennon. We know, first-hand, the horrors of the VietNam war, civil rights riots, the struggles of the feminist movement and, more recently, 9/11. We are not a naive generation. We were Woodstock, the sexual revolution, the pot-smokers, the acid-droppers, the hippies. Zervkos makes it sound as if it’s a good thing this trial took nearly 5 months, just to allow him sufficient time to come to grips with the fact that Jodi Arias actually brutally murdered Travis Alexander. It’s sobering to think that if Jodi had simply stuck to her intruder story, and with others like Bill Zervkos on the jury, she might have actually gotten off. It’s offensive to me that jurors who think like Zervkos make the process about themselves. Oh, the sheer responsibility of it all! How it weighs on them! Seriously? What if every soldier we send into battle stopped to consider the personal lives of the enemy? What if every cop made him-or-herself vulnerable to the age of a perp? What if the social workers take the age of the youthful parents into consideration when there is clear evidence of child abuse? No, there’s “something else” going on with Bill Zervkos and I don’t like the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. He needs to see Jodi’s post-verdict interview with the ABC affiliate, where the reporter asked her if she was ever going to tell the truth about what happened that day. Zervkos said that he wants to meet with her and ask her what really happened. Well, Bill, she’s already said that she told the truth on the stand and anyone who doesn’t believe her is “a hater”. She feels betrayed by you, Mr. Zervkos. Maybe it’s just a generational difference, Bill….

    1. Arkie

      I was born in l942, and have practiced law for over 40 years, so I am of the same generation as Mr. Z, and have seen a few individuals like Jodi Arias over the years. I think that is why I am so fascinated by this case. Mr. Z’s big mistake was when he said she did not look like a murderer. Jurors are always instructed that they can use their life experiences in weighing the evidence or judging the credibility of witnesses. But this juror went outside those parameters——he judged her on gender, age and looks. The fact is there are no pretty women on death row. And most of the men on death row don’t look like Scott Peterson either. Most people on death row are poor, inarticulate and not very good looking.

      Since this was an 8-4 decision, it is very unlikely that the Court will ever be able to impanel a jury that will render a death verdict. Had it been an 11-1 verdict, with the publicity hound, Mr. Z the only holdout, then it might be worth a shot. But under these circumstances, send Ms. Arias away for life, and let the world forget about her. For her, that will be the greatest punishment, I really regret that the years have not made Mr. Z wiser.

    2. Dawn

      Life is serious. I too came of age in the “Hippie” Generation.” A time of massive change & freedom. However, my basis is in my early years, raised by post-Depression parents. Hard work & knowing right from wrong. Take for example, the Manson murders. I remember. No way did I think of his young female butchers too young for 100% guilty. In a cult or not, on drugs or not, one always has free will. GUILTY. DP or LWOP. If Sharon Tate had been ugly, & even not pregnant, GUILTY for the heinous butchery & massive suffering & NO REMORSE. The same with all crimes you noted. I would have no problem being *objective with the FACTS presented during the trial. I cannot imagine taking a person’s age (unless a child/young teen), gender, appearance as a favorable bias. But I would take notice of my “gut’ feeling, instincts. For I find being repulsed very telling. When I first set eyes in Jodi Arias: Revulsion. I shuddered. However, this can also take place as the person talks. I had no revulsion for Dr. Samuels. But Ms. Laviolette is another story. I guess I am negatively affected by ‘”People of the Lie.” Those coming from a “primitive” part of their psyche: pleasure, self-gratifying, self-serving… As time went on during the trial, the realization of how lethally dangerous Jodi Arias is, was sealed. Take note, the day she was arrested, she had her getaway car packed with knives & a gun. For escape protection? Or who else was she setting out to butcher? If not the death penalty, she needs to be put away forever.

      1. Uppity

        Right On, Dawn. I too had a visceral reaction to Jodi the very first time I saw her. For all the “pretty” talk (I personally didn’t find her nearly as good-looking as she is purported to be), I saw dead eyes. Dead Dead Dead and Dark. It didn’t take long for me to see a Sadist who revels in maliciously torturing people. She’s so good at it that she doesn’t even need her knife to do it. Jodi Arias enjoyed butchering Travis. An attorney on this forum so beautifully described her relationship with knives. She not only enjoyed butchering Travis, she enjoys torturing the Alexanders. To her, she gets to kill him all over again just by enjoying their agony. I have suspected a number of times, that the covering of her mouth with her hand in court was done to stifle a sneer. She loved killing Travis’ grandmother. Just loved it. That is how I see Jodi.

        My only worry is that, if Jodi lands in the general prison population, she will be able to continue torturing the Alexanders by proxy. To me, this creature is so toxic that solitary lock-down is the only way others will be safe from her, even if they never execute her. Note how peaceful things are right now with Jodi on 23 hour solitary lock-down in jail.The truth is, she has great power over her manipulated sycophants who are ready to do her bidding (and torturing) for her. She will find a way to use them well to keep her name alive, for her own notoriety is nectar to her.

        I sent Doctor R a link discussing how all of Jodi’s ‘productive’ ideas for prison are raw BS. They already have a recycling program,for starters, and it would be years before she is even allowed to mingle with other inmates. Lucky for them.

