The death penalty is not something that should ever be thrown around lightly in conversation. “Oh yeah”, she should get death” or “she killed Travis Alexander and deserves to die for it”. Not so fast. After listening to the countless hours of testimony, arguments, the families impact statements, Jodi’s statements and the full spectrum of these past four and a half months, I may have changed my mind.
I was one of those people that threw around those phrases during the trial. I thought if a person could take another life they should automatically be sentenced to die. Yes, it was particularly cruel, inordinately brutal. Yes, Jodi Arias is a liar. She is all those things and then some. But there are things about her that actually make me pity her. Make me wonder if she is truly worthy of being put to death.
Right now the jury is deliberating about whether or not she should be executed. I can’t imagine being one of those jurors; one of the people that has this woman’s life in their hands.
Jodi’s 19 minute plea for mercy today was not nearly what a person who is facing death row would sound like if there was true remorse. I do understand that. Here is what she said:
Prior to murdering Travis she did in fact have no criminal record or any history of violence. What caused this woman to snap? What really made her plan and carry out such a vicious crime? She had seemingly normal relationships with men in the past; no one has come forward to dispute this. So what was it about her relationship with Travis that resulted in such a violent crime?
These questions are what cause me to pause. Yes, there are people that have testified that they warned Travis something was off about her. Yes, as soon as Travis was found dead, she was the first person people suspected. Yet, it wasn’t based on any past criminal behavior; nothing anyone knew about her.
Feelings are quite different than facts. Having a sense about someone is not the same as knowing without a shadow of a doubt that something is absolutely true.
For those who may have seen the film “The Life of David Gale”, the death penalty is in fact something that can be handed down wrongfully. The movie examines the possibility of innocence at it’s most critical time.
We know that Jodi killed Travis. That is undisputable. Yet, no matter how much we all believe or want to believe that he was not abusive to her, we will never really know. We know the crime was heinous. But SOMETHING caused her to be that brutal. Something pushed her to do what she did. And without really ever knowing, is it okay to sentence her to death?
If that is what occurs, she will be placed in a 12 x 7 foot cell. She will be served all her meals in her cell. She will never be allowed to join in the general prison population. She will be allowed out of her cell a few hours per week. Only 2 books every 2 weeks. Yes, yes yes. Travis is dead. His family is devastated. But is an eye for an eye really what is necessary here?
I am as torn as I’ve ever been. I listened to this trial from day one and where I once thought “fry the bitch”, now I just don’t think I can say that. I pity her. I pity the woman that once seemed to have a happy life; many smiling pictures of Jodi. We’ll never know what happened to her. But right now at this very moment 12 people are deciding her fate.
What do you think will happen? Do you think she should get life or death?
We’ll find out soon enough from the jury. I’ll be watching.
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