The latest development in the shocking Jodi Arias murder trial only ups the drama in a spectacle that has engrossed audiences with lurid elements of violence and sex. The murder case will now moving on to the final phase as the jury that listened to the case found Arias eligible for the death penalty.
The trial has become a televised parade for news media, with CNN's HLN having constant coverage, going as far to have a daily show covering the event called HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial. But as the case enters the final stage of the drama, the jury must decide whether Arias should receive the death penalty.
The trial has captivated the attention of the news media with graphic evidence that has been presented and argued during the case. Arais, 32, shot Travis Alexander directly in the forehead, stabbed him 27 times, and slit his throat after a day of sex at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on June 4th, 2008. Arais claimed during the trial she acted in self-defense against Alexander when he attacked her in rage. When asked about the stabbing she says she does not remember stabbing him.
The trial has become a cable news sensation as the ease of setting up a camera in the courtroom to get top-rated footage has enabled the production of a cottage industry of shows dedicate to discussing the trial. Often, testimony turned to lurid descriptions of sex and violence that served as a sort of lure for audiences who watched in either fascination or horror at the sensation playing out on their television set or computer screen via an unedited livestream.
Much of the drama centered on Arias’s own testimony were she described an abusive childhood, a difficult life, an alarming sexual relationship with Alexander in graphic terms, and her accusation that he had become increasingly physically violent towards her. Various experts testified in her defense arguing that she suffered from various psychological aliments such as post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia that explained gaps in her testimony.
Juan Martinez, the prosecutor, vigorously cross-examined the defenses witnesses, arguing that they were biased towards Arias personally and not fully reliable. He argued that the murder was premeditated, with Arias dying her hair, renting a car, and turning off her cell phone when she showed up at Alexander’s home.
The trail ended with the jury finding Arias guilty of first-degree murder. The next phase of the trail began as the jury had to determine if her crime met the standard of cruelty for her to receive the death penalty. The prosecution and the defense argued their respective sides, with the prosecution going into graphic detail about how Alexander suffered in his last moments, "The last thing he saw before he lapsed into unconsciousness ... was that blade coming to his throat. And the last thing he felt before he left this earth was pain."
Kirk Nurmi, the defense attorney, argued that the adrenaline flowing through Alexander’s body would have prevented him from feeling the pain from the stabbings and that he was beyond the point of suffering.
The case now goes to deliberation on whether the jury will recommend the death penalty. This case that has fascinated thousands, will finally be closed.