        I also agree about ALV. She made me cringe. I found her to be an embarrassment to herself. Her hatred of men in general was strikingly apparent. She sees abuse in all things, in or out of context. God only knows what happened in HER childhood to make her what she is. She’s also spent too much time in the seminar circle and is more interested in entertaining than actually doing any real analysis, if you ask me. Like the Tony Roberts of How To See Victimhood Everywhere. This woman has done a lot of harm in the world, I am sorry to say. After all, she was capable of plucking several emails out of more than 80 thousand electronic exchanges — and use them out of context to “analyze” and destroy the reputation of a dead man. I feel sorry for any innocent men she skewered in her lifetime of “counseling”. Bleck.

        1. Maria Cristina Santana, JD

          I SO AGREE with you that she enjoyed killing his grandmother! Poor Travis obviously told her his grandmother was the most dear person in his life, so she focused in on her after killing him. I often think the most sadistic motivation she has is that after killing Travis she knew he lost all control over what she could do to continue destroying every one he loved, his possessions, his reputation and even the memories others had of him.

          I really wonder if some of her occult beliefs include the belief that Travis is watching all she does to his loved ones and his reputation and suffers because he cannot do anything to prevent it.

          1. Shazzer

            I can’t believe she sent flowers to TA’s grandmother after he died. I mean, SHE killed him. Oy!

        2. nance

          Uppity, I agree with everything you say. These are my feelings as well. To me, the first time we saw Jodi, it was clear she was different and enjoying every moment- it is all about her. She has enjoyed herself so much and I believe she enjoys sticking the knife into Travis’ family and turning it a little bit at a time. I hadn’t even thought about how she told the one interviewer that she has nightmares – can you say Steven! She is so cruel and is enjoying herself and I am so glad Arpaio stopped her making herself a reality show. I am surprised he did that though because he also likes to be on the news. Also VILEtte still gives me the creeps. I don’t understand how anybody could believe anything either one of these creepy women say. For some reason, VILEtte is still with me. I am thinking she has done lots of harm in her career and has been one of those women who get off on power, like Jodi, and I hope somebody checks up on some of her ‘findings’ over the years. I think she has probably done serious damage to lots of people. These two women are cut from the same cloth as I see it. VILEtte clearly lied time and again while explaining how Jodi was a domestic abuse abuser. And I wonder why the prosecution didn’t pursue the fact that it was Jodi who was always at Travis’ house. That alone showed me that she was one of those creepy people who invade the stalked victim’s privacy. I would have liked Juan to harp on that more. Who drives a thousand miles to be abused? Nobody. Also – I hope somebody finds out what she did right before she killed him to make him so furious with whatever it was she did. But your thoughts are so much like mine that it makes me feel better somehow! Thanks. And thanks to you, Dr. Randle, for having this forum.

          1. Gregor

            WOW! I’m sickened to think of how many innocent men ALV might of had put in jail. I think there should be some sort of investigation into any of her past cases. Its pretty evil itself if you think about it. I’m blown away!

  13. ConnieT

    He didn’t have to speak to the media AND he didn’t have to be on that jury either. Now he’s complaining about the system being unfair, about avg. people making the decision to put someone to death, etc. Just who is the sys unfair to him or Jodi? He talks as if this is the first ever death penalty trial and that it’s never been done before. Additionally, he spoke as if he – himself – would be injecting Jodi! Damn dumb ass.

    Further, he went into the case with preconceived notions when he stated that she didn’t look like a murderer. Well, just what in the hell does a murderer look like? It doesn’t matter what she looked like, clearly she was guilty. Second, what abuse is he referring to b/c the judge instructed them to make their decisions on the facts and evidence presented, not conjecture or emotions. And, no abuse was proven and he clearly believed she suffered abuse according to him – even though none was proven. And, all he’s been talking about is the emotions involved. Most likely, the emotions of those who didn’t want to sentence her to death, even though the evidence was there and they all stated they could if the evidence presented itself. Liars.

    He failed to live up to the obligation that he signed up for. He could have, at any time, sent a note to the judge asking to be removed. I suspect he went back on his word to his fellow jurors to wait until Tuesday to speak b/c he wanted to gain sympathy for himself and for Jodi. Well, there is none – for him or Jodi – not from me. He was sucked in by a: lying, murdering, psychotic POS. The state spent months pointing that out to him.

    More troubling is the fact that the pack of four – gave more consideration to her – than to the person she brutally murdered. I don’t care if he did call her names. Hell, she shot him in the face and almost cut his f’ing head off (not to mention the 29 stab wounds). Yet, they think she is worth saving. What I take away from the pack of 4 is: if someone calls you names and uses you for sex (which in this case she kept going back for of her own free will and even used to control him), you have a right to brutally kill them. To me, they disregarded all the crucial evidence and testimony. Aggravators outweigh mitigators and to me, they are no better than Jodi b/c they let their personal feelings get in the way of a just verdict.

    1. Lisa K

      Zervakos was legally obligated to be on that jury. All citizens have a duty to serve as jurors when called and if selected.

  14. Jz

    Well okay, but he still convicted her of first degree murder. It seems you are all forgetting that.

  15. Chris Larson

    Excellent article. The defense team is beaming with delight, Mr. Zervakos is exactly the type of juror they wanted and needed. If Jodi was an unattractive woman or a man, she would received the death penalty.
    The jurors made a pact not to talk until Tuesday, I find it interesting that Mr. Zervakos was the one to break that rule…Hmmm

    1. Elaine

      @Chirs

      From Zervakos’s first interview I felt like he was trying to do damage control, for himself. Further, learning about his background in media, it seemed that his self perception was more important. Then, hearing that the agreement by the jurors was to wait for interviews said it all. Zervakos couldn’t be trusted.

