Jodie Arias

Last week a jury came back with a guilty verdict of first degree murder against Jodi Arias after she was on trial for murdering her 30 year old boyfriend, Travis Alexander in 2008. His body was found slumped over in the shower five years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. Alexander had been stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he had been shot in the face.

Now prosecutors are trying to convince the same jury that Alexander was killed in an especially cruel manner which qualifies a first degree murder conviction for capital punishment. Under Arizona law, the victim must have felt mental or physical anguish and the person committing the murder must know that their victim is suffering. If they succeed in convincing the jury, this could mean that the prosecution will impose the death sentence.

Juan Martinez, the prosecutor, told jury members, “We can imagine the absolute terror as he’s sitting there, defenseless. As he’s seated the knife comes toward him, is hitting him. That is extreme emotional anguish, mental anguish, to watch the blade come up to him. And he can see, and hear, and breathe, and smell, and he knows exactly what is going on.”

He also said, “Travis Alexander, on June 4, 2008, suffered enough for two lifetimes.”

Arias claimed that she killed her boyfriend in self-defense. He attorney’s tried to convince the jury during the trial that she was bipolar and had suffered a “violent outburst” episode when she killed Alexander so she couldn’t have known what she was doing at the time. They also argued that the victim might very well have been unconscious after he was stabbed the first time, so he might not have felt any further pain and anguish.

The jury went into deliberation today about 3:30 PM Eastern.

Jan Barrett

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