Questions for readers about Jodi Arias penalty phase

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good afternoon:

The jury in the Jodi Arias case unanimously agreed yesterday that the prosecution proved the aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e., excessive cruelty).

Meanwhile, defense counsel apparently moved to withdraw from the case after they found out that their client had decided to volunteer for the death penalty.

The judge denied their motion.

The case resumed today with the penalty phase.

Defense counsel are in a difficult situation.

Do they ask the jury to grant her request and sentence her to death, or do they ask the jury to disregard her request and sentence her to life without parole?

What would you do, if you were in their situation?

Now, I will up the ante and ask a tougher question. Let us suppose that they have powerful mitigation evidence to present that would likely persuade jurors to reject the death penalty and sentence her to life without parole. If you were representing her, would you present that evidence despite her objections?

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86 Responses to Questions for readers about Jodi Arias penalty phase

  1. Trained Observer says:

    According to Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe, Arias is presently in a cell with no TV (or access to TV elsewhere) in which to monitor her narcissistic self. That’s a step in the right direction. She needs to be cut off from society. For her, that’s likely the worst punishment jurors can render.

    • Trained Observer says:

      Even if TA had treated Arias shabbily or even abused her in the past, he was done with her and had walked away. That should have been end of story. Instead, Arias chased after him across state lines (attempting to cover up her trek), went after him with a knife and gun, and her multi-faceted murderous actions resulted in his death.

      While the Arias case differs greatly from Fogen’s, the basics are the same: An aggressor stalks, confronts, attacks, and kills. The odor of premeditation hangs over both killers. They both need to pay … LWOP.

      • Xena says:

        @Trained Observer.

        While the Arias case differs greatly from Fogen’s, the basics are the same: An aggressor stalks, confronts, attacks, and kills.

        Yes. Jodi and GZ cannot deal with rejection.

  2. colin black says:

    put the poor wee shivering chiwawa in a kennel for the rest of her natural.
    And if she wants to end her qwn life then she can go for it.

    Suiside is easy not the desission but the way to acomplish it.

    No pills no razors no high ciffs or bridges required no need to traumatise others by throwing yourself in front of a bus or train.
    And theres no pain involved an all one requires is a thinn strim of cloth or rope three feet long.
    No hanging involved an one can do it at night whilst sleeping an no one would no.

    Obviously I wil not reveal the actual method an how simply its acomplished on a open forum.

    But jodis a smart girl with an iq higher than e
    Einstein iM SURE SHE CAN FIGURE IT OUT IF SHE GENUINELY wants to slip of this mortal coil.

  3. aussie says:

    Death = freedom?? she’s just saying “I want all this to go away”.

    If she’s hoping to avoid decades of being a prisoner, she can think again — only she’d spend them on death row instead of in general population. So even granting her “wish” is not going to get her what she wants — to be out of it unpunished.

    She did the crime. Her preferred consequence was to get away with it. She wasn’t there. Oh she was there but some intruders did it. Oh she did it but she had no choice. Oh, drat, the jury found it was murder after all? then she wants out anyway.

    What if she states her wish is to be held (for life) under “house” arrest in a 5-star island resort in Fiji?

    Too late, Jodi.

    Tried, convicted, it’s up to the State to decide her fate. Losing the right to make your own decisions about your own life is the penalty for having made criminally bad decisions.

    Death penalty is a chance for 20 years of melodrama and publicity with appeals. 20 years of still maintaining she’s actually the victim. Life imprisonment is throw away the key and Jodi is forgotten. Of course she’d prefer the former.

    As for her lawyers? They didn’t try to defend her because that’s what she wished. They tried to defend her because that’s their job. Could they have gotten away with not calling witnesses who could exonerate her? say, if it was her wish that X not be called because it might embarrass her? Keeping her off death row is their job, too.