  16. Judith

    Excellent comments, one and all. I am sure that Mr. Jury Foreman with all of his delusions of grandiousity ie. ” my jury”, considers any view but his own as inaccurate. I am also certain that he persuaded 3 other jurists to consider his warped outlook as the only one and hang the jury 8 to 4, rather than the original 11 to 1 count after 2 hours of deliberation. He is much like Jodi as he wants to be famous and in the news. He is functionally coo-coo, and was not at the Jodi Arias trial or slept through the parts he didn’t want to hear.

    As a former forensic psychiatric nurse, (now retired) I have seen numerous borderlines such as Jodi and one and all have had no remorse and were all narsicisstic and manipulative. Once betrayed, they are always dangerous, no matter how young or innocent they appear. They had the strength of 7 men when angry and it took that many to restrain them. I had an arm broken by one tying to subdue her!
    Ask any psychiatric nurse or doctor who is their least favorite diagnosis to treat and they will tell you borderline personality disorder because of all the manipulative lies and chaos they incorporate in their lives and while in treatment on the unit. The whole unit will be in an uproar because some people fall for their charm!

    Give her death because she will NEVER know the error of her ways, her distorted view is that she is God’s gift to anyone she encounters hence, her arrogence,

    I am sorry for anyone stuck with biased Bill on the jury/ He obviously lived in a shell all of his life. I am only a few years younger than him but I am not naive nor do I let my emotions/ ( in Bill’s case) gonads think for me.

  17. Beth

    Great article! I had wondered which of the jurors asked the question ” were Travis’ roommates questioned about there whereabouts?” I thought it to be a very odd question because JA had admitted to killing him, but I certainly know now who asked it. I agree, this man did not understand that he was there to listen to all of the evidence and take emotion out of his decision making. The biggest thing that I believe was a tell-tale sign was that he only mentioned Travis by saying that Travis verbally and mentally abused her. THAT is a shame!!! He was thinking of JA and not thinking about Travis at all!!!

  18. Tori

    Thank you for anther excellent article and for so eloquently putting into words what so many of us are thinking.

  19. Lisa K

    I must strongly disagree with this commentary; I find it to be incredibly ageist. I do not believe that the ageist overtone of this post is intentional. Nonetheless, this post demonstrates a lack of understanding of our legal system and a blatent disregard for the dedicated and serious service of a juror.

    “Zervakos should never have been on that jury. He said that when he came into the courtroom on the first day, he found it hard to believe that Jodi Arias was the killer. He went on to say that she looked so young and did not look at all like a killer. So what does that tell us about Zervakos?”

    This tells us that Zervakos is representative of a certain cross-section of his community. Several of the jurors said exactly what Zervakos said; they were surprised to see a young attractive woman admit to committing such a vicious crime. This is based on cultural expectations and norms; these are not unreasonable deductions of a 70 year old male.

    Jurors are a selected sample of our community peers. Are we supposed to toss potential jurors because the don’t fit our own biases? Are we going to start requiring IQ tests? Should only black citizens be allowed to judge black defendants or serve on cases in which the victim was black? Should women only be jurors for female defendants or victims?

    Frankly, one of the reasons Americans were so obsessed by this case is because a young, attractive woman committed a heinous crime; a murder that we only expect to see from gang members and drug cartels. Zevakos’ bais is a common one.

    Zevakos passed a rigorous screening process by both the State and Defense. He had every right to serve on that jury. I have no problem with people complaining about the decision of the jury or by Zevakos. But to say a juror shouldn’t have served his civic duty because of his age and the age of the defendant is undemocratic.

    Finally, we non-jurors had access to approx 2/3rds more info that the jury. There were no psychologists in the jury room to help the jurors understand that JA is a freaking sociopath. Failing to acknowledge the constraints placed upon the jury is unfair and unjust.

    1. Chris Larson

      @Lisa- Another reason that people (mostly women) have been obsessed or interested in this case is how many women are charged with 1st degree murder and then go on a media blitz. People watched the 48 hrs. and Inside Edition interviews and watched her profess her innocence, She lied to her attorneys for 2 full years before having to admit the crime. The horrific nature of the killing and all the details made this a story
      that you only read in books. I belive that sentencing in all capital crimes should be decided by a panel of judges and lawyers. It should not be decided by a jury of your peers. Sentencing is just too difficult for the average person.

    2. Polk8dot

      @ ‘Zevakos’ bais (sic) is a common one.’
      No, it is not. It seems limited to people who willfully put blinders on, and go thru life crying ‘la,la,la,la’ to drown the sound of anything bad happening around them.
      I have a HUGE problem with Zervakos and here is why: He said she ‘did not look like a killer’. We do not live in the 1800’s anymore, when how you dressed and looked was what you were. He is way too old and experienced in life, to think he never heard of jury consultants, image manipulation and PR offensives. He is old enough to understand that the way SHE LOOKED was AS MANUFACTURED and geared towards making a certain impression on the jurors, as an artificial snow.

