Jodi Arias Asks Jury to Impose Life Sentence

Jodi Arias has changed her mind. She wants to live. Today, she spoke to the jury and told them why, and what she can contribute from prison. More here and here.

The judge denied a motion for mistrial after a defense witness who would have provided mitigation testimony about Arias' abusive childhood said she had received threats and decided not to testify. The judge also denied a motion for defense counsel to withdraw from the case. Arias was the only defense witness in the penalty phase. [More...]

Instead, the Judge read an instruction to the jury:

Instead, [Judge}Stephens simply told jurors the woman was supposed to testify about Arias' "abusive environment she grew up in and abuse as an adult," but was now unavailable to appear in court.

That hardly seems like an adequate or appropriate instruction. Wasn't the witness under subpoena? Couldn't the judge have required her to testify and closed the courtroom so only the jury heard her testimony? If she wasn't under subpoena, was that error on the part of the defense? Who just counts on witnesses to show up, especially in a death case? (Since I haven't been following the case, I don't have the answers.)

Some news reports say Arias did not show remorse. Other reports say she did:

To this day I can hardly believe I was capable of such violence. But I know that I was, and for that I'll be sorry for the rest of my life, probably longer. "I was horrified by what I'd done and I'm horrified still."

I hope the jury returns a life verdict.

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    I watched the mitigation phase today (none / 0) (#1)
    by bmaz on Tue May 21, 2013 at 11:52:10 PM EST
    Have to say, it was shockingly poorly thought out and presented. There are some VERY weird dynamics going on behind the scene between client and counsel it appears to me. Either that or her counsels, Nurmi and Wilmott are not just pretending to be ineffective. I don't know, but it was literally painful to watch.

    As to the mitigation witness, the rumor is she was threatened with prosecution herself by Prosecutor Martinez. I know this, whatever was up with her, it was goofy enough that the court appointed her a separate panel defender to represent her interests.

    It is just a total freak show. So much so that as unsympathetic as Arias has made herself, I still feel sorry for the jaded trial process afforded her.

    This case could have been (defense sought it) and should have been (prosecution refused any plea discussion) pled out to 2nd degree with a stipulated full term sentence. The result of not having done so has been one of the most expensive endeavors ever in Maricopa County trial history and the appeals will multiply that geometrically. Good ratings for idiots like Nancy Grace and CNN, but a waste for the taxpayers and justice.

    Interview given AFTER (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:32:53 AM EST
    Her allocution in the penalty phase.

    She says it's her attorneys' fault (trying to set up an ineffective claim), and also the jury's fault.  But of course, none of this is her fault.  

    It's ok.  She's going to start a prison recycling program and cut her hair for Locks of Love.