Prosecutors Request Judge Deny Defense Request to Delay Retrial

Jodi Arias’ defense attorneys recently filed a motion to push back the penalty phase of her trial until January 2014 due to scheduling conflicts. Mr. Nurmi will be out of the office quite a bit in July. Jennifer Willmott has five different trials set for the summer of 2013.

Apparently they’re also having difficulty finding people who can vouch for Jodi. In the defense’s motion to delay the trial, they cite both Patricia Womack and Ms. LaViolette as being unable to testify on Jodi’s behalf due to threats. Without these two witnesses, Jodi was unable to present a “complete picture to the jury.”

As the defense sees it, Jodi

“was ready to present…evidence at trial until the point in time when mitigation witnesses felt too intimidated to come forward. Thus, in essence Ms. Arias needs the requested time to find alternative means of painting the picture of Ms. Arias’ life that defense counsel must present and the jury must consider.”

The defense may also be attempting to develop a new strategy to spare her life in the penalty phase, potentially arguing that she is mentally ill and shouldn’t be given the death penalty.

Prosecutors responded by filing a motion asking the Judge Stevensjudge not to delay the penalty phase. They believe that:

“…neither reason warrants a continuance…Therefore, the court should deny the defendant’s request and should instead set trial in the penalty phase for July 30, 2013. This date will accommodate defense counsel’s “out of office” commitments as well as the defendant’s desire to call witnesses.”

It is expected that judge Sherry Stephens will announce her ruling at a status conference scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013.

36 thoughts on “Prosecutors Request Judge Deny Defense Request to Delay Retrial

  1. I transcribed this from the Dr. Drew show interview with Patti Womack last night. Womack says in her own words that she “never, ever received a death threat” and Darryl was ready and willing to testify. LieViolate has lost all credibility and would do more harm than good and they know that. The defense is making excuses to delay the trial so they can better establish a mental illness defense. This is all tactical. Read the “Tactical Ineffective Assistance in Capital Trials” that I posted the link to a couple days ago.

    Here is the transcript:
    Dr Drew: We’re going to talk to Patti Womack. She asked us to introduce her as Jodi’s FORMER friend. And Patti, I know you’ve been very emotional when talking about Jodi. Now why has this triggered so much emotion for you?
    PW: Well, there’s a few things that it’s emotional for me. Um, one thing is because Jodi used to be my best friend. And we shared so many great memories together, you know, as children. And uh, memories that I will always love and cherish. And um, so knowing that my former best friend, that I had amazing memories with is in fact a murderer, it’s heartbreaking.
    DD: Patti, what ages were you guys best friends, from when to when?
    PW: Um, 12 to 20 we were best friends. We met each other when we were 12 years old. Um, we continued to be best friends into our 20s. We started to grow apart in our early 20s cause I started a family, I got married and she moved up north.
    DD: Do you think that what you were feeling intimately connected to was just a fantasy, that it’s not the person you thought she was because you didn’t think she was capable of this.
    PW: No, I didn’t think she was capable, in fact everybody that was friends with her, that are still my friends, we were all so shocked and blown away, we were like, how could this sweet, sweet girl ever do this. This has to be a typo, this has to be a mistake you, this has to be a joke. This could not be Jodi.

    DD: Patti, I know you’ve taken a lot of heat for even being willing to say anything positive about her. How has that affected you?
    PW: Well, a couple people um have made fake citations about me and posted them on a few different web sites, saying you know, I had drug problems, up to DUIs, um, aggravated assault, and they’re just all lies. I’ve never been in trouble, for one, and second of all they put my home address out there with a description of my house, where I lived with a map you know, and one of the sites they put this one was “State vs Jodi”, and that site has over 50,000 people on it. And so I’ve never, ever received a death threat, but yeah, I do fear for my safety because if you think 50,000 people, like the whole entire world it seems like knows where I live, who I am and have pictures of me and my daughter on the internet and so it threw me. It’s really emotional and really hard.