    • SearchingMind says:

      Jodi had no criminal record. She has been a good citizen before the murder of Travis. Her crime resulted from an abusive relationship. She felt used, abused, humiliated, dumped and shamed. Travis invited her to his home. After their affectionate encounter every moment of which they documented on camera, Travis told her: ‘well Jodi, it’s over. I never want to see you again, sl*t. Take your shoes and get the hell out of my house!’ (assume that’s what happened). Jodi snapped. She was overwhelmed by a powerful psychological force generated by a commutation of years of abuse and humiliation at the hands of Travis and committed a crime of passion. It might be easy to say, ‘well Jodi, you should have leaked your wounds and moved on’. But general human experience tell us that some people are incapable of doing that. Such individuals are essentially trapped in a psychological quagmire inside their head from which they can’t extricate themselves without professional help. More often than not someone gets hurt – either way. Jodi was not in full control of herself when she committed the crime and deserves neither the death sentence nor life imprisonment. She should and must be able to return to society one day. There is no public interest in Jodi’s death or life imprisonment. The absence of public interest makes either her death sentence or life imprisonment just sadistic – IMO.

      • Malisha says:

        I think her lawyers misfunctioned up until NOW. They were pretty bad, in my humble opinion. I’d have gone a lot more toward the “Not Criminally Responsible” by reason of her brittle emotional state and her personal mental state long long ago. She has just SHOWN her unstable emotional state NOW by saying she wants to be killed. The whole trial was way out of wack, and naturally the sentencing will be worse.

      • thejbmission says:

        SearchingMind,
        Perfectly stated! Bravo!

      • aussie says:

        Dead men tell no tales. Can’t defend themselves, either. Just how much of that “abuse” really happened? I don’t believe it for a minute. Then she got a gun weeks before going there, going there covering her tracks, which helped her deny she was there at all.

        It was no sudden crime of passion. He told her it’s all over months before and she stewed over it for months and let it fester. It wasn’t the self defence of an abuse victim. It was the rage of someone who wasn’t getting her own way.

        I don’t believe the death sentence is ever appropriate. Nor life imprisonment. All sentences in the US seem to me to be excessive, often for quite minor offences. Prison should not be revenge. It should be rehabilitation, and that pre-supposes a life after prison.

        But that’s not the issue here. Not the choice available.

  4. SearchingMind says:

    @ Fauxy, Cielo, BettyKath, Dave, Tee, Groans, TO, all

    I have read all the comments above and everyone seems to be saying that he/she (a) would have acted as the Jodi’s attorneys did, (b) would have presented Jodi’s wishes to the jury and at the same time argue mitigating circumstances, (c) keep Jodi off death row and get her life imprisonment against her wishes.

    I disagree on several fundamental grounds:

    1. An attorneys may not serve two masters at the same time. Jodi’s attorneys have only one goal: respect and represent lawful/legitimate wishes of their client, not their own interest, their own world view and/or moral systems and values. An attorney may not say to the jury: ‘well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client wants “A”, but I want “B” for her/him. If there arise a fundamental issue of trust and confidence between the attorney and the client, the attorney must withdraw from the case. Difference of opinion between Jodi and her lawyers does not rise to that level and I am not surprised that the court rejected their ill-advised endeavor to withdraw from the case.

    2. I believe that Life Imprisonment is a cruel and unusual punishment, and unconstitutional. Now, wait a minute, I will explain as follows:

    The goals criminal justice (from the point of view of criminally) pursue with imprisonment as a form of punishment are:

    a. Public protection. The offender is removed from the public for a duration of time thus removing the danger of hurt to the public;

    b. Revenge, restoration and special prevention: the offender is made to pay for his/her crimes by inflicting paint on him/her (by way of imprisonment, etc.) (retaliation/revenge). By making the offender suffer pain, the society takes back/restores that which the offender wrongfully took from the society (restoration). During the course of the penitentiary, the offender is automatically made to understand that his acts are wrongful/criminal and is not tolerated. Punishing (i.e. taking revenge on) him conveys this massage (special prevention) and is deterred from committing future crimes;

    c. General prevention: by punishing the offender the members of the general public understands that criminal acts will tried and punished, thus deterring them from committing criminal acts themselves;

    d. Rehabilitation: there must be light at the end of the penitentiary -tunnel . Punishment must be must be limited in time in order for the offender to get back to society and be a good, productive citizen (the offender is thus rehabilitated after paying his/her dues).

