I have followed the Jodi Arias trial for the past couple weeks. For those of you who do not know, Jodi Arias is the accused murderer of Travis Alexander. Travis was shot in the head and stabbed twenty-nine times. He was also almost completely decapitated.
Most of the time a criminal defendant does not take the stand. In murder trials it almost never happens. I believe that is what has so many people captivated. Watching someone like Jodi testify and be cross-examined is extremely rare.
Let me remind you of my position on murder: “You’ve heard that shalt not commit murder, and you know what the penalty is for murder, but I tell you that you are not to pursue.” Travis’ friends and family may not execute Jodi until it is proven she murdered him.
The mere fact that Jodi’s attorneys have put her on the stand is a rare strategic decision. It indicates to me that they otherwise expect the evidence to convict her. Her testimony and cross-examination lengthens and complicates the trial. Prosecutors have experience layering in court but not questioning defendants. This decision provides Jodi more opportunities for a mistrial or appealable points if she is convicted.
Travis was killed in Mesa, Arizona in June of 2008. I lived in Mesa, Arizona from October 2007 until January 2008. For those of you unfamiliar with Mesa, Mesa is the third-largest city in Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson, the 38th-largest city in the US. The city is home to 439,041 as of 2010, reported by the Census Bureau, making its population larger than more recognizable cities such as Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Tulsa, Wichita, and Cleveland. Although I was restricted to the halfway house during the evening I was working as a delivery driver for Pep Boys and drove around the city, and neighboring cities, during the day. I have no recollection of this couple but I have the unnerving feeling I must have crossed paths with them at some point.
There are so many things about this case; from the people’s names, what they look like, and all the sordid details (proven and alleged) that make me uncomfortable. I’m also reminded how the most extremely bad things in this world command our attention and the good things are ignored.