On Friday, May 3, after months of seedy testimony filled with pornographic images, sexually driven emails and text messages, and even a graphic sex tape, Jodi Arias fate is now in the hands of a jury of her peers. Arias has admitted to the brutal murder of Travis Alexander, so it will now be the task of the jury to determine if she calculatingly planned to kill him or was she a woman who snapped in the moment.
In his closing arguments, the prosecutor, Juan Martinez, painstakingly and often sarcastically laid out a time line of calculation leading up to the murder and used images of Alexander’s bloodied body to prove that these were the steps of a woman on a mission to kill. Martinez described her as a “sophisticated liar” who “knew she was coming to kill.” Arias defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told jurors the entire case was about “fear, love, sex, lies and dirty little secrets” and repeatedly stated that the prosecution’s theory of a planned attack “doesn’t make any sense.” Further, Nurmi laid out the argument that why would someone who isconsidered highly intelligent by the prosecutor, leave so many tracks if she planned on killing Alexander in cold blood?
Arias contends she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense, but prosecutors say it was an act of premeditated first-degree murder, which carries the death sentence or life in prison.
The eight men and four women on the jury have the option of finding Arias guilty of second-degree murder, too, if they don’t believe she planned the attack but think it occurred in the heat of the moment. If convicted on that charge, she could face up to 25 years in prison. A manslaughter conviction carries a sentence of seven to 21 years.
The trial has become a tabloid and cable TV sensation and has attracted spectators from around the country who line up as early as 2 a.m. for a chance to score a few open seats in the courtroom. This was bolstered by Arias doing interviews with news shows such as ‘48 Hours’ prior to her arrest. In her interviews, Arias a well-spoken and engaging personality attempted to throw off the authorities by weaving an elaborate story of intruders killing Alexander, but she was able to escape.
As the jury goes into the deliberation room, they will be faced with a mountain of evidence that most people hope would never come to light. Retrieved text messages, sexually graphic images and emails exchanged between two people engaged in an erotic relationship are the things one would hope would remain between the two parties. With all of the methods of transporting information for public consumption, this should be a cautionary tale that you should never send anything you are not willing for your Pastor to read or see. It will be a difficult task to determine the whether she is a victim or villain; but one thing is for certain, two people believing the elements of their relationship they wanted to remain in secret have been revealed for world to see. John Donne might have been quoted for maximum impact, but in all reality it was Numbers 22:23 “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.”