  2. I really hope the Judge sees it for what it is – a blatant, in your face, attempt by Arias, not necessarily her lawyers, to delay the justice once again, and keep her own butt comfortable in the cushy county jail as opposed to the DR cell in prison she’ll go to upon sentencing.
    The continuance motion to allow for ‘search for new mitigation witnesses’ is ridiculous. This, from the team that had FIVE YEARS to come up with anything and anyone who might be willing to give positive witness to the character of the psycho on steroids. In all this time, with all the money that the ‘Mitigation Specialist’ charged the state for her services to DT (and she’s been there ALL 5 years!), she managed to find 3 people who had something nice to say about Jodi? If so, why would another 6 months delay allow them to find anyone else now? Wouldn’t logical assumption be that they’d need at least another 5 years to make this miracle happen? Also, let’s look at the quality of these witnesses, who care for Jodi SO SO MUCH that the smallest whiff of public unhappiness is enough to make them run for cover.
    ** Patty Womack was on HLN again last night (and I think the previous one, too). JM should play the tape to the Judge to aid her in rejecting the continuance motion. Patty cried about Herself, of course, and how this trial affected Her life. She took great pains to convince the viewers that she ‘wholeheartedly believed Jodi had nothing to do with the murder’. That she only found out about Jodi’s acknowledging of her handiwork at trial. That broke her heart. And since then she had no further contact with Jodi.
    She specifically asked HLN to introduce her as ‘A FORMER FRIEND OF JODI ARIAS’, so everybody would know she now distanced herself. Also, she clarified that she only knew Arias ‘from age of 12 to 20. That’s all. We had no contact beyond this time frame’. So she was at least 7 years removed from ‘THE JODI THAT MURDERED TRAVIS’, and had nothing to offer on that subject.
    The last gem from Patti was this quote ‘I was threatened, and my house was described on the web, and I worry about my child because 50K people are on that site’. Big departure from ‘My LIFE and my daughter’s was threated’, wouldn’t you say? And then she made sure to repeat this last part, very clearly ‘I NEVER RECEIVED ANY DEATH THREATS’!!!. To which I say – WTF, Nurmi and Wilmott???? Lying to the Judge in open court about something so crucial? Can we say ‘Disbarment’???
    ** Alice La-Vile-het. There was a lot of talk on this site already that since the Vile one was a PAID expert witness, she had no right to refuse to testify, no matter the cause. We know the Judge already offered to provide additional protection for the mitigation witnesses, by allowing them to testify to the Jury without the cameras and public present. Yet somehow the DT wants us to think that ALV was so worried for her safety that she chose to ditch the client whose wellbeing she claimed to have so much at heart? Call me crazy, but I think she just didn’t want to deal with any further negative posts on the web after she rehashed her BS Domestic Violence Victimhood story in this stage.
    ** Daryll Brewer, the man who knew Arias for 4 years, from 22 to 26, who never met Travis, never knew details of their relationship, and was clearly an old goat she manipulated into supporting her in life until she could springboard into a life of someone more successful and suck him dry. With all the crap he admitted she put him thru, it is amazing that he still wants us to believe that ‘they still have a good relationship’. Just like I would be so freaking happy and appreciative if someone took advantage of me for 4 years, and then involved me and my young child in her murderous plot.
    So, to summarize, after 5 years of searching for mitigation witnesses, the defense came up with a) a FORMER friend from childhood, who knew Arias for 8 years, and subsequently did not have ANY contact with her for another 8 years plus another 5 of Jodi’s imprisonment; b) a clearly smitten man-hater who met Arias 2-3 years after the crime, and ‘KNEW HER’ for 44 hours of interviews, never having any contact with her until she testified; c) a former boyfriend who clearly let her manipulate him for all the 4 years she knew him, and whom she dropped like a hot potato when a newer, bigger, better deal presented itself in the person of Travis, and whom he had not heard from until the May 2008 phone call asking for the gas can, and whom he’s seen once only since the breakup, when she came to get the gas cans.
    Those were the 3 people that the MITIGATION SPECIALIST, the most underemployed and overpaid person on this defense team, was able to come up with in FIVE YEARS!?!?!? And then 2 of them supposedly changed their minds and ran for the hills? We know that nobody from her family will be testifying because their public statements already discredited any potential future positive comments about Jodi and her life.
    Wendy Murphy said on HLN about a week ago that there is some special motion that the Victim’s Family can file to the AZ Supreme Court demanding that the trial be finished as it was scheduled initially, without any further, ridiculous delays. She even asked the family to contact her, and she would write and file this motion for them free of charge, just because she too thinks that the requested delays have nothing to do with scheduling conflicts etc., but purely with Arias trying to run things again and gain the upper hand over everybody.
    Enough is enough.
    Now, as to the comments on the previous post, about the DT INTENTIONALLY throwing the Mitigation stage, by refusing to put on any character witnesses, as a ploy to ensure AUTOMATIC DEATH PENALTY REVERSAL on the basis of ‘Insufficient Counsel’. Here is my theory.
    DT knew for the 5 years that they were screwed if and when the time came for Mitigation. They had it all planned for a long time, to ensure DP Reversal, as outlined in the articles cited in that post. They carried out their plot to its crowning conclusion. By pretending to throw a fit and refuse to present any Mitigation Defense, they all but guaranteed the sentence would be rejected on appeal. They were sitting pretty, preparing for the next stage, i.e. the appeals, already. Then CRAP happened. The Jury came back with the ‘No Verdict Verdict’, and the Prosecution declared their staunch intent of re-trying that Penalty phase. Now they have a HUGE PROBLEM – since they never planned on using any TRUE witnesses, they only had those 3 losers on the roster. They knew it will never come to their testifying, so who cared how unreliable they might be.
    But now that there is going to be a re-trial of Penalty stage, they AGAIN have to put on the Mitigation Defense, and for that you need proper witnesses. Since they already tried the trick with INTENTIONAL INSUFICIENT REPRESENTATION, they CAN’T try to pull that again.
    The Appeals Court might fall for that trick, ONCE, just because they always want to give the DP defendant more than a fair chance. So the DT might have hoped that there would be no adverse consequences for them and their careers, while the DP went off the table. But if they tried to do so again, for the second time, there is NOT an Appeals Court Judge who would not see right thru it, and call them out on it. In such case, not only does the DP stand, but the lawyers can face disbarment.
    At that is THE ONLY REAL REASON they are now desperately trying to find someone to take the stand and convince the Jury that the Monster’s life is worth saving. Good luck with that, A-holes! Now have fun working your butts off looking for a non-existent Jodi Friend.

