The trial of State of Arizona vs. Jodi Arias is being tried in the Mauricio County Superior Court (“Criminal Court Case Information – Case History”, 2014); the following paper outlines the process that follows in the criminal investigation up to the final stage. Eave listened to nearly 12 hours of testimony from the key players that I have listed, from the courthouse in Mauricio County. When this particular case first was reported I remember finding it very interesting and was following the progress for some time.
I recently became aware that this trial is still in the final sentencing after numerous jury dismissals, mistrials, hung jury, allegations Of perjury, prosecution wrongdoing, and defense cover-ups. Background On June 4 2008, Travis Alexander a 30-year-old businessman who lived in Mesa, Arizona was murdered in his home, found almost a week later on June , 2008, on the floor Of his stand up shower (“Jodi Arias Murder Case: Timeline Of Events”, 2014) .
Almost immediately, a person of interest was identified, by the Mesa Police Department when she called the detective that was assigned the case (“Jodi Arias Trial: Day 2: 1 of 2: Evidence Reviewed (no Sidebars)”, 2013). Jodi Arias, 28 year old, photographer, and former girlfriend of Travis Alexander, called Estates Floors twice, first leaving a message and second leaving a message with a receptionist who notified Floors of the call. Jodi Arias was originally indicted on first-degree murder by the grand jury on
July 9, 2008, and arrested on July 15, and plead not guilty on September 1 1, 2008. Initially Jodi told police that she was not in Mesa, AZ on the day of the murder, and later said that two intruders had broken in to the home of Alexander, attacking her and murdering Alexander, finally two years after Jodi Arias arrest she pleaded guilty of self-defense, claiming she was a victim of domestic violence (M itchier, 2013). After 4 and h years with the murder, trial starting January 2 201 3 continues, and the media coverage has not lessened.
The Mauricio County Superior Court with Judge Sherry Stephens presiding ever the very gruesome case, perpetrated by one very calculating defendant who has admitted killing Travis Alexander after he became enraged that she dropped his newly purchased digital camera and in self-defense, stabbed him over 29 times, and shot him, and slit his neck, now goes into the sentencing phase after numerous juror dismissals, and accusations of prosecutor mishandling, and defense cover ups. This trial and the defense of Jodi Arias has a total price tag of over 2. Million that rests on the taxpayers of Arizona (Kraft, 2015). Lifetime aired “Jodi Arias “Dirty Little Secrets”, “Exposed” Secret Life Of Jodi Arias, authored by Jane-Valve Mitchell, made its debut in hard back, paper back and audio download on August 20, 2013 thru Amazon (Mitchell, 2013). Discovery and Investigation A burglary that was reported at the residence of Jodi Arias’ grandparents, where she was residing revealed that among items stolen and never recovered was a . 25-caliber gun.
Jodi Arias rented a car 100 miles from her grandparents residence on June 2 and drove the car from Redding California over 2,800 miles telling the rental company she would be using the rental locally. When Jodi Arias returned the mental car on June 7, it was missing floor mats, and had stains on the front and back seats upholstery (Kefir, 2014). Travis Alexander voice mail had been accessed on June 5, which supported her account that she had called and left several vocalism messages (Mitchell, 2013).
On June 4 2008, Alexander missed a conference call and a group of friends went to Alexander home. Roommates Unripe Cortez and Zachary Billings communicated that Alexander was Out of town, but found a master bedroom key and entered the room only to find the mutilated body of Travis in the shower, Amanda McBride girlfriend of Zachary Billings made the 911 call to authorities, which set the case into motion (Mitchell, 2013).
Stalking and slashed tires, along with Backbone stalking was one of the accusations that was conveyed to investigators against Jodi Arias according to the victim she was an ex-girlfriend (Mitchell, 2013). A spent . 25-caliber round was discovered near the body of Travis Alexander, later determined by the Medical Examiner Kevin Horn, came from the weapon that caused the probable fatal injury to Alexander head (“Jodi Arias Trial : Day 2: 1 Of 2 : Evidence Reviewed (no Sidebars)”, 2013).
On June 5, Jodi visited Ryan Burns in Utah, and spent some hours hugging ND kissing. Arias had some obvious cuts on her hands that Jodi had explained away with an incident at a restaurant that she claimed she was working (Mitchell, 2013). In April 2008, Alexander asked to substitute Jodi Arias with Marie Mimi Hall to travel with him to Cancan, Mexico on June 1 0, 2008, for a business trip While the investigators searched the home of Alexander, a digital camera was found in the washing machine (“Jodi Arias Trial: Day 2: 1 of 2: Evidence Reviewed (no Sidebars)”, 2013).
