I’ll put my two cents into the fray as this case over many others, seems to me, to have captured the Nation’s attention and taken on a life of it’s own to a maniacal level. It also is the longest running trial in the history of Arizona.
I am always amazed by the hate that comes from people when a liar and a murderer is put on trial. Despite what the pundits may think about Jodi Arias’ defense team they gave her an iron clad case that will stand up against any appeals some other defense team may try to file, on appeal. We forget that this is the job of any Defense attorneys under the law. When the evidence was so clearly stacked against Jodi and her lies, it became even more important that a defense team put on an aggressive defense. To do anything less would only come back and hurt the Alexander family even greater.
When a criminal is given less than a stellar defense team, there are too many times when the family will be subjected to more heart-ache and suffering with a brand new trial, if the defense attorneys are found to be incompetent in defending their clients against crime and especially in death cases. Those of us who do care for the welfare of the victims’ families should hope to see a good defense put on just as we would hope for if we wanted to spare our own families against more heart-ache of a new trial on appeal.
One murder trial for any family is always one too many to have to endure. This was not a time to have a defense team who refused to only question the prosecutor’s findings or to have a lawyer who fell asleep at the trial. The better the evidence as was available at this trial, and put on by the prosecutor’s side,the more of a defense we should want to see offered even though it sometimes may make our skin crawl.
Since I do not hang out with people found guilty of murder you must excuse me if I sound cynical but don’t all murderers lie? I have never heard a murderer confess to the fact they have any memory of the crime, while they are stabbing someone, or a defense attorney who would advise their client to acknowledge the fact that they did, if they did have.
Aren’t all who murder and on trial, defending themselves, arrogant, narcissistic, and sociopaths? Don’t defense attorneys in their efforts to defend these offenders often put the victims on trial in an effort to lessen the punishment of the people they are defending? We all hate that they do but their job in a criminal case is to save the life of their client or to win acquittal. The only people who usually do understand the job of Defense attorneys are the people who are unfairly accused. Didn’t Jodie lie on the stand because of the arrogance that she could convince a jury of her innocence?
Unless a defendant has told so many public lies already, Defense lawyers will not put them on a stand. The more arrogant they are the more they do choose to go against the advice of their lawyers, who are hired to give them Justice under the law. Defense attorneys either buy into the lies and promote the same that was told to them, while adding their own personality and propensity to ignore the facts, or they truly believe their client to be innocent. In many cases they are.
The Defense attorney will also advise those clients who are innocent to take the stand or not to as well, and a jury should never buy into innocence or guilt if the defendant does or does not take the stand. Doesn’t all defense attorneys attempt to degrade the scientific evidence or accuse the police of sloppy handling of the evidence or produce their own opposing evidence, when the client can afford the same ? Don’t all who murder, leave behind loved ones to grieve, their own families included?
So what makes this case so much different from all the other cases of murder to the point that the Jury, who sacrificed greatly of their time away from loved ones who they could not speak to about what was going on in their lives for five months, that they are now receiving death threats from the angry or insane that should be in therapy themselves?
It is not uncommon that jurors do think they can convict someone of the death penalty until they actually are appointed judge and jury and have the life of another person in their hands. Until and when we all acknowledge that it is the insane Arizona Law itself that is responsible for the problem the jury was confronted with, then calmer heads will not prevail.
The facts of life in America are or should be the following:
1. Either we as a Nation accept the fact that our State is a Death Penalty State or we do not. When the majority vote accepts it as the same, then the Judges should Pronounce sentences according the Statutes of the Laws in that State, once the jury finds the offender guilty of first degree murder, even when it does include death penalties.
2. Why Arizona or any other States do decide to keep the Death Penalty and hold the jury responsible for the decision of death when they have already found Jodi Arias guilty of first degree murder with extenuating circumstance of extreme cruelty, is beyond me.
3.The Judges themselves are bound by the Statutes of law in their own States as to how much time the criminal needs to spend in jail with every other crime committed in the United States. Why shouldn’t it also be the judges decisions, once hearing oral arguments from the lawyers, to determine punishment? They are given that freedom when they disagree with the juries decisions on first degree murder anyway, in other States that have the death penalty.
4.Either the States accept the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment or they establish life imprisonment. Once the voters of the States accept that they want to retain the death penalty and the Prosecutors prove first degree murder with extreme cruelty doesn’t common sense tell all of us that the Jury has served and performed their duties? The defendant becomes the criminal since they have been found guilty in a Court of law by their peers, at this point, and that should be all that is asked of any jury anywhere.
5. Who amongst us could actually send another person to death when our knowledge of the person’s intent and our own interpretation of the law is so overwhelmingly lacking? I don’t think we could find 12 jurors, who do not hate and based on the level of evidence, who could all handle in good faith, the responsibility of killing another human being.
6. We as a Nation who asks our jurors to do just that aren’t understanding the full realm of consciousness that plays a role in asking jurors to do the job that should be worked out between people of law, in my estimation.
Even though Democracy is made up of majority rule we should always understand that States that vote for the Death Penalty are not made up of the same view in 100% of its population. Many of those who never question their ability to find a person guilty and believe they can ask for the death penalty are the first to crumble when placed under the pressure of deciding the fate of another.