  3. What the Defense was unprepared for was the national coverage of this trial and a client who wouldn’t shut up. They want the continuance so that things calm down and hopefully attention shifts so that there isn’t this much public heat on the Mitigation phase. People should feel free to come forward, but it’s difficult to get people to come forward to say something nice about a murderer. Throw in all the public attention, and the defense team is hoping that the American consciousness will move on and the outcome of a real mitigation presentation will warrant only a blurb in the newsfeeds as the public concentrates on the Next Big Trial.

    Guaranteed the Judge in this case will be checking with the judges in the cases of the upcoming summer trials. Most judges will not step on the calendars of other judges for established trials. Imagine if you were Nurmi’s next trial and you had to be postponed due to the Arias Mitigation Phase. If you were sitting in jail or had your life on hold for 5 years (usually less, but your life is on hold pending the outcome of a trial), you wouldn’t appreciate being pushed to the back of the judge’s docket because of Arias. I hope for Nurmi et al’s sake that they do in fact have actual trials scheduled for July, or the judge in this case will be swearing out a bar complaint.

    Nurmi et al are undoubtedly taking crap from their community as well. When you defend unpopular people, you take crap. That crap can come from a lot of locations, and Nurmi et al are probably skipping on eating out these days. Doesn’t mean they don’t get guff from the populace every time they gas up, hit the dry cleaners, or go to the grocery – they probably get an earful every single time. But they are doing their job. They are defending somebody in desperate need of a defense. They are doing it to the best of their ability.

    I suspect that if there are trials already scheduled, the Arias Penalty Phase will be moved back, unless those trials are with judges who are lower down on the food chain than the Arias judge (yes, Judges do have pecking orders). I suspect also that the Arias judge is giving serious consideration to the idea of postponing for the purposes of allowing for a full defense. Another sure fire appellate issue would be publicity that would interfere with the ability to empanel an unbiased jury. With all the vitriol surrounding Arias, there’s not a potential juror out there who wouldn’t know that voting other than death would open himself/herself up to crucifixion on social media, HLN, Dr. Drew, and all the other news sources out there. This is an issue that may find purchase towards a continuance for 6 months. Throw in the possibility of a witness showing up 1-2 years from now saying, “I would have testified for JA, except I didn’t want my face, address, etc plastered all over the internet and tv” and you have yet another media bias issue for appeal.