Although the camera was damaged the forensic team was able to recover images that apparently had been deleted wowing Alexander and Arias taken on June 4th at 1 pm up to 5:30 pm that indicate the victim was alive up to 5:29 pm and revealing that the victim was no longer living after 5:30 pr -? with a graphic image of Travis bleeding profusely on the floor of the bathroom, although the body looked as if it had been rinsed off (Mitchell, 2013).
Sheets and blankets had been stripped from the bed; the hallway had blood smears and one bloody palm print on the hallway wall. All roommates and friends were all ruled out as suspects. Latent print experts were able to retrieve a bloody handprint from the hallway of the bathroom that contained he DNA of both Arias and Alexander (Mitchell, 2013). The grand jury indicted Jodi Arias on July 9; Jodi was arrested on July 15 and extradited to Arizona on September 5 for first-degree murder of Travis Alexander.
On September 1 1, Jodi Arias pleaded not guilty (Mitchell, 2013). Key Players Jodi Arias (Defendant) Travis Alexander (Victim) Estates Floors (Investigating Detective – Mesa, AZ Police Department) Judge Sherry Stephens -? (Presiding Judge) Bill Montgomery (Mauricio County Attorney) Juan Martinez (Prosecution Attorney) Kirk Inurn (Defense Attorney) Jennifer Willow (Defense Attorney) Kevin Horn (Medical Examiner)
Daryl Brewer (former BE of Arias) Daniel Freeman (Friend of Alexander) Leslie Alkyd (Friend of Arias) Gus Search (Arias mentor) Beth Hawkins (Arias Babysitter) Richard Samuels (Psychologist on behalf of Arias) Alice Levitate (Psychotherapist on behalf of Arias) Amelia Invoice (Juror 5 dismissed – prejudicial comments) Jansen Demarcate (clinical psychologist -? rebuttal Of defense) Dry. Robert Gaffer (psychologist defense witness) Amanda Webb, (Walter employee – prosecution witness) (Jodi Arias Murder -renal: Key Players”, 2013). Retrial IQ testing was ordered May 2009, to show that Jodi Arias was competent to stand trial. A motion was denied to disqualify Mauricio County Attorneys Office April 2010 (“Murder of Travis Alexander”, 2014). On June 2010 over 8,000 emails from Alexander were turned over to Kirk Inurn and Jean infer Willow by Estates Floors (“Murder of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedures was amended to change the last day the State could seek the death penalty in capital cases from 18 months to 24 months after arraignment, in December 201 0(Mitchell, 2013).
Kirk Inurn and Jennifer Willow initially stated to Juan Martinez that there were no text messages sent or received by Alexander, and were ordered to urn over several hundred, after their initial statement in January 2011 detailed in a defense filing(“Murder Of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Jury Selection Commencement of the trial at the Mauricio County Superior Court with Judge Sherry K. Stephens presiding started on December 10, 2012.
Jury selection started on December 20, with arguments against Juan Martinez that he was displaying bias toward jurors that were African-American women. Judge Stephens ruled there was no bias exhibited by the prosecuting attorney (“Murder of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Guilt Phase In Arizona on day 1 6 the members of the jury were allowed to ask questions Arizona is one of a few states that allow the jury to ask questions thru the judge to the witness (Mitchell, 2013).
Judge Stephens was monotone and neutral in her responses. Juan Martinez sought the death penalty (Mitchell, 2013). Arias’ three separate accounts of what occurred on the day that Alexander was murdered were as follows: first she stated that she had not seen Travis Alexander since April 2008, second intruders that she referred to as ninjas because they Wore ski masks, third and final account Was she killed Alexander in self-defense after he became enraged following her dropping his camera.
This was completely damaging to Arias credibility to both the jurors and the prosecuting attorney, which completed the guilt phase of the trial Richard Samuels testified on behalf of the defense for 6 days starting March 14, that Arias was most probably suffering from PETS (“Murder of Travis Alice Levitate testified on behalf of the defense beginning on March 26, stating that Arias was a victim of domestic abuse.
The jury posed approximately 1 60 credibility questions for Levitate (“Murder of Travis Jansen Demarcate testified on behalf of the prosecution countering that Arias id not suffer from PETS or amnesia, but displayed signs of immaturity, unstable sense of identity and borderline personality disorder (Kefir, 2014). Amanda Webb, was called to testify on April 24th, for the prosecution, regarding the testimony from Arias that she had returned a gas can on June 3rd the same day she had purchased it at Walter, there was no record of any return by Arias on that day or the following week (“Murder of Travis The last defense witness called Dry.