The only time we ask our citizens to be 100% in agreement is when they serve on a Jury. It is not very realistic for anyone to believe they are in 100% agreement, when many decisions are made by juries, despite the fact they agree to the same when they are polled. Even twins, married couples, best friends, and siblings are rarely in 100% agreement. It is not unusual for people who serve on juries to suffer nightmares, afterwards, when they were convinced by their own conscious or by others, at the time of the verdict, their decisions were the correct ones.
Jurors are told not to give in to pressure but to vote their own common sense and conscious. Seldom is that allowed to be applied by the time juries end their discussions.
The only way I can perceive that 12 people who are not related to the victims or friends of the same, do not have biases or bigotries with preconceived notions, are not tired of the case after 5 months and want to go home, do not have an axe to grind, or any other negative influences of anger and such, as all objective jurors must be, could all in good faith,100% of the time find the death penalty against another human being would be:
1. If they were bullied into the same as they often are
2. If they were tired of listening to another person on the jury
3. If they discounted guilt or innocence because the person on trial or the defense attorney did not present themselves well.
4. If they were made to feel their point of view was stupid or foolish
5. If they are a crowd pleaser
6. If they are too shy or intimidated to speak up for what they believe
7. If they vote out of empathy for the victim’s family over interpretation of the law
8. If they went into the discussions liking the prosecution team better and believing that Prosecutors are always more ethical and honest than are Defense Attorneys
9. If they felt that the defendant would not be on trial unless they are guilty
10.If the evidence against the extenuating circumstances and pleas of the families over-rides the interpretation of the law, which is always subjective, when left to self-interpretation by juries who are not trained in law
11,If they just plain do not like the defendants and want to find them guilty
12.If they made up their minds of guilt before the trial and ending arguments were heard
13.If they believe, “an eye for an eye”, when that has never applied to the law in any State and is not part of any jury instructions,EVER
14.If their own feelings for sparing life is not over-weighed by their feelings of death being justified under any and all circumstances in murder cases
15.They are sick of the case and blame the defense attorney or the prosecutors the most for prolonging it, regardless
16.If in very remote cases the Defendant ask their attorney not to present evidence but instead to ask for the death penalty during the penalty phase of the case.
17.On equally rare occasions, the jurors all are unanimous in the belief that there is absolutely no reason that the Court should show mercy due to a difficult childhood, mental illness, or up-bringing even when the judges inform them that this needs to be taken into consideration during their discussions in the penalty phase prior to reaching a unanimous verdict
People do murder in approximately one third of all murder cases after having a child hood of loving parents and pampered lives,and in these murder cases 100% verdicts of asking for death are made simpler for jurors who can do so in clear conscious, just as they can for those very rare times that the murderer asks for the death penalty. Approximately one third of all murders are committed by people who were never disciplined as children or told “No”, they could not have something when they were children.
These murderers were never made to take responsibility for their own actions or behavior. In the case of neglect we can find a child who grows up feeling unloved and unworthy of the important values of life. A good defense attorney will evoke sympathy of the jurors for these clients even though it is a more difficult of a job to do so with many juries, when physical or sexual abuse or mental illness are absent.
It is the job of Defense Attorneys to attempt to evoke sympathy for their client during the penalty phase of a trial, usually through witnesses or family members. If the defense attorneys do not present an earnest effort during this phase of the trial,the clients can prove ineffective representation in some cases when on appeal.
Some clients are such loners or reprehensible the attorney alone will fight for the client since no one else will speak for them, the client wants to spare their own families and doesn’t want anyone else to speak for them, or the client does ask for the death penalty themselves. When a lack of defense is offered during the penalty phase, unless requested by the clients, and the case is repealed because of it, a new trial can be ordered making it necessary for the victims’ families to have to go through the same kind of agony that only a case of murder can bring with it.
Could those of us who have suffered abuse or have family members afflicted with mental illness totally disregard mercy for those who suffered from either or both 100%, realistically, even knowing their crime showed extreme cruelty? Jurors who agree to totally disregard mercy towards abusive upbringing or mental illness as a reason to find in favor of the death penalty a 100%, without understanding case study in law, are not by nature equipped to do so.
Sadly, the other previously acknowledged 15 factors on the list of 17 above scenarios, happen too often in juries. For that reason alone, it should be the biggest argument for why Judges should determine the penalty phase once the defendant has been found guilty by their peers in a court of law.
Lawyers always work out the penalty phase and agree on sentencing, and a Judge accepts the penalty, in first degree murder cases when a murderer pleads guilty. Why should it be any different once a defendant is found guilty by their peers in a Court of law? Judges have been given that discretion, even when Jurors are asked to decide death in the penalty phase in Capital Death States, elsewhere. There has already been plenty of precedence set for Judges to over-rule the decisions of jurors made during the penalty phase, for many years now. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves in a Capital murder case, when judges are all bound by preceding law,”Why” jurors are asked to decide death in Capital Murder? .
This jury acted exactly as it should have and should be congratulated for their efforts to seek justice. If more of us made an effort to understand what is expected of a Death Penalty Jury we would either change our own States to life in imprisonment without parole or acknowledge that this jury, unlike many others showed all of us that they do know more than most when it comes to finding Justice under the law according to their own conscious.
I am always amazed by those who call themselves Christian, and then turn around and support the worse that is seen in juries over the best that is seen, as this one has demonstrated the best of juries. It is nice to see that Arizona can still put together a jury of justice despite some of its’ other more inane or insane laws. I think the whole fascination with this entire case should leave us all shaking our heads, to be honest. My prayers are with the Alexander and Arias Families. God Bless you!