    If you want a penalty to stick, the best shot is if there’s something more of a wait. Two big bias issues for appeal can be erased by postponing for 6 months.

  4. This defense team and the ringleader Jodi has had 5 long years to prepare. Judge Stephens needs to show the court that she is the boss and bring this penalty phase forward and to a conclusion. Jodi can finally come forward, admit that she is solely responsible for taking his life and honestly and sincerely apologize to the Alexander family and then BEG for mercy. That is all that needs to be done. They are stalling in hopes that the State Attorney and the family will cave on death if it’s delayed for another 6 months. The family needs to come first for once.Jodi has had her day in court.

    • There has been enough time on this case already it needs it finish. If they weren’t able to find someone to say anything good about Jodi they will not be able to now. Hope judge won’t let delay happen.

  5. Here’s the actual motion:

    In the motion Nurmi again tries to confuse the previous threats to Laviolette during the guilt phase with his claims that the mitigation phase has been affected by threats to mitigation witnesses. But notice that while he clearly says Patty Womack refuses to return to Arizona, NOWHERE DOES HE STATE THAT LAVIOLETTE IS REFUSING TO COME OR CANNOT BE CALLED because she can’t refuse to come and he’s only throwing her into his argument again to make it sound so dramatic.

    He’s a boldfaced liar trying to make it sound as if threats to Laviolette affect the mitigation phase even though there is no allegation that she refuses to come, and in fact she cannot refuse to come as the expert on the case.

    Juan filed a response rather than a motion although its reported everywhere as a motion.

    • I find a couple of statements troubling in that document from a grammatical perspective:

      On May 20, 2013, during the argument on that motion, Ms. Arias advised the court that Patricia Womack was not willing to return to Arizona to testify on Ms. Arias’ behalf because she had been threatened. Of note is the fact this comes on the heels of record being made of the threats made to Ms. LaViolette, an expert in the field of domestic violence and another key mitigation witness.

      “In Ms. Arias’ case, the Defense mitigation investigation was completed and she was ready to present said evidence at trial up until the point in time when mitigation witnesses [PLURAL] felt too intimidated to come forward.”

      Whether or not it was stated LaViolette is “refusing” to testify in the mitigation phase, it is certainly being implied.

      • But “to come forward” implies voluntarily testifying. An expert does not have to “come forward,” she has to appear because she’s under subpoena.

        This is an extension of his prior argument that lay witnesses would not “come forward” to support Jodi because of the environment of intimidation. I really think he’s trying to confuse the two separate issues because he doesn’t have enough with just one lay witness who cannot be forced to appear because she has no factual evidence that could be compelled. So he has cast the net and also said no one would come forward (VOLUNTEER) because of the environment of intimidation created in the media and by Juan.

        The expert cannot be released from subpoena until the attorney decides he does not need her. Subpoenaed and paid experts do not “come forward” at their own discretion.

        • Are we certain she’s still under subpoena? I got the impression she would be released following the closed hearing regarding “that other issue” (ref. the 4/12/13 session where Stephens cleared the courtroom and order ALV back on either Monday or Tuesday). If she’s been released, what does that do to the defense??

    • Hi Maria. I just wanted to say I appreciate your replies to Dr. Randle’s blog, always…very thoughtful, insightful and correct. I look forward to reading them….8-)

  6. From Day 1 when Nurmi tried to beg off the case, informing Judge he was leaving the PD’s office to start his own private practice + therefore could not afford to stay on the case @the measly $150/hr the PD’s paid. Thus the court miraculously bumped his hourly rate upto $250/hr; suddenly all is well + Nurmi is fine w/being “forced” to stay on as lead counsel + decides to push fwd + represent JA wholeheartedly w/new vigour now that he will be adequately compensated.

    Label me silly, but apparently, before the Arias case + officially leaving the PD’s office, the normal hourly rate was sufficient for Numi. Wilmmott herself, w/her own aspirations to begin her own private practice, is in transition from the PD’s office + undoubtedly has almost arrived as a DP qualified defense attorney w/all her hard work + billable hours in the JA case. On Wilmott’s new website under the listing Criminal Defense, it reads: “Coming Soon”! That just strikes me funny.