    Life Imprisonment does not accomplish these goals but rather destroys the offender from within and without, both mentally and physically, slowly, very slowly. And like cancer Life Imprisonment offers the offender no horizon, no perspectives whatsoever for a better future. The (maybe unintended) goal of Life Imprisonment is continuous, everlasting infliction of serious mental and emotion pain. Therein lies the sadistic nature of this punishment. In that sadism lies the unconstitutionality of that punishment. On Professor Leatherman’s blog I would say, for the first time, that “life imprisonment” is a cruel and unusual punishment. I oppose it. If you do not intend to kill someone, give that person a reason to live in bondage.

    For what it’s worth, I do NOT oppose the death penalty in principle (and in specific cases, of wich Jodi’s case is NOT one of them) – as long as they do not kill the wrong individuals, minors and the mentally ill.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      i respect your differing opinion and understand your point of not being able to serve two masters.

      if it was lost in my post somehow, the one thing that we do agree on is whether arias’ request for the death penalty is one that is made from a sane and informed position. that is what is most critical to me and you made an issue of it yourself.

      where we would differ is that i am not an attorney and i vehemently oppose the death penalty. i fully agree with the fact that life in a small cell for 23 hours out of a day is cruel and unusual punishment (but i see the death penalty as the same). i could never in good conscience argue for the death penalty under any circumstances, but do respect your position.

      • SearchingMind says:

        Fauxy, good reasonable people can disagree on the morality of death penalty. It is a topic that to date, criminal law theorists, moral theologians, etc. cannot agree on. It’s also a good discussion to have.

    • groans says:

      @ SearchingMind, re:

      I have read all the comments above and everyone seems to be saying….

      I don’t know why you included me in your salutation and “everyone seems to be saying” summary. I was clearly a minority viewpoint on this topic yesterday!

      See, http://frederickleatherman.com/2013/05/16/questions-for-readers-about-jodi-arias-penalty-phase/#comment-113951

      • SearchingMind says:

        Groans, that was meant as an invitation to the discussion. It was too clumsy of me to have worded my statement rather misleadingly. Excusez moi monsieur.

    • cielo62 says:

      Searching Mind- I also support the DP. I have always said LWOP is cruel. BUT it DOES safeguard society. It does accomplish the goal by removing the offender. Two Sides’ argument is religious on nature that LWOP is ” cleansing”. Some people might use that time for self redemption, but that is not the states goal. Tammy Faye Tucker “found god” in prison but that didn’t change the brutal murder she had committed. She was executed anyway. Anyway. With Arias, either DO or LWOP would be fine; she’ll be away from society.

      Sent from my iPod

    • SearchingMind says:

      Typo:

      my omniscient automatic spellcheck made the following error: (from the point of view of criminally). What was meant was (from the point of view of criminology). How dumb can the all-knowing spellcheck get?

  5. SearchingMind says:

    The Informed Choice of Jodi Must Be Respected

    What is the difference between “to be” and “not to be”? What is the difference between “life imprisonment” and “not to be” and of what worth is the former? For most of us, these question may seem rhetorical. But for Jodi they are real, fateful, fundamental and existential in nature. The essence of human life lies not in eating and excreting, but in an individual’s ability to be the master of him/herself, his/her own will and ultimately his/her own destiny. A life forever devoid of these freedoms is not worth living.

    What is there left to live for – except perpetual humiliation and eternal mental torture in a ‘total institution’, Jodi asks herself daily? For Jodi, the difference between “to be” and “not to be” is death. For Jodi, the difference between “life imprisonment” and “not to be” is equally death. For Jodi, “life imprisonment” is an “unusual and cruel punishment”. That punishment is as cruel and unusual as the ‘death penalty’ itself and the crime Jodi herself committed. And sometimes death is the only honorable way to escape such cruelty.

    “I believe death is the ultimate freedom, and I’d rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it” – says Jodi. Jodi’s well thought-through and informed choice must be respected. The jury has no right to violate her will by making a different choice for her. Jodi is no jury’s property.