      @ ‘Zevakos passed a rigorous screening process’
      Sure, he did, as do hundreds others every day. Because of the human nature, this process is not perfect, nor could it ever be. Again, back in the 1800’s it might have worked fine. But nowadays we are witnessing such a dereliction of human decency, such dispensing with norms and rules of civilized society, such behavioral antics being accepted as ‘ordinary’ anymore, that there is no way left to trust in the system at all. The system is based in an HONOR context, depending on self-reporting and truthfulness. Unfortunately, in current culture, values thus represented have been replaced by the chase after fame, fortune, easy life, etc. To achieve those, the society started allowing the rules to be bent a little bit at a time, without much outcry. The result is that now we have people who openly lie on their questionnaires, deny their own words and deeds in Voir Dire, and are willing to put their own aims and goals ahead of the lofty and honorable purpose they are called to serve in the first place. In the culture where ANY NOBODY can write a book (or have it written for them, more likely), any nobody can go on TV and to other forms of media and spew their own koolaid, and be totally unaccountable for it, we have to finally admit that PEOPLE LIE TO YOUR FACE. Jury selection process if purely a numbers game anymore. It is simply about going thru the greatest possible pool of potential jurors in hopes of fishing out the ‘fishy’ ones. But because this system is based on principles of conduct that are no longer the prevalent ones in modern society, there is nothing else to do but HOPE that somehow, by some miracle, you as an attorney for either side, will land on the truthful ones. You know how likely I think that is?

      @ ‘There were no psychologists in the jury room to help the jurors understand that JA is a freaking sociopath. Failing to acknowledge the constraints placed upon the jury is unfair and unjust.’
      I did not study Law, yet I know what RIGHT and WRONG are, and that I’m not supposed to do WRONG, or there will be punishment. Conversely, I did not study Psychology, yet I know a person without morals, decency, empathy and humanity when I see one. And I know that their behavior is not the right one, and as such will be punishable.
      There did not need to be Psychologists on the experts lists to explain to the jury who and what a psychopath/a sociopath is. We have all been taught since our earliest days to live the life in accordance with the societal rules, laws and expectations, or face the reverberations. We all know that it is not socially or morally acceptable to just do what YOU WANT without any regard for the feelings, safety and life of others. We all know that people are not perfect; we argue, we fight, we agree to disagree, we make up. Human condition’s circle of life. But we also have the inherent ability to see, hear, understand, and feel when there is something wrong; when there is evil in the air; when the humanity leaves the room and is replaced by malignant narcissism and sociopathy. We do not need expert psychological testimony to have the crime scene and autopsy photos explained to us. We know that such handiwork is not a result of a normal human being ‘snapping’ in the heat of passion, or in self defense. We realize that the extent of the VIOLENCE permeating everything to do with the crime is only the reflection of the psyche of the perpetrator. We see Travis’s autopsy photo, with his neck as a gaping hole showing all the way to his spinal cord, and we immediately innately understand that this is not a deed of a normal person. This is a deed of a monster, a demon in human form, an evil so boundless that we are worried it might do us harm. We know this evil will not subside, as it never does, but will go on, sustaining itself on destruction and torture of any future victims, be it physical, mental or emotional, in person or by proxy. It will keep on growing, and spreading, and causing exponentially more damage around it as time goes on. We know the only way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from it is to isolate IT from society, put IT away and throw away the key, and don’t ever look back. That’s what human decency and morality tell us when we are faced with a Jodi Arias. The jurors are told at the start of deliberations to not leave their common sense outside the jury room. On the contrary, they are asked to use it to process all the evidence and derive their own conclusions as to the case, the defendant, the crime and the punishment. To blame the ‘constraints’ put on the jury for some jurors’ willful suspension of disbelief, for their blatant refusal to accept the evidence for what it is, for their stubborn need to assuage their own egos by trying to be a ‘knight in shining armor’ to the WRONG person, for their inability to let other jurors’ arguments be at least heard and weighed, is simply stretching the ‘Excuse Society Concept’ beyond its limits. There are some things, some crimes, some wrongs in this world, which CANNOT be understood, explained away, and corrected. They are irreversible, as are their consequences. To try and excuse the refusal of some jurors to ‘carry out their duties as sworn’ simply because they have been swayed by the artful ‘PR packaging’ of the criminal, with their tales of woe and promises of a redeemable future, is being sorely mistaken in ones understanding of the human nature. Juries are not given special X-Ray glasses to help them see the evidence and testimony in a better light than the rest of court watcher. Neither are they given blindfolds and ear-plugs to stop them from experiencing the OBVIOUS, or told to leave their common sense at the doorway and just try to reach their verdict by skipping along the yellow brick road. They see and hear what we do, sometimes more, being privy to closed sessions at court. Excusing their wrongful actions by ‘constraints’ placed on them is unfair and biased in itself. If in the light of overwhelming evidence and testimony they still chose to follow their hearts, or emotions, or ‘body parts thinking’, then that’s on them, and we have all the right to demand an explanation of how and why their conclusions diverge so drastically from ours. Just because they sit in the special chairs in the courtroom and we sit before our TVs, does not automatically make them infallible. And if their conclusions fly in the face of all that we’ve seen and learned during the case, QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED, COMMENTS NEED TO BE MADE, and EXPLANATION IS TO BE EXPECTED. Simply saying ‘I was a Juror, you were not, so you don’t know squat’ will not do anymore. Not when the jurors’ conduct (some of them only) is so obviously questionable as to verge on unethical and illegal.

  20. lizzie

    Excellent thought-provoking article! I totally agree that whining about the public’s response after choosing to be in the spotlight is ridiculous.

    I don’t know that the issue with this juror was his age per se though. But like others, I was quite dismayed to hear his particular defense of his position. (And yes, I’ve been on several juries—one was for murder so I do know it is different “on the inside”) I do wonder if the defendant had not appeared “white” and the evidence presented at trial had been the exactly the same, he would have taken the same position. I’m not calling him a racist, I just wonder if a young female Black defendant would have “looked like” a murderer to him. His public comments make it clear that for him, justice is not blind. (And it’s not clear he thinks it SHOULD be blind since some of the mitigators he found seemed to relate to Jodi’s “appearance.”) I wonder if he made the same arguments during deliberation? He also seems angry jurors were supposed to interpret and apply the law. What the heck did he think they were going to be asked to do?