    JA has received an excellent, fair, passionate defense by Nurmi + Wilmott. While their strategy + tactics have been vile, I’m relieved JA has received more than adequate representation under the law by these two wingnuts, so hopefully any future appeals will contain no legitimate basis + flop big-time!

    I’m still astounded by the fiscal cost billed to the AZ taxpayers via JA’s defense team. The final week
    of the trial total amount billed by them was $1.9M. After some basic math, I calculated $35k per court day! We witnessed the arduous efforts by the defense to drag out JA’s trial ad infinitum + manipulation by the defendant to postpone court proceedings/stay in court as long as possible + to no avail re 1rst 2 verdicts, thank God! Thus, regardless of what her defense team purports re needing more time to prepare for DP retrial, mitigation witnesses, Nurmnut + Walnut are being paid handsomely by the court + surely don’t mind one billable hour how much longer it takes to defend her. Praying Judge Stephens denies a continuance this week. God bless the Alexander family.

    • People often confuse billable hourly rates for wages. When you work for an hourly wage, you’re paid for each hour, and get a check reflecting that work. You go home, pay the bills, buy groceries, and do what people do with their pay checks. Billable hours are a bit different. Not all of the work you do on a case is billable. Sure, talking with your client about the case is billable. So is the actual time spend researching a motion or arguing it in court. Most of the time you spend in court is billable. But there are a lot of things that are not billable. 5 years has been spent on this case, not just the time in trial, but 5 years.

      Then, you throw in the fact that there’s overhead that has to be paid for – paralegals, investigators, office rental, Westlaw or Lexis fees, the usual utilities, a receptionist – every dime that comes from billable hours is used to pay those wages, those fees, those costs. You might think that $250 per billable hour is a monstrous amount to be paid, but it really gets cut down pretty quickly. And all of that is before an attorney cuts him/herself a paycheck to take home, make mortgage payments, student loan payments, and take care of all the other expenses that everybody has.

      If you work for the PD, everything is usually paid for you, right down to licensing fees. Solo, you’re paying for those things on your own.

      The costs of a death penalty trial are always astronomical. A trial not asking for death costs a heck of a lot less because there’s a lot less involved. AZ apparently has a three tiered system – a finding of guilt for first degree, a finding of aggravation, and a penalty phase. A normal criminal trial has just that first phase with a sentencing hearing sometime after if there’s a finding of guilt. Those additional phases add up. THe necessity of having a mitigation expert tacks on a fair amount. The necessity of experts, especially psychological experts adds up (and they get paid not just for their testimony, but all the prep that they put into it, plus travel, lodging and other expenses when relevant). The time tacked on adds up. Since a death penalty trial requires more, the Defendant sits in county jail, on the county dime for that entire time. If you have a Defendant with medical issues, then you can expect those medical fees to add up. The county budget doesn’t change, but the percentage of that budget spent on one death penalty case can bankrupt a county. Before IL chucked the death penalty, it created a special state fund to help smaller counties afford DP trials, and the AG’s office tasked members to do nothing but DP trials, allowing local State’s Attorneys to concentrate on their usual cases instead of having one trial take over an entire SA office. Kind of strange to think about, really, that in a death penalty state, the county may decide to forgo a DP trial to save money, allowing them to spend it on better, more necessary things like roads and schools.

      This is why I think there will never be a plea in this case – the bulk of the expenditure for a death verdict has already been made. Yes, the last bit will cost the county a pretty penny, but even if the Defense was willing to take LWOP, I don’t think the state would accept. Call it a trial tax, whatever, but the Defendant has already cost the county too much. The amount left to be paid by the county is minuscule in comparison.

      Note, the appeals are still going to cost. With a case not seeking the DP, an indigent defendant is allowed a direct appeal on the State’s dime, and that’s it. Because “death is different”, the Defendant is allowed more appeals on both state and federal levels.

  7. I just need to clariy something. Perryville and most of the units in the AZ prison system are not that old and are clean and decently kept up with the exception of a couple older units in Florence. They arebetter than the county jail with the exception of some new or newer units they have. People keep talking about how horrible the prison is vs the county but in all actuality the prisons are nicer for the most part.

    All the posts on this motion to delay are informative and well thought out. I do hope everything is denied. The DT was ill prepared after 5 yrs now lets be don’t with it. They have enough time to prepare and actually fore see any issues that might come up. Thank you.