    Irresponsible lawyers

    I think Jodi’s lawyers are irresponsible for abandoning a client, albeit unsuccessfully, who has just been convicted of 1st degree murder and facing a death sentence. Such clients are usually emotionally unstable and extremely vulnerable. Regardless of the nature of the crime she may have committed, Jodi’s best friends at that menacing point of her life are her lawyers – who inadvertently have come to know and understand her the way her own parents don’t and won’t. At the very least, the least Jodi’s lawyers could have done is to say to her: “hang on Jodi, all is never lost. We discussed and expected this verdict, didn’t we? And we also agreed that we will fight on after that. Now, be strong and we will continue fighting for you, OK?.” Such words would have averted the fatalistic choice made by Jodi. I think these lawyers should have had the professional élan to rise above themselves and whatever their personal feelings might be concerning “Jodi the bad client” and concentrated on doing their job – as if Jodi were a perfect client. It is often said that your worst enemy is your own client. Seems these lawyers forgot that.

    What would I have done

    I would (a) ask for continuance based on the fact that my client is no longer mentally able to assist her counsels (the court will reject it and I will continue filing and refilling, appealing, asking for injunctions and Writs of prohibition, do whatever I can to gain as much time as possible) and (b) have professional discuss the matter with Jodi. Should Jodi’s choice for death remain unchanged after consultation with professionals and my urgent advice to the contrary, I will support her and be present during the execution. Respecting the informed will of the Individual (in this case) is paramount .

  6. thejbmission says:

    Very good question professor,
    After purposely avoiding this case basically because I found JA’s testimony boring and offensive, I now find myself interested.
    I’m interested because I’m appalled by the mass majority of people who believe Jodi Arias is some kind of killing machine who deserves to die.
    Jodi Arias tortured Travis for a day. There are men who have tortured their wife/lover thru-out their entire relationship who claimed “crime of passion” and are given leniency — 45 years to life. But BECAUSE she’s a woman, an attractive woman, it seems the American justice system wants her dead. There’s something wrong with this picture.
    So in my opinion, since the prosecution has asked for the death penalty and apparently the judge agreed, why not give Jodi Arias what she wants.
    I feel sorry for her attorney because it is his job to save his client’s life but its still America, and it’s her right to die if she wants.

    And lets thank the media, JA is now a household name and already selling T-shirts at $15 a pop. Honestly, I don’t think this woman will suffer on death row. If the jury really wants her to suffer, they’ll give her LWOP.

    Dat’s what me thinks…

    • Jun says:

      It’s really tough to ask for mercy for her

      What she did was really cruel and unusual to Travis

      I can see that people would be angry with her and want justice for Travis but it’s possible

      LWOP can be done

    • cielo62 says:

      the jbmission~ Sorry, I have to disagree with you on this one. Women get the death penalty far LESS than men. “Crimes of Passion” have not really benefitted men nor women. USUALLY women get more lenient sentences ESPECIALLY if she is young, pretty and white. BUT since this has been a sensational crime, where a woman actually did some very unladylike things like slashing a throat, shooting and gun and planning a murder, she COULD indeed get the DP. If she had poisoned Travis after stating abuse, she might actually have gotten away with Manslaughter.

    • Malisha says:

      Your comparison is valid, I believe.

      But men who kill women who have humiliated them (in their own minds at least) get a lot of sympathy because culturally, we see females humiliating males as much MUCH more torturous and horrifying than the reverse, kind of a “man bites dog” situation.

      Also, female rage is much more terrifying in our cultural subconscious than male rage. EVERYBODY can absorb a beating from daddy but a beating from mommy, even if it is more probable (by size of sample alone), seems worse.

  7. colin black says:

    by ecossiepossie Yesterday at 9:51 pm
    .

    SOB

    Not sod..

    The monster that was fond off sodomy sobbed as she realised

    All is but nought for me Ive nothing no fame only infammy.

    Theres no one here who truely cares for me theres only me an I an we shall see.

    No one has ever seen the likes of me and its Travis whom shall be missed not me.

    If I could go back in time then youd all see the world would not get the best of me.

    A palmprint with blood none would see and Id take that fucking camra away with me.

