Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Jodi Arias Trial: Day 14

Trial resumes at 10:30 Mountain Standard Time.

Presumably Jodi Arias will be the sole witness for today. Yours truly will be gone and will have to catch the replay.

Yesterday, her attorney, Kirk Nurmi, walked Arias through her background, including her relationship with her parents and early relationships with men.

It's a risky deal to put her on the stand, but the defense has no choice in the matter. While it would appear prosecuting attorney Juan Martinez has an easy job of taking her story or stories apart, it is equally risky for him not to be too aggressive.

Martinez, as good a lawyer as he is, has a tendency for arrogance that is simply not attractive. It could backfire on him.

It has always been my contention this case is a classic crime of passion, actually second-degree murder despite Arias having a gun. I believe that if Travis had changed his mind about taking her on the Cancun trip and decided he would call the trip off with Mimi Hall (who didn't want to go in the first place), Travis Alexander would be alive today and the HLN talking heads would have to find somebody else to bitch about. However, he didn't do that, and he signed his death warrant. Jodi thought that spending the night and day with Travis and engaging in some kinky sex shit would help him change his mind, but Travis wasn't going to budge. Jodi got sick and tired of being nothing but a booty call to him, and that, as they say, was that. She was going to see to it Travis would not only never go to Cancun with another woman (as innocent as that trip was), but nobody else was ever going to have a shot or a stab at a relationship with Travis (no pun intended).

The two had little in common to begin with, and they had different priorities. For Jodi, Travis seemed like the perfect soul mate. He seemed to have to have everything she was looking for in a life companion. But Travis operated on a completely different outlook when it came to women. While many Mormons are among the most moral, upstanding people you will ever meet, the LDS church has extremely backward attitudes about women and their roles. Women have no value other than being wives and mothers. They have no chance of reaching the highest level in heaven or whatever it is in their religion unless they are married and have kids. Because they have no value other than to be somebody's wife, virginity is given a high priority. Now it's supposed to be that virginity is prized in both sexes, but it's clear there is a double standard at work. Men would predictably be given more leeway than women. Of course many men now and in the past especially operated on a double standard and saw women as belonging in one of two categories--virgins and whores--so it is no surprise the double standard would be common among Mormon men. Jodi, because she had lots of relationships with men before she met Travis, was never regarded as serious wife material by Travis from the time he found out she wasn't a virgin. It didn't matter that she changed her hair color to not look so ethnic or that she converted to Mormonism or that she was willing to have sex with Travis in order to keep him. She wasn't good enough for him and was never going to be good enough for him. When it finally dawned on her that she was doing all of the giving and he was doing all of the taking, she snapped and performed what strikes many as a ritualistic killing on him with lots of Mormon symbolism.

Arias's big mistake in all this, besides getting involved with and killing Travis Alexander, was EVER talking to the police and not exercising her Miranda rights. The police are not there to be your friends but to help find a suspect and get a conviction. Sometimes they use underhanded tactics, including lying, to get a confession, even with innocent people. That's why those accused or suspected of crimes MUST have access to an attorney. Jodi, either through stupidity or shock or ignorance, didn't exercise her constitutional rights and may wind up paying for it with her life. She kept telling conflicting stories, apparently oblivious these inconsistencies and lies would be used against her in court. Because she didn't get an attorney and keep her mouth shut, she may wind up on death row.

That's the main lesson to be learned in this tragic case other than not killing somebody simply because he makes you mad. ALWAYS have a lawyer present before dealing with the police. Don't talk to the media and keep your mouth shut at all times.

Trial can be viewed at the Arizona Republic website, among live streams or can be viewed here on the blog:

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