  8. The defense echoed their client’s “it’s not my fault” defense and played the blame game all the way through the trial. Jodi Arias whined on the stand, “it wasn’t my fault I broke the Law of Chastity, snooped in Travis’s phone and his computer and saw he was talking to women, peeked in his window and saw him with a woman, that I moved to Mesa after we broke up, that my phone was off, the license plates fell off the rental car, or that I stabbed Travis 29 times, almost took off his head and shot him in the face. It was those skateboarders with screwdrivers and Travis’s fault. Not mine.”

    On TV, she blamed the fact that she gave media interviews after her arrest, conviction and allocution on the media because they hounded her. She blamed her trashing Travis on the state and his family for forcing her to trial. She blamed her defense team for not calling witnesses to her abuse and the jury for not believing her bogus “Travis was a sexual deviant and violent abuser and I feared for my life and had to butcher him” defense.

    All through the trial Nurmi sang the same old tune that “it’s the prosecutor and the judge’s fault” that the defenses case stunk and their witnesses were liars and fools. It was Martinez’s fault because he was doing his job. It was the judge’s fault because she allowed cameras in the courtroom, didn’t stop Martinez from impeaching defense witnesses and refused to grant the defense’s umpteen bogus motions for a mistrial. Nurmi lamented that Jodi didn’t get a fair trial and it was all the judge’s and prosecutors fault. To the defense, a fair trial means an acquittal on all charges.

    Just like he threw a tantrum and refused to put on a mitigation phase, I fear Nurmi will use the same tactic in the re-sentencing phase. Even if the judge grants the defense a delay and bans live feed or cameras from the courtroom, Nurmi will be whining that his client can’t get a fair trial. Before they can even seat a jury, Nurmi will ask for a mistrial and say no juror can be unbiased because everybody in the world wants her to die. It is all the judge’s fault for allowing cameras in the courtroom during the trial and HLN is still talking about the trial.

    Nurmi ignores the fact that Jodi Arias is the one who made this a high profile case by giving interviews to newspapers and TV since she was arrested in 2008 and tweeting and talking to the media during the trial.

    Since Nurmi won’t be able to find any witnesses to say his client should live, I predict he will throw a tantrum and say Martinez is intimidating all the witnesses so they are afraid to speak out and demand the judge take Martinez off the case. No matter how many months Judge Stevens gave him to find witnesses and put together a case, Nurmi will blame the judge and Martinez for his rotten case and his having to endure more months of Jodi Arias stinking body hanging around his neck. He thought he was rid of her after the jury deliberated death or life. Nurmi and Wilmott turned white after the No Unanimous verdict came down and Judge Stevens ordered a mistrial on the sentencing phase.I just hope an appellate court doesn’t listen to his nonsense and will see as Maria said Nurmi is an “obstructionist” and is deliberately trying to cause a mistrial on “ineffective counsel.”

  9. Jodi has had plenty of free time to study the piteous faces of the mentally ill. My prediction is she will show up in court tomorrow looking the part and armed with the appropriate zombie meds. The scary part is somebody will fall for her new persona. Again.

  10. HLN had announced that Jury Foreman William Zervakos would appear on the Dr. Drew show Monday night. He must have chickened out because although I never saw Dr. Drew Monday night I read Dr. Drew’s Monday night show’s transcript. Nowhere is the jury foreman’s name in the transcript.

    The transcript shows that Patty Womack, who asked Dr. Drew to refer to her as a former friend of Jodi Arias, and Ken Pittenger, a friend of Bill and Sandy Arias, Jodi’s parents, spoke to Dr, Drew by telephone.

    Womack said she did not receive any death threats but that her address and a map to her home were posted on Facebook.

    Pittinger wrote a letter in the local paper in support of Jodi`s parents after he said he had observed the harassment they had been subjected to.

    Excerpt of letter Pittenger wrote: “I`m writing this letter because I`m concerned about Bill and Sandy and their struggle to keep their business, Daddy O`s Restaurant, alive. While enduring a murder trial of their wayward daughter, additional pain is being brought on by people who wanted to inject vicious comments on Facebook and anonymous telephone calls, making threats and taunts, `Hope your daughter fries in hell` and `Hope your business dies too.’”