    And I would not be sat here today you see this wretched rejected shrew you see .

    Its all finaly real for me you see this is it Travis bested me an his Family will be well rid of me..

  8. Tee says:

    If you work for her it’s your duty to follow her wishes. I would make her wishes known to the jury, but also do my job and try to offer up the strongest mitigating factors I could. Sometimes in life when we make decisions we have to live with them. I don’t believe she should be given death, but I do believe that natural life suites her crime just fine. Jodi took a life and she should pay for her crime by being locked away for the rest of her life, that’s perfect for someone like her, who never even said that she was sorry!

  9. Judy75201 says:

    Do they ask the jury to grant her request? No. They state that their client has expressed that desire (providing she still does), and therefore the strong mitigating factors that would argue for LWOP will not be presented.

  10. cielo62 says:

    If the lawyers are anything like MOM, they will let her call the shots. If the lawyers are anywhere to being professional and ethical, they would fight to get her LWOP. Either one would safeguard society.

    • Malisha says:

      I hope somehow somewhere the “jury questions to defendant” is appealed, though, because it will be important to address the unconstitutionality of that conduct before the tiny remaining propriety of our criminal justice system goes out the damned window and we’re just a big gang of computer-game “warriors” running amok through an uncontrolled and naturally hostile environment, forming and reforming units of hatred, punishment and death.

      I mean: One of those “jury questions” was whether Jodi Arias enjoyed sex with Travis Alexander!

      Meanwhile, Melissa Alexander (an unrelated person) sits in prison (in a different state) for 20 years for REALLY trying to defend herself without hurting anyone although her abuser (who was her accuser) admitted beating “all five of [his] baby-mamas.”

      The system is out of control. And it is abuser-friendly. And it BEGS for correction. And one of the only ways it is possible to correct it is with high profile cases that DO go up on appeal. (Even though the appellate courts are not that much better, all told, than the trial courts, although that is difficult to believe.)

      • Trained Observer says:

        Malisha — I don’t know about criminal cases in Florida, but in Sunshine State civil cases, jurors often are allowed to ask questions of anyone testifying. They’re read by the judge, who reserves the right to edit or toss off-the-wall questions.

      • Rachael says:

        I’d never heard of it before.

      • Jun says:

        there’s definite errors with the imperfect system

        for example, the men who beat Emmett Till to death, admitted and confessed to it after trial

        They should have been retried under a different degree of murder, as that is not double jeopardy I think or have the feds do it so it is not double jeopardy

        France, who has a similar justice system, let Issei Sagawa go, after the guy murdered, raped, and ate the corpse of a dutch female student

        I could name more but the system sometimes does not keep us safe

  11. Trained Observer says:

    “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
    — Mark Twain

    No matter what she deserves or what she wants, I would work diligently to keep Arias off death row.

    As for possessing powerful mitigation evidence, I’d go forward to present it to the court no matter what Arias claims she wants.

    Jurors shouldnt be asked to make such a life or death decision when compelling evidence is withheld — that goes no matter who wants to sit on it.

    • groans says:

      “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
      — Mark Twain

      @TO – When you’re a fiduciary to someone [the beneficiary], does “doing right” mean doing what you think should be done, or doing what you know the beneficiary thinks should be done?

      • Malisha says:

        Groans, even though you didn’t ask me, here’s my take on that: should a lawyer represent the client to the best of his ability to protect the client’s legal rights or should the lawyer represent the client to the best of his ability to advocate the client’s POSITION? This question will not arise except, of course, in one bizarre circumstance, the one we have here: your client is asking for you to represent what she SAYS are her wishes and you may believe they are not in her best interests. What if you represented Fogen and he insisted on taking the stand and testifying? YOU WOULD HAVE TO SAY YES OR QUIT THE CASE. But if he insists and you are not relieved of the representation and he takes the stand and commits legal hari-kari [sp?], were you to blame? NO. Can there be a remedy? Perhaps — there are appeals, and habeas corpus, and ultimately he may file for a new trial claiming ineffective assistance of counsel (completing the irony) of whatnot. But if the situation is a death penalty and you CANNOT quit? If your client wants you to NOT fight for her life and then she changes her mind she cannot undo the damage.