    I also don’t understand why Zervakos says the jury was “confused” about what would happen when they returned a non-agreement verdict. In one interview, he said the jury thought that meant the judge would immediately give Jodi Life (obviously his preferred verdict.) He seemed somewhat angry that didn’t happen. I don’t know what instructions the jury was given on that matter or what they were told during jury selection, but it doesn’t seem that issue should have been a concern for the jury. Even if the jury was not aware AZ law provided for another penalty phase with a new jury, Zervakos’ complaint strikes me as a bit off. Jodi may not get Death, but he seems to be whining that because he thought she should get Life, and it is still POSSIBLE she may get Death, the law is unfair and should be changed. (Despite the 8-4 vote against Life where he was in the minority.) More evidence of a big ego here too? I think some of Zervakos’ negative comments about Juan also stem from his own large ego.

    1. Lisa K

      Zervakos said that the jury didn’t know that mistrial would occur if the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict. They had no idea the penalty phase would have to be relitigated.

      You’re reading way to into Zervakos’ comment. The jury instructions are likely all over the internet by now. Check them out.

      If jury 2 also can’t reach a unanimous verdict, then the sentencing does go to Judge Stevens.

      1. lizzie

        @Lisa—- According to many reports, Zervakos said a great deal more regarding the immediate outcome he expected besides that “the jury” didn’t know it would be called a mistrial. According to many reports that are all over the internet, he said “they” thought Jodi would get life if THAT jury didn’t reach a unanimous decision. I already knew if Jury#2 can’t decide (assuming the DA doesn’t take death off the table and it goes to a 2nd jury), Stevens will sentence Arias to some amount of time (but not death) and she also cannot give Jodi Life LWOP since the AZ law on that changed after Jodi was arrested.

        I had already read the jury instructions online before posting but

        1) I’m not sure how those were “divided.” Recall the error in which stuff was “left out” and suddenly there was the need to address that omission the next week after deliberations were underway. I’m also under the impression what was given to the jury at that point as well as what was given to them when they had questions is still under seal, but if you have a link to that other material, please provide it!

        2) I don’t have a link to the jury questionnaire that was used to select potential jurors. You mention in an earlier post it was “rigorous” so if you have a link to the content, that would be great. I agree citizens are obligated to serve (if able) but they are also obligated to answer voir dire questions honestly. I know sentencing someone to death is not easy and, frankly, I’m not even arguing that should have been the outcome. But I would like to know the questions used to assemble this “death-qualified” jury as it now appears the foreman holds the belief the death penalty is justified only for serial killers. So I’d like to know how the screening questions were phrased. Thanks for any info you can provide.

        1. Lisa K

          Thanks, Lizzie,

          I’ve shared what I have heard Zervakos share in the handful of interviews of his that I have listened to. I’m happy to watch other sources in which he personally makes the distinction that you point out.

          -The Judge can give LWOP. It is the jury that cannot give a LWOP ruling. They vote for or against death. If they vote against death, the Judge then sentences JA to LWOP or LwP25. I confirmed this via AZ Statutes several weeks ago. (Note: LwP25 = Life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.)

          “If the new jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the court shall impose a sentence of life or natural life on the defendant.” http://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00752.01.htm

          -The change of law that occurred eliminated the parole process. Juan Marinez made a mistake in his explanation of that process. AZ eliminated parole several years ago, thus regardless of Judge Stevens’ sentencing, both options are natural life unless the law changes.

          From an AZ lawyer on Websluthes: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9504557&postcount=2145

          “Here’s the thing I didn’t know last week–AZ has completely ABOLISHED parole. Completely. So the statute says you can’t be released for any reason sooner than 25 years. It does not say you have any right to be considered for release after that–just that, even assuming there is some parole procedure available, you’re NOT eligible for it until 25 years have passed.

          So if you get life with no possibility for release for at least 25 years, in reality, unless the law changes, there is no possibility for release at all, ever. So I think it would be proper for JM to say “the law could change, and parole could be reinstated,” but not to say that she would have the right to a parole hearing after 25 years.”

          -Regarding “death penalty certified” juries. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what this means. If a juror feels that there are no mitigating factors then they are to vote for the DP. If a juror believes that there is a mitigating factor, they are instructed to weigh that mitigating factor and decide if they should vote against the DP.

          “E. The trier of fact shall impose a sentence of death if the trier of fact finds one or more of the aggravating circumstances enumerated in subsection F of this section and then determines that there are no mitigating circumstances sufficiently substantial to call for leniency … G. The trier of fact shall consider as mitigating circumstances any factors proffered by the defendant or the state that are relevant in determining whether to impose a sentence less than death, including any aspect of the defendant’s character, propensities or record and any of the circumstances of the offense.”
          http://www.azleg.gov/ars/13/00751.htm

          Zervakos believed there was a mitigating factor. I haven’t heard him say what the mitigating factor was for him. We can speculate all we want, but only he knows unless he decides to share. Unless he says “I believe that abcxyz ia a mitigating factor”, speculating based on phrases he uses is worthless.

          I think it is entirely possible that Zervakos’ beliefs about the DP evolved throughout this 5 month ordeal. Maybe they didn’t. But I am not willing to label Zervakos a liar because he voted against the DP. In the selection process, Zervakos would have been asked under which conditions he felt the DP would be an appropriate sentence. Both sides agreed to him as a juror.

