The verdict is out and Jodi Arias will not die by lethal injection, nor by any other means, after slaughtering her ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. Even though 11 of the 12 jurors felt that death would be the right punishment for her, there was one lone juror who refused to commit to having Jodi put to death.
As someone who does jury selection and trial consulting for a living, you can never ultimately predict what will happen in a real trial. Even if you ask jurors who are serving on a death penalty case if they could in fact choose death as one of their choices and they answer “yes”, when push comes to shove and they have to make the decision as to whether someone lives or dies, many cannot choose death after all..
When the judge told the jury that they had to decide on an outcome after four days of deliberation, I knew that Jodi would most likely not be put to death. Now she has to await the judges decision, which will occur in April, as to whether she will spend life behind bars without parole or life with parole after two and a half decades when she will be in her mid fifties as you can see by this art rendering of her aging.
Whether or not she gets life or life without parole, there will be times at the harsh Perryville Prison where Jodi will be baking in the scorching Arizona sun, in an open air cage, that she may very well have wished she received the death penalty when the other prisoners make her life a living hell.
The bottom line is that Jodi will be living under harsh conditions where she may spend most of her time in isolation in order to protect her from other prisoners because she is such a high profile case. This could be the worst torture of all for Jodi Arias who thrives on attention and manipulation of others. If there is no one to manipulate or to give Jodi, her attention fix, life for her may not be worth living.
In any event, one does not have to be killed to receive just punishment as Jodi will soon discover in her new home.
One of the most anguishing sites at the trial was seeing Travis’ sister, who loved her brother so much, break down and cry in such pain. She was inconsolable, while Jodi was at the other end of the courtroom showing no compassion and no emotion as you can see below. Perhaps she was in shock. Perhaps she had expected to receive the death penalty.
One of the things that jurors said after the trial was that throughout the trial, Jodi showed no remorse for what she did to Travis. This was not surprising to me. The bottom line is that Jodi actually believed that she was was a woman scorned. In her warped thinking, she no doubt felt that Travis got what he deserved. That is why she showed no remorse and no genuine emotion. She did not feel sorry for what she did to him. She felt that he abused her and used her and he had what was coming to him.
While almost all of the jurors felt the opposite, there was one juror who obviously thought along the lines as Jodi. She too, felt that Travis abused her and used her.
While so many people remarked that Travis was a wonderful guy, truth be told, he was full of contradictions. He wanted to follow his faith and not engage in sex before marriage, yet he continued to engag in sex with Jodi. He told Jodi she was not the woman for him and wanted to find a pure Mormon wife, yet he continued to engage in sex with Jodi. He told Jodi to leave him alone and not stalk him, but yet continued to allow her into his life and into his bed. He allowed her to clean his home. He allowed her into his life, instead of calling the police and getting a restraining order against her and being vigilant about her ever being in his presence.
When Travis first met Jodi he was taken with her. he thought she was beautiful, glamorous and super sweet. But her sickeningly sweet tones belied her. They reflected a great deal of psychopathology. As Travis got to know Jodi, he realized there was something very wrong with this woman. Yet, he continued to take her to bed and have sex with her. He continued to travel with her.
He eerily voiced his concern about Jodi being a serial killer to many of his friends. Even his friends picked up on the fact that there was something off about Jodi as they asked in disbelief, if she was always that “sweet”. It was that sickening sweetness that didn’t ring true to either Travis or his friends.
But being the nice guy that he was and wanting adventure as well as ” having his cake and eating it too”, he ignored his instincts. He ignored what he saw and what he heard out of Jodi’s mouth. He ignored her tones and her actions.He ignored his own gut level reactions that he shared with friends, and unfortunately, he ignored the action he need to take. That action was to stay completely away from Jodi and never allow her back into his life under any circumstances. He needed to cut off the phone calls and the visits for good.
His lack of listening to and trusting his initial instincts about Jodi and acting upon them, tragically cost him his life. I am in no way blaming the victim – blaming Travis. Instead, I am pointing out how his death can serve as an example to all of us and to our children. If we see and hear and feel something is not right about another person, we must cut it off asap and never look back.
When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, when you feel queasy or nauseated around the person, when you have a tinge of fear around them- run as fast as your feet will carry you and never look back.
And remember to never trust anyone with a high pitched baby girl sickeningly sweet breathy, monotone, voice quality devoid of demotion. This voice often reflects a passive aggressive personality. Their voice indicates that they are hiding something and not revealing their true selves.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. There is alway a “cause” and and an “effect”. The “cause” of Travis engaging in sex with Jodi and then taking a shower to get ready to take another woman out of town created the “effect” of having a very disturbed woman brutally murder him. The cause of his not listening to and trusting and acting on his negative instincts about Jodi, created the tragic effect of him leaving the earth way too soon.
Travis did not die in vain. His death teaches us that we all to pay close attention to that gut level feeling that tells us something is wrong with being around a specific person. If you are around someone where you even joke about them being a serial killer, get away from them as soon as possible. Your instincts are screaming that something is wrong. Had Travis listened to his gut and trusted his instincts and never allowed Jodi into his life again, he would probably be alive today. May he rest in peace and may Jodi be held accountable and deal with the effects that her actions caused for the rest of her natural life.