Since the beginning of the year, families and jurors have listened to endless hours of testimony in the case of State of Arizona v. Jodi Arias. But recently, the case was turned over to the men and women of the jury to decide Arias’ level of involvement.
On days 28 and 29 of the trial, jurors submitted about than 100 questions to Arias that suggested they were skeptical of her testimony, delivered over two highly emotional weeks. Arizona is one of only three states that allow jurors to ask witnesses questions. Panel members submit their queries to the judge, who reads them to the witnesses.
In her testimony, Arias gave highly detailed descriptions of her sex life with Travis Alexander, the former boyfriend she killed. She claimed that he became increasingly demanding and abusive, and that she feared for her life. The prosecution argued that she murdered Alexander in a jealous rage.
One juror asked, “After all the lies you have told, why should we believe you now?”
Indeed, Arias changed her story several times. At first, she vehemently denied any involvement in the death of Alexander, whose body was discovered June 9, 2008, at his Mesa, Ariz., home. Alexander had been shot in the head and stabbed 27 times. His throat had been cut from ear to ear.
When DNA proved Arias had been there, she then claimed that she and Alexander had been attacked by two masked killers in a home invasion. She said she didn’t go to the police because she was still in fear of them.
It was not until years after his death that she admitted to killing Alexander in what she said was an act of self-defense.
“Lying isn’t typically something I just do,” Arias told the court. “The lies I’ve told in this case can be tied directly back to either protecting Travis’ reputation or my involvement in his death … because I was very ashamed.”
Besides, it is difficult to explain why someone who claims to be acting in self defense, would go ahead and stab the attacker 27 times? The defense had a difficult time trying to explain that. This challenge was compounded by the fact that Arias claimed memory loss covering much of the day that Alexander was killed.
Although the prosecution appears to be ahead, anything is possible. Prosecutors must prove their case, after all. Many trial watchers were convinced Casey Anthony would be found guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, but the jury held otherwise.
Another case that readily comes to mind is the case involving J.O Simpson, if these cases are anything to go by, we see that nothing is certain until the verdict is read.