  11. Surely after 5 years, Arias and her mitigation expert has had sufficient time to organise this aspect of her case – though, of course, as you say, Maria there are tactical manoeuvers taking place.
    Actually, I should not be commenting on this aspect of the trial as I am unfamiliar with it. Here in Australia we have different procedures whereby the jury decides guilt or innocence and the judge then decides penalty. There are no penalty phases, mitigation etc. I think it was Chris that proposed that the judge should decide penalty on this blog some time ago but did not seem to garner much support. I concur with Chris on this as it appears a logical course to take as the judge, with his/her greater experience would seem better placed to make such judgement than the average lay person – to say nothing of the economic considerations. This of course also short circuits the legal skullduggery that is being employed in Arias’ case. It seems to me that far too much emphasis is being placed on the ‘rights’ of the perpetrator of the crime, and too little on justice for the victim.
    We also do not have the DP as it was abolished here several years ago. In fact, the last execution we had -a hanging – was in 1967. However, I am a strong proponent of the death penalty in certain cases. It is often debated that it is not a deterrent, but in reality it is the ultimate deterrent – they don’t do it again. Despite the assurances of Mr Zervakos,, Arias would likely kill again.
    In my experience in prison, I had dealings with a man who was almost a mirror reflection of Arias. As a young man, he had flown into a rage and stabbed his girlfriend multiple times with a kitchen knife for which he was sentenced to death – later commuted to 30 years with a 20 year minimum. He was an absolute charmer, gaining the confidence of influential TV people, and was out in 15 years. He married, and proceeded to rape his step-daughter multiple times until she went to the police. After another ‘stretch’ he was out again and into the arms of another. This girl he shot as she was lying on the floor of a neighbour’s house begging for her life. This time he got life without parole.
    He was diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder. Lizzie mentioned this disorder in a recent post, and I have long thought that Arias may also have this disorder – amongst others. However, like you Dr K., I don’t believe that would preclude her from paying the ultimate penalty.

    • In most criminal trials, the judge is the one to set sentence. The difference is death. In those states that have Death Penalty statutes, the penalty must be decided by a jury and ratified by a judge, and even then, a judge’s power is limited. A jury can decide on life, but a judge cannot then order death. A jury can decide death, and a judge can lessen it to life. There’s a long string of SCOTUS cases dealing with the power of judges in determining death that lays this out (see Ring v. Arizona).

      Your argument for the death penalty deterring the person from committing a second murder is interesting. We can see the accuracy of such argument in what’s known as the Class of ’72 – those inmates who were on death row/sentenced to death when the Furman v. Georgia decision came down from SCOTUS rendering all death sentences unconstitutional as cruel and unusual punishment (the vast majority of those sentenced to death were black, and usually for a crime against a white person, making for an irrational racial bias in how the death penalty was applied). Anyway, the Class of ’72 went from Death to Life, and back then there was no such thing as Life Without Parole, so they got regular old life, making a number of them instantly eligible for parole. Many weren’t – life still meant that they didn’t have to parole you if you picked up new charges, were in trouble with DOC for any period of time, whatever. But still, over time quite a number of them were paroled. If memory serves me, the only one they had problems with, in terms of repeat murders was a guy named Kevin McDuff. Texas paroled him when they were under court orders to reduce the population of their prisons from unconstitutionally overcrowded (i.e. over 200%), to a more reasonable population. Texas started with the nonviolent offenders, but that didn’t get the numbers down. Soon enough, they were paroling anybody who’d had a few years in without a write-up. McDuff was able to do institutional time. Anyway, he got out, and since he was a sexual sadist serial killer, he started killing again. By the time he was caught and tried, Texas had rewritten its death penalty statute, so he was again sentenced to death, this time under the new statute, and eventually executed.

      Anyway, the point is that of the many people, men and women, who were taken off death row, only McDuff returned to his murderous ways. (oops, 5 have murdered again, out of 569 let off death row, see Kind of shocking when you think about it because some psychologist or psychiatrist got on the witness stand and told the jury that each and every one of those Defendants deserved death because of future dangerousness, even in an institutional setting. Let that one sink in; the “experts” were so good at predicting who would kill again, inside prison or outside prison, that they were right only with McDuff (and 4 other times). Granted, Texas also had Dr. Death (look up James Grigson) frequently testifying for the state that everybody was a risk whether inside or outside the system, whether he actually sat down and interviewed the Defendant or didn’t bother, but you also had earnest professionals doing their best to predict future behavior.

