The penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial was declared a mistrial because the jury couldn't come to a unanimous decision on whether she should receive life in prison or the death penalty. If I were Jodi right about now I'd be thanking my lucky stars that whomever on the jury didn't want to give me the needle stood their ground! When the judge read the non-verdict, reportedly three women cried and one of them mouthed, "I'm sorry" to the family of Travis Alexander. I guess we know what team she was on. The jury foreman has also spoken out for the first time about what happened behind chamber doors -- and it's not what you'd expect.
Jury foreman William Zervakos said the jury deliberations were "gut-wrenching." He said that he believes Jodi's 18 days on the stand hurt her because there were so many conflicting stories and she was "not a good witness." Let's face it, Jodi is not a sympathetic character. There's a reason that the brilliant Jose Baez kept Casey Anthony off the stand -- he knew her unlikability would probably seal her fate. Even the judge said Casey was acquitted because everyone liked Jose, not Casey.
No one liked Jodi. So to keep pushing her in the jurors' faces day after day after day ... insanity! And yet there were enough people on the jury who didn't want to put her to death that she is saved -- for now. Reportedly, there was more than one or two hold-outs for life.
But the foreman, at least, believed some of Jodi's story. He said he did think that she was mentally and verbally abused by Travis. He told Good Morning America: "I am sure in my own mind that she was mentally and verbally abused. Is that an excuse? Of course not. Does it factor in the decision that we make? It has to."
Notice he didn't say that he thought Jodi was physically abused by Travis. Is verbal abuse akin to abuse? Sure. No one would say that verbal abuse isn't harmful. But does it rise to the level of justifying murder? Only if that verbal abuse is threatening, I imagine. I think everyone knows Travis didn't treat Jodi well. He was not a good relationship partner. However, Jodi was not under any obligation to keep up a relationship with him. She CHOSE to keep seeing him even though he was so embarrassed by her he wouldn't even tell his friends about her. She CHOSE to keep being treated like crap. I don't think there was any reason she couldn't have just simply ended the relationship, unlike a lot of women who are in truly horrible abusive situations.
The new penalty phase is scheduled to begin in July.
Do you think mental and verbal abuse is really abuse?
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