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?
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.