      I’m not going to argue the value of the death penalty. Some states have it, some don’t. Arizona has it. The State’s Attorney in the Arias case has decided that the case warrants death, and he’s going for death. He has cleared 2 hurdles, and needs to get past the third. To do that, he’s got to 1. pick a better jury if possible, 2. hit harder on those things the first jury found troubling, 3. deal with the BPD issue.

      Even if a sentence of death is delivered, there will be appeals. Some may find purchase, and we may very well be at a sentencing phase again, 10 years from now. It is the nature of death penalty law; “death is different”.

  12. One thing I forgot about in my ramblings on that last post was that my killer’s great resemblance to Arias was that it was all about rejection – both girlfriends were in the process of giving him the flick. Like Arias, he simply could not handle such an affront to his ego.

  13. Honestly, what does it say that not ONE of JA’s relatives will testify to her worthiness? Not her brother, or her Aunt, let alone her own Mother. Even if the DT was concerned about the cross exam on the Mother, if that were my daughter’s life on the line, wild horses couldn’t keep me away. I would take the fall for as many issues as I could to save either of their lives. I’m curious why the Aunt wouldn’t take the stand? She was in court for the majority of the trial, but she can’t talk about what a wonderful niece JA was? Or the brother?

    I wonder how Nurmi will explain why Darryl couldn’t testify as he was sitting in a hotel waiting to be called?

  14. Perusing thru my morning missives, I found this one to be an accurate description of murderess Arias:
    Proverbs 6:12-15 (NLT) Here is a description of worthless + wicked people: They are constant liars, signaling their true intentions to their friends by making signs w/their eyes, feet + fingers. Their perverted hearts plot evil. They stir up trouble constantly. But, they will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond all hope of healing.

    Hmmm…..sounds about right.

  15. Interesting to know what happens in Australia, @Don! I’m not an attorney but I think the issue here is the DP. In the US these days, if the DP is to be imposed it MUST be recommended by a jury, not just decided by a judge although in non-capital cases, the judge determines sentencing often within structured guidelines. Also, in some states (not AZ, apparently) if a jury “recommends” Death, the judge can impose Life instead but not vice versa. (As I’ve said in other posts, I have mixed feelings about the DP and I’ve gotten so I don’t really believe in it for a variety of reasons but I do fully believe in LWOP that is truly wo/the possibility of release.)

    Interesting you agree Intermittent Explosive Disorder is one of unmentioned dx that may fit Jodi (along w/others often discussed such as personality disorders.) My personal feelings about the DP aside, I don’t think if that dx is correct it should shield Jodi from the DP—and if that dx is correct, it would suggest she IS quite likely to be violent again. (In fact, to make that dx, there must be multiple incidents of “explosive” destruction of property/harm to others.) And whether it’s correct or not, as others have mentioned Jodi’s plan to take a gun on a camping trip (AFTER killing Travis) because she was planning to go with men she didn’t know well….it’s been awhile since I was in my late 20’s, and looking back I did some foolish things I wouldn’t do now, but even back then, if I had had qualms about traveling with a certain group, I wouldn’t have gone vs going and “packing heat”! After all, we aren’t talking about catching a ride in an emergency situation with a less-familiar group of folks—she was planning to go on a vacation with them. And nobody HAS to go on a vacation!

  16. Jodi Arias sentencing: No ruling from judge on postponement of penalty phase

    By: staff, wire reports
    PHOENIX – A judge on Thursday announced she will not rule on a motion to postpone the Jodi Arias sentencing phase to January 2014.

    Judge Sherry Stephens set another court date to July 18.

    Arias arrived in the courtroom wearing jailhouse stripes and went into the judge’s chambers shortly after 8:30 a.m. with attorneys and the aunt of victim Travis Alexander.

    Judge Stephens heard motions from both sides in the judge’s chambers and was expected to issue a ruling.

    Read more:

    • Judge Stephens said, “The court has conferred with counsel in chambers with the Defendant and victim’s representatives present. In light of information provided during that conference, the court is deferring ruling on the motion to continue, resetting this matter to July 18th at 8:30am vacating the trial date of July 18th.”

      I smell mahi mahi.

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