          Unfortunately I do not have a link to the specific jury questionnaire used in this case. My knowledge comes from discussions with several of my legal friends. Selecting jurors for DP cases is extremely rigorous. If it isn’t, then the defendant has an easy appeal of the verdict. Both the State and Defense would speak with any potential juror before the trial; jurors aren’t only selected solely on their questionnaire answers in DP cases.

          1. lizzie

            Thanks Lisa for all that information. I had a different impression about AZ’s LWOP vs Life/25, in particular.

            I was on a death-qualified jury a very long time ago (not in AZ) The main question I remember being asked about the DP was “Would it be impossible for the State to put on a case that fully convinced you of the defendant’s guilt IF deciding guilt meant the possible imposition of the death penalty?” I answered “no” and that is how I felt. I’ve heard lots of clueless people say if someone wants to get out of jury duty, just say “I don’t believe in the death penalty” Well, no asked me what I “believed in.” It was a two-week trial and while I wouldn’t call it a complete slam-dunk for the State, we did find guilt without much trouble as there was an awful lot of direct and circumstantial evidence (charge was kidnapping/1st degree murder of a mom by 25 yo daughter’s ex-boyfriend who thought mom got daughter to dump him) But at that time in my state, a new jury was automatically convened to determine the penalty so we didn’t deliberate on that. (Our laws are different now—the guy did get the DP but on appeal got LWOP) But given my experience, I can somewhat imagine being in GZ’s position—being “death-qualified” but not at all sure a particular case warrants death. I can’t imagine though saying someone didn’t “look like” a criminal (especially after hearing evidence for 5 months) nor can I imagine blabbing on TV after the jury agreed none of them would make any appearances for X amount of time. I also can’t imagine telling the judge the jury was deadlocked in a little over an hour of deliberation on the penalty. And so far as the actual evidence in the Arias case goes, I can’t imagine ever believing the testimony of LaViolette!

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  22. Tisha

    I think that one of the biggest things that stood out to me was that Mr. Zervakos stated that there was a Jodi Arias before June 4, 2008 and a different Jodi Arias after June 4, 2008.

    He stated that she was an absolutely normal young woman going through normal relationships with normal ups and downs. She had no history of violence and no unusual problems with relationships. HUH? She stalked Travis, she slit his tires, she moved to Arizona after they broke up. She premeditated his murder, before June 4, 2008! She didn’t have a relationship with her own parents. She did not have any close friends.

    I don’t know how he thinks that she was a normal young woman or that she was typical in any way.

    It really did anger me that he went on t.v. after agreeing with the other jurors that they would not make a comment until Tuesday. His son said that the media was at his door when he went home and that they were in his house all night. When would he have had time to see all the press and interviews that he said that he had watched. He wouldn’t have, according to the events posted by his own son. I truly believe that he didn’t want anyone to speak before he did. It was HIS jury and HIS rules. I think he is very arrogant and he wants to run the “show”.

    1. Shazzer

      Normal before she met TA? Pfft. She ran away at 17 and dropped out of high school and lived with a 41-year-old guy. That’s normal?

  23. carlene

    this foreman should not have been on jury, he was biased about hodi looking so young, come on now. Also, that she was verbally abused, which is untrue. Hodi was a stalker to travis, he was a decent, respectable man who was young & nieve to her manipulation. Sex was tool of choice for her, as in prev. boyfriends. He finally saw her for true colors, and when he tried to break it up, this infuriarated arias, no way was travis going to be w/another woman ever. period. So in end he may have said unkind things, as anyone in a relationship when you try to break it off, you want rid of them, and you may say things you normally wouldnt, this is not abuse, and this man is too old, he doesnt understand domestic violence at all, travis was victim of her abuse, get it , let arias cometo your house through your doggie door, slash your tires, breaking into your home when you are not there, screw you with her sex manipulation, and then when you want rid of her, you can be at other end of the knife, because she will do it again, and growing up she attacked her mother & father, as in the police tapes, there is something wrong with arias, always has been, she didnt just meet travis and it happened, and look at she broke it off with the other men, she would have none of travis breaking it off with her, but then the older generation has no clue, and i am getting there, but i was in one bad relationship, and it was the the man who did this to me, and i can see the character. of what hodi did to travis, luckily i survived it, and god bless travis for trying……it isnt that easy. Hodi brutally murdered and slaughtered this wonderful young man who deserved to live, and not have this done to him and to suffer.
    But then again, the jury didnt see everything that we saw, and I hope & pray Travis Alexander law goes into effect, so another MURDER VICTIM doesnt get dragged through the mud, like this young man was.
    Remember that, Travis was the victim, god rest his soul.

  24. Don Osborne

    Another excellent article, Dr K. – one of your very best, and as usual a totally accurate analysis. What a great response you have engendered.
    The jury foreman by expressing his views five minutes after the trial, is either an attention seeker or rather foolish – and probably both. I have long believed that jurors going public after trial do not exhibit good judgement, and Zervakos has further confirmed this belief. Controversy can only be heightened by ill-considered statements by jurors – and this was a classic example of one. By so doing they leave themselves open to the scorn and ridicule of others. Worldwise, it is not a common practice for jurors in cases such as this to go public. In this case, Zerkavos should have observed the old adage that a still tongue keeps a wise head. Certainly by his conclusion that he believed Arias to have been mentally and physically abused, he revealed that he was not a perceptive juror as there was no evidence to form such a view. He either fell for the lies/deception of the accused or the blatant bias and irrational conclusions of La Violette. Either way he should be embarrassed by his judgements.
    It is not difficult to conclude that Zerkavos paid much attention to age factors when formulating his judgements. Arias was so young and did not look like a killer (whatever they look like), and you can readily envisage him thinking: “Ah, yes. Ms La Violette. Now here’s a mature aged woman with many years experience in the field of domestic violence – she knows what she is talking about. She’d buy and sell those two young, inexperienced girls, De Marte and Hayes. Of course Jodi was mentally and physically abused”. Then promptly tuned out to their testimony. Again Travis was character assassinated – this time not by the accused but this juror.
    The one real surprise is that Zerkavos actually voted guilty to first degree murder.