Robert Gaffer testified that the testimony and diagnosis of Jansen Demarcate was inaccurate, stating that the sets given to Arias since her arrest pointed to an anxiety disorder from trauma. Dry. Jill Hayes, argued that the statement from Dry. Robert Gaffer regarding the IMP test was not capable of detecting borderline personality disorder (“Murder of Travis Alexander”, 2014).
The guilt phase of the trial included the 18 days of Arias testimony, which did not help her case in the retaining of the jury, subsequent juror dismissals for misconduct, health reasons, and felonies’ charges that had not been disclosed, led to defense seeking a mistrial which was denied by Judge Sherry Stephens (“Murder Of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Closing arguments by defense Kirk Inurn and Jennifer Willow on May 4, stated premeditation did not make sense, against Juan Martinez claiming manslaughter (“Murder Of Travis Alexander”, 2014).
The 12 jurors went into deliberation on May 8 2013 and 15 hours later, five jurors found Arias guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, and seven jurors found her guilty of both felony murder and first-degree premeditated murder (“Murder of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Aggravation Phase Starting on May 1 5 2013 required Juan Martinez to convince the jury that Arias was indeed eligible for the death penalty due to the cruel, heinous, and r depraved act that had been committed. Kevin Horn was the only witness to testify in the Aggravation Phase.
Kirk Inurn and Jennifer Willow argued repeatedly that Alexander may not have felt much pain due to the extreme adrenaline which was not convincing to the jury, or Juan Martinez with only a matter of less than 3 hours of deliberation the jury returned their verdict for the death penalty (“Murder Of Travis Alexander”, 2014). Penalty Phase Juan Martinez called upon Alexander family on May 16 2013 to submit victim impact statements in an attempt to persuade the jury that the crime Arias committed warranted the death sentence (“Murder of Travis Jodi Arias pleaded to the jury on May 21 2013, for life vs. death penalty.
Judge Sherry Stephens was forced to pronounce a mistrial for the sentencing phase. On May 23rd 2013, 8 jurors voted for death penalty while 4 jurors vote for life sentence resulting in a hung, jury (Roberts, 2015). Sentencing Retrial Bill Montgomery (Mauricio County Attorney) discussed the next steps on May 30 2013 in a news conference regarding the seating of an impartial jury’ and the possibility of the victim’s family agreeing to a life sentence with no areole (“Murder Of Travis Alexander”, 2014). October 6, 2013 alai,n. Errs began the prospective jurors for the penalty phase retrial. Appeals Numerous attempts to appeal due to actions during all phases of the trial were brought up to show that the witnesses either perjured themselves therefore throwing out the right to fair and just trial for Jodi Arias. Mistrials were filed in January, April and May of 201 3 (Lour, 2013). Appellate Division of Supreme Court Supreme Court-? The Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from everybody’s favorite victim, Jodi Arias, on why she should be allowed to weave her tale Of woe in riveter(Roberts, 2015).
Jurisdictional rules and interpretation issues PHOENIX (AP) ; The judge in the Jodi Arias murder trial declared a mistrial in the penalty phase Thursday after the jury reported for a second time that it was deadlocked on whether to sentence her to life in prison or death for killing her boyfriend in 2008(“Arizona: Jurors Deadlock On Jodi Arias penalty”, 2013). Under Arizona law, a hung jury in the death penalty phase of a trial requires a new jury to be seated to decide the punishment.
Fifth second jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, the judge would then sentence Arias to spend re entire life in prison or be eligible for release after 25 years. The judge cannot sentence Arias to death (“Arizona: Jurors Deadlock On Jodi Arias Penalty”, 2013). However, if the prosecutor decides not to pursue the death penalty a second timer the judge would then sentence Arias to one of the life in prison options, and the trial would come to a conclusion(“Arizona: Jurors Deadlock On Jodi Arias penalty”, 2013). KEEP-TV Channel 12 v.
Stephens, NO. 1 CA-AS 14-0213 (Razz. CT. APP. DCE. 16, 2014), the Arizona Court of Appeals addressed a challenge to the closing of the penalty phase Of a murder trial to the press and the public. On January 26, 201 5, the court vacated the closure order. Citing that “Clear and Present Danger” must exist to exclude the press and public (“Arizona: Jurors Deadlock On Jodi Arias Penalty”, 2013). Evolving technologies effects “This is one of the largest media cases wave had at Superior Court,” said Media Relations Director Karen Array. We have three rows of local and national reporters tweeting and taking notes with laptops, phones and tablets. Also, the media room in the back of the courtroom is filled to capacity. ” lionesses TV, the designated pool camera, is broadcasting the trial vie gavel-to-gavel, and local media outlets are streaming the trial on their news websites. CBS 48 Hours aired their show last week. Court Systems (“State V Jodi Arias: Media Coverage”, 2015).
State-Level Superior Courts Trial Courts of limited jurisdiction, is the first level within the State Court System, which includes Magistrates Court Municipal Court – The types of cases heard in Municipal court commonly are divided in to 4 categories Motor vehicle and traffic laws Disorderly and disorderly persons offenses Fish and Game laws, Parks and Forests, Weights and Measures, SPEC, and Boating Regulations Violations of municipal ordinances (local laws) (“Guide To Municipal Court”, n. D. ). Police Court Justice Court District Court- SIS district courts are trial courts of the federal court system.
Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters (“District Courts”, n. D. ). Limited Jurisdiction Court Juvenile Court City Court Small Claims Court Federal District Courts – District Court – Federal trial courts are termed district courts. Trial courts hear cases first. Evidence presented by both sides including witnesses, will be decided on either by judge or jury.
Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction are the second level within the Court System and the following courts are included: Circuit Court a mutable court where sessions are held in different locations for AAA specified period of time – whereas the presiding judge “rides the circuit, from city to city and the court moves with the judge. Formerly, the Federal District Courts of Appeal were called the Circuitous o f Appeal (“Circuit Court”, 2015). Superior Court – (the Judicial Branch Of Arizona Mauricio County”, 2014).
Court Of General Sessions -? entrusted with a wide-ranging jurisdiction and is ordinarily the publics beginning to the judicial process. Each of the eleven divisions of the Metropolitan General Sessions Courts maintains an elected judge. Criminal and civil matters are ruled on by one of the eleven judges that rotates every week, between civil and criminal schedules. The General Sessions Courts are served by two different Clerks (“General Sessions – Civil Division”, 2015). Court of Common Pleas – This type of court is a trial court, that was created so that citizens loud go to court or file a claim against someone without involving the King.
There are Court of Common Pleas in South Carolina, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio (“Court Of Common Pleas”, 2015). Supreme Court (New York) -? New York state’s court of last resort. The court traces its origins to the year 1691 and is one of the oldest continuously-serving courts of general jurisdiction in the United States (“Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County’, 2014). Appellate Court is the third level in the Court System and includes the following courts: Superior Court – (“The Judicial Branch Of Arizona Mauricio County”, 2014).
Court of Appeals – Each of the 12 regional circuits within the 94 judicial districts has a court of appeals. The court of appeals will hear appeals within the district, and appeals of Federal agencies, special cases for the Federal Circuit involving patent, International Trade and Court of Federal Claims (“Court Of Appeals”, n. D. ). Intermediate Appellate Courts and Supreme Courts- Federal appellate courts are called courts of appeals. Cases can be further appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. If either party disagrees with the decision in the trial court, they can appeal, asking a Geiger court to review the decision. “The Difference Between Trial Courts And Appellate Courts”, 2015). U. S. Supreme Court Referred to as the Courts of Last Resort – the fourth level in the court system contains the following courts: Court of Appeals – As a district court within the circuit rulings in this court will affect all people within the district circuit. No new evidence is presented, the judge(s) simply review the materials from the original trial and determine whether the lower court made the correct legal decision (“The Difference Between Trial Courts And Appellate Courts”, 2015).
Supreme Judicial Court – University of Phoenix, 2009). Conclusion The structure of the Criminal Justice including the Judicial Court system historically has been a work in progress, citizens were bound to the rules and laws regulating the British Colonies, reform only started after the American Revolution. The compilation of police, citizens, courts, prison officials, and federal and state officials is the method that has been adopted by the united States, which has protected citizens rights at the same time and gave a new sense of independence from Britain.
Reducing the death penalty to three crimes that consisted of murder, reason and some forms of arson New York was the first state to stop public executions (“The Early Years Of American Law – Colonial Freedom, Britain’S Push For Greater Control”, 2015). In 2004, the New York Court of Appeals held that a portion of the state’s death penalty law was unconstitutional. In 2007, they ruled that their prior holding applied to the last remaining person on the state’s death row. The legislature has voted down attempts to restore the statute (“Death Penalty Information Center”, 2015).