For the second time in the case of Jodi Arias, convicted murderer charged with killing Travis Alexander, jurors were unsuccessful in reaching a unanimous vote, announcing on Thursday that Arias had been spared the death penalty. In the deadlock that had judges considering getting the lone holdout excluded from the panel, there were 11 votes in favor of the death penalty and only one against.
In a case that has already become global sensation, after Arias so vividly described her sexual relationship with the victim and the viciousness of her murder, after she had slit his throat so deeply that the victim had nearly been decapitated, death penalty is no longer on the table. Because of the jury’s decision, the judge will now have to decide on whether the murderer will be sentenced to either life in prison or life with the possibility of release.
When presenting their verdict, jurors described Arias as being a remorseless human being and noted that her defense team had inaccurately described her victim, Travis Alexander. Although they would not elaborate on that, Arias’ defense team had spoken of Alexander as having used the defendant to quench particular sexual urges.
For a period of over five days, the jury deliberated on Arias’ sentence. During the first days, approximately half of the members on the jury had voted in favor of death penalty, but as time went on, more jurors swayed towards the capital punishment. When asked about the outcome of the vote, several interviewed jurors insisted that the holdout was not only biased but was also opposed to giving the death penalty. In fact, efforts had been made so that the holdout, a female juror, would be replaced with one of the alternates. However, this request was denied and the jury was instructed to continue deliberating until a verdict was reached.
During Arias’ first trial, in 2013, a similar deadlock prevented the jury to decide on the death sentence, so retrial was scheduled for October.
This nearly seven-year-long legal battle was heavily criticized, as taxpayers have already shelled out close to $3 million for both of the defendant’s trials. Some insisted that prosecutors had made a mistake in deciding to hold the second sentencing trial especially since Arias’ first trial also ended in a similar deadlock. Apart from rehashing the murder’s vicious and tawdry details, the trial did nothing to bring resolution to the victim’s family.
For the entirety of the proceedings, Arias’ defense team billed the county for roughly $3 million, while more than $133,000 were spent by the prosecution on travel expenses, expert witnesses and additional costs. Yet the figure still lacks the salary of those who prosecuted Arias.
Currently, the convicted murderer will be serving her sentence in a Perryville maximum-security prison for women.