  25. kathy

    Wow this man should have never been made the foreman he is to old and set in his ways..he did not understand the evidence..Lets just hope that the next jury is younger men and women and that she is set to death.

    1. Shazzer

      You only need see one thing to know Mr. Clean was drinking her Kool-aid- he refers to her when he talks as a “girl.” That’s how he saw her from the second he laid eyes on her. A girl. An innocent girl. Bad bad news on a jury. He still call her a girl. He’s not even smart enough to see how dumb he is making himself look.

  26. Mary Spencer

    I think this foreman is an idiot and a whiner. I am sorry but I do. I blame the laws in part for their failure to allow the prosecution to present ALL the facts of the case. The defense is allowed to present all manner of truly ridiculous pap in the name of “mitigation” of the defendant, not to mention the huge lies about Travis—NON EXISTENT slander that made up most of their case!
    This foreman made some really ignorant statements.
    In the first place, Jodi was no kid when she killed Travis. She was in her late 20′s. I’ll bet if you looked at statistics, most murders are committed when killers are in their 20′s and 30′s. I STILL MAINTAIN THAT IF THIS WERE A MAN, THE DEATH PENALTY WOULD HAVE BEEN A NO BRAINER.
    Mercy? This foreman, and a few members of this jury really had misplaced sentiments, and have attributed to Jodi a level of humanity that SHE DOES NOT POSSESS.
    Almost everyone of Travis’ friends who met Jodi could sense that she was “not right”, that she was “bad news” and many warned him—-not one or two people, but many!
    Some had reactions of her being “off” to downright “evil”, but almost all said she was MANIPULATIVE.
    This is a person who was bad news and exhibiting psychotic behavior for many years before Travis came into her life. She was a liar and a stalker long before she met him.
    A few on this jury just didn’t ‘get’ that Travis was NOT abusive; that the few times he lost it with Jodi, he called her things because of HER ABUSE OF HIM! SHE was the stalker. SHE was the manipulator. She lied repeatedly, sneaked around and spied on him, slashed tires, went behind his back invading his bank info, emails, and phone calls. It was only AFTER she had done this to him over and over that he got hurt, angry and felt betrayed and used and had had it! Sure, it would have been nice if the prosecution could have presented some more evidence for this that was precluded, but I ‘got’ it. I think most of us ‘got’ it from what did come out in court.
    In all of her original journals and in the police interrogation tapes, and in conversations, Jodi never said anything about Travis except how wonderful he was, how amazing, and how much she loved him. She said he never had a gun. She went on and on about his virtues and exemplary qualities. IT WAS ONLY AFTER SHE WAS REJECTED BY HIM AND KILLED HIM THAT SHE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT HIM THAT WAS NEGATIVE, AND BEGAN HER ‘SMEAR’ CAMPAIGN. This jury should have been smart enough to see this.
    Sorry but these jurors failed. (Mr. foreman was too busy seeing Jodi as “frail” and “a little girl”.) I think that most of this info was there if they bothered to look, but they let sympathy for Jodi blind them to WHAT SHE TRULY IS!
    I wish–I hope that these jurors will now take the time to see all the interrogation tapes, the in-jail interviews, and hear Chris and Skye Hughes on the talk radio show tell the story of their friendship with Travis, their experiences with Jodi, and the emails they wrote.
    I hope they will all take the time to see and read interviews with other men Jodi attempted to manipulate or use, with people she actually did confront and threaten, and with people who witnessed first hand her lies and a dark and soulless side of her. I hope they hear all about the forged ‘pedophile letters’, and other insidious and truly evil things Jodi has done to Travis and to his family.
    Lack of criminal history? Just because Jodi didn’t snap and kill someone before is hardly a reason for mercy for this monster. Even Jack the ripper had a ‘first time’. Some people have NO conscience. They are not capable of empathy or mercy for anyone else. They live their entire lives using, manipulating, and lying to others to get what they want. Some people are just bad or evil through and through and they NEVER CHANGE. Jodi Arias is one of these people.
    I don’t think a few of these jurors really listened to Dr. De Marte. If her testimony were not as censored as it was she probably could have really laid it on the line, but even so, she tried to get across these facts. She made it clear that Jodi doesn’t have real emotions, and ‘mirrors’ what she sees in others. Her actions are often wildly inappropriate and always, always self-serving.
    Jodi is a stone-cold killer who does NOT deserve mercy. The factors mentioned by the foreman are ridiculous, and pale in comparison to her heinous actions—and some of those jurors couldn’t SEE THAT?!
    UGH. I am disgusted with them. They say they didn’t find her believable, and yet THEY CHOSE (SOME OF THEM) TO BELIEVE SOME OF HER LIES, while dismissing others. They let emotion for the WRONG person get in the way, as they looked through rose colored glasses at someone who THEY CONVINCED THEMSELVES was a woman possibly able to be ‘rehabilitated’. This guy says the system was flawed, because he felt he was in the middle between a rock and hard place. Oh boo hoo–NO WAY. YOU didn’t really look at all the facts, Mr. Foreman (and the other jurors who feel this way). You had a JOB to do. You weren’t supposed to be doing that at that point in the first place! The verdict and cruelty factors had already been ajudictated. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO WEIGH HER ‘MITIGATING FACTORS’ AGAINST HER VICIOUS PRE-MEDITATED SLAUGHTER OF A MAN—(A MAN SHE HAD BEEN EMOTIONALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZING AND SEXUALLY MANIPULATING!)

    I am more than sick at the NON-decision that they have come to. I am sickened at some of their rationales. I hope with all my heart that they DO seek out ALL the facts with regard to Jodi and Travis, and I hope that they are truly, truly horrified by her when they do.

    I hope the media will STOP giving this jury foreman air time. He has really made some ignorant remarks and needs to shut up. A new jury should be impaneled for a new penalty phase. This is the wish of the Alexander family, and I hope a new jury will be more conscientious and reasonable, and that there will ultimately be justice for Travis.

    1. greg

      The diversity in juries can in some way be reflected by our diversity in political opinions. One man’s worst-president-ever in George W Bush is a redeemer and upholder of God’s will to someone else. One man’s vote for intelligence and rational thinking in Obama is another person’s most-socialist-president-ever. This much doesn’t surprise me.

      What does surprise me is how little most people know about juries and how juries work. How a foreman who is cast as an aging clown with incompetent thinking somehow simultaneously has the credibility and authority to convince three other jurors to vote along with him. Huh? Where’s the logic in that?

      Please: before you throw any jurors under the bus, serve on a jury yourself. It’s a massive eye-opener. As much as serving as a foreman on a jury that was hung on seven felony counts over a claim of abuse gave me PTSD for several weeks afterwards, I can at least understand and appreciate a little of the how and why these things can happen. Reading some of these comments make me feel some people have no idea how the diversity of personal opinion and perspective could even exist in the world — even after their favorite American Idol star doesn’t win that season. Because “if you don’t agree with me, even though I’m not even there, you therefore must be an incompetent, blithering idiot.”

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    1. Mary Spencer

      Thanks Don! This whole thing bothers me so much. I sure hope that Juan can clarify some things so that a new jury will give Jodi the death penalty. I sure would like to see the Alexander family find a measure of peace in the near future.

  28. Demi

    I have said it before and I will say it again, all the jurers agreed they would be able to give the death penalty should the case show the cause. It did – the prosecurition spelled everything out. The age factor, in this case, is moot. Someone 27 years old knows right from wrong. The fact she is a woman holds no bearing. Arias didn’t just shoot him in the heart once – she stabbed him 29 times, slit his throat almost decapitating him and then after he was dead – she shot him in the head. This was not a crime of passion, this was a slaughter! Zervakos and the three others should not have been on that jury. They should have said that the death penalty was something they could not deal with – this was a dealth penalty case. The rules were clear. Zervakos can say anything he wants – after the fact. He was dead wrong.

  29. Linda K

    First, let me thank Dr. Randle for the original post. I found it thoughtful and objective. What I’d like to interject is an opinion that may add a new dimension to this discussion.

    As a victim of verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse it was Alyce LaViolette’s testimony in the Jodi Arias trial that got me wound up enough to start blogging again. Judging from the comments above, I don’t believe I need to explain my frustration to this particular audience.

    Now that we’ve heard from the jury foreman, William Zervakos, I find my anger and frustration again rising. I don’t wish him ill, but I do wish he would have had the good sense to listen to the evidence and apply logic to it. His comment that he thought Travis verbally and emotionally abused Jodi sent me into orbit. To me, that was evidence of “the” mitigating circumstance he chose to cling to. How could a man of his age and experience not realize that any perceived abuse on the part of Travis was in direct response to all the evil acts Jodi inflicted on him? Well, the answer to that question seems fairly obvious to me.

    Alyce LaViolette is the answer. By lending credibility to Jodi’s lies and by her professional non-evaluation of the reasons behind the rants of Travis Alexander, she alone was able to provide him the weakest mitigating circumstance of all. Clearly, eight of the jurors were able to give appropriate weight to such a claim (i.e. little or none at all). But four did not.

    I would like to give the four jurors the benefit of the doubt here, but I admit I’m grasping at straws to excuse them. Perhaps they simply don’t have the backgrounds or life experiences to recognize and acknowledge the psychopathy underlying the motivations and resulting actions of Jodi Arias. Jodi is a deeply disturbed individual who scares the hell out of me. The fact I see her mental illness as being “obvious” tends to make me agitated with those who do not.

    I don’t think the age of William Zervakos played much of a factor in his decision. I simply think he bought into the LaViolette spin. I did notice he made a comment that he didn’t think much of Dr. Richard Samuels but conversely he said nothing (so far as I know) about Alyce LaViolette or Dr. Janeen DeMarte. Zervakos said Jodi “has some problems” which seems to indicate he had no opinion on or at least gave no weight to DeMarte’s diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. If that’s the case, it’s a shame.

    I’m hopeful another jury will be able to reach what I believe to be the correct verdict for sentencing (the death penalty) but I am so shell-shocked at this point I’m tempted to throw up my hands in disgust. I simply cannot wrap my head around jurors who could find Arias guilty of an especially cruel, premeditated first-degree murder yet still think her life should be spared. All I can say is this: if the next jury is also unable to reach a verdict, I think the blame should go to LaViolette and not to the jurors.

    Just my two cents. Thanks for listening.

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