        I’d say FIGHT FOR HER LIFE and if you win and she doesn’t like it, let her file a habeas corpus under the Sixth Amendment claiming that because of ineffective assistance of counsel she was unconstitutionally forced to live, in spite of her First Amendment right to demand the death penalty and her Sixth Amendment right to have her counsel back her decision. That should help this country come to its senses about the death penalty perhaps. It is possible that very controlling people would rather force “the people” of the “state” to kill them (thus committing “suicide by due process”) than give up control and live at the mercy of people they cannot control.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Interesting question, groans. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think Arias is a nut case? IMO, “doing right” in this instance is following the law and preventing the beneficiary from doing harm to his/herself or others in the face of an irreversible penalty — death.

        Now, if you’re talking about disposition of her estate, including whatever she’s raking in peddling those t-shirt for $15 a pop , ($5 more in Canada), the goal would be to follow her written, notarized directives, assuming nobody would die from those directives … ie lacing the Alexander families morning coffee before court with hemlock potions. Doing right most often employs common sense.

      • Cercando Luce says:

        Thank you for the reference to fiduciary duty, groans. That means looking beyond the beneficiary’s own wish-of-the-moment. In this case, Jodi might call shots, but if she gets the call wrong her lawyer steps in to assert the rights that protect our entire society.

  12. fauxmccoy says:

    wow – tough call. when jodi gave her misguided interview after being convicted when she claimed she preferred the death penalty, i strongly considered she was manipulating the system and attempting in her half assed way to apply ‘reverse psychology’.

    if i were her attorney, i would do precisely what her attorneys did, try to get off the case because i could not support my client’s decision. since that is not an option, i would argue any mitigating circumstances that i could and make it clear that if the client testified to wanting the death penalty that she is not in a psychologically sound position to do so. if it were possible to delay sentencing for a psych eval, i would do that too.

    bottom line for me is that i simply cannot support the death penalty even in the most heinous of cases. i fail to see what it accomplishes other than pure vengeance. justice is served by removing such a client from society by way of LWOP.

    i read some of the statements from the victim’s family and while i am not unmoved by their grief and suffering, i wonder what they hope to gain by arias’ death. i am thinking specifically of the brother who says he is haunted by nightmares, is on anti-depressants and his marriage has broken up. none of those things will be remedied by arias’ death nor will it bring back his brother. again, i long for the day when the US joins the civilized world and ceases state sanctioned executions.

  13. Jun says:

    I would argue it anyways. What she did was cruel but I dont know if I can sentence someone to death.

  14. racerrodig says:

    I would think her lawyers can argue for life without even mentioning her “wish” The jury may know what she’s said, but if her lawyers put her statements on the back burner and argue what ever they need, even if she gets up and say’s “….where’s the needle…” the jury will put it together and know she’s either playing head games or is mentally unfit.

    I agree with Dave…….evaluate her thoroughly.

  15. Dave says:

    I would move that sentencing be delayed until after the defendant had undergone a thorough psychiatric evaluation on the grounds that requesting death in lieu of life imprisonment is strong evidence that she is mentally incapacitated

    • looolooo says:

      Is it know if Jodi’s parents EVER attempted to seek help for her? Or have they taken the Zimmerthug approach to parenting……….

    • Malisha says:

      I am 100% with you on that opinion, Dave. I would think Jodi Arias needed a complete psycho-social, forensic psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological assessment before the sentencing hearing itself, by the way. I would not have gone into that hearing without insisting upon it and if it were denied I would have appealed.

  16. groans says:

    Without looking for, or at, any established attorney ethical standards, my purely personal gut reaction is:

    Honor the client’s wishes, unless the client is incompetent or the wishes are illegal.

    Preference for one legal penalty over another legal penalty falls within a client’s prerogative and self-determination rights. The mechanisms and strategy for achieving a legal goal of the client is where an attorney’s knowledge and skills are properly applied.

    Of course, if the lawyers want to get out of the case, they could go against the client’s wishes in the hopes of getting fired by the client. But that would be unethical, IMO – putting their own personal preference ahead of their client’s, who they undertook to represent.

    Attorneys represent the client. That doesn’t mean they get to dictate the client’s goals (assuming the goals are not illegal) or substitute and impose their own.

    (I feel similarly about a patient’s right to decline doctors’ medical interventions when faced with a terminal condition.)

    • Two sides to a story says:

      A serious medical condition is a whole new animal. However, I’ve heard some convincing arguments against it from Tibetan Buddhist lamas who state that terminally ill patients are working off karma effectively through a long-term illness and that assisted suicide subverts that process and is not to their advantage. Suffering is purifying, in other words. One could apply the same principal with long-term prison inmates.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        *principle*

      • groans says:

        @ TwoSides, I didn’t say anything about assisted suicide.

      • cielo62 says:

        Two Sides~ Yours is a purely religious argument. To people who do NOT subscribe to those beliefs, suffering is just that~ suffering. I would rather assist someone end suffering than assume that the suffering is “purifying” or even “punishing” (ALA christian beliefs). I fully support assisted suicide. It is a dignified way for a human being to make a purposeful act in the face of something that s/he has no control.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Groans, true. You talked about declining treatment. I just went off on a tangent. But declining treatment is sort of half dozen of one and six of the other. It might be slow suicide. It might actually lengthen your life, considering the pharma treatments now. That’s another story.

      • groans says:

        TwoSides, I believe you’ve got suicide on the brain! 😉

        Actually, declining life-prolonging treatment of an inevitably terminal condition is not at all similar to suicide or assisted suicide. It’s letting nature take its course, albeit often with the help of pain control and other palliative care (IF the patient wants it). Think “hospice.”

        Having said that, I gotta tell you: When my brother passed a year ago, there was a point when hospice declared that he was in “the active dying phase” (they actually have some definition of that … who knew?). And from that point forward, it felt almost like euthanasia. They seemed to get extra generous with the morphine, and my brother was gone in about six hours.

        • Groans…I sympathise with your brother….My wife was DXed with terminal cancer in ’94..a 15% chance of making 5 years……Treatment prospects not good….She chose not to follow thru with any treatment that would have extended her life only shortly….

          Jan 2000 she passed..@44..I know what you mean about the
          moriphine….they had her on a pump….at the end they were giving her moriphine supositories…….Good woman…..Brave one too.

          • cielo62 says:

            MMP~ same with my dad a year and half ago. At least he was lucid when I showed up, a few days before he passed away.

            hey, sending out a hug, dude. Must still hurt to think about losing a part of your soul to cancer.

            ________________________________

          • fauxmccoy says:

            ahhhh cielo 😦 that was exactly what i was doing 2 years ago. although the disease that took him (liver cancer) was brutal it was also brief. from diagnosis to dust in 6 weeks. i remember feeling relief when he crawled into bed for what we all knew was the last time, no longer able to speak or drink. at least at that point, my bro and i could ask for more meds, which even at 80 and at death’s door, my dad was fearful of taking too much opiates. he lingered on for 10 more days, just by sheer willpower as i held his hand the entire time. i have no doubt that he chose his time to slip out of the room to coincide with the one time i asked my husband to take my place so i could take a nap in my own bed.

            bless your heart – and you too pat. i know how rough it is to be young, fighting cancer and seeing your loved ones looking on helplessly. it sucks all the way around.

  17. two sides to a story says:

    Some reasons we find Fogen and Arias disturbing and confusing, if they’re indeed sociopathic
    http://www.biographile.com/little-did-we-know-5-myths-about-sociopathy-debunked/17391/?ref=insyn_corp_bio-crown

  18. Xena says:

    Steven Alexander, Travis’ older brother, is now addressing the jury. He only just began and is choked up already.

  19. Stormwatch says:

    She can say she wants to die now, but by the time the death penalty would be carried out, she may have a change of heart. In the event that her lawyer adhered to her objections and did not present the mitigating factors, could she use that further down the line as a basis for appealing her death penalty?

  20. bettykath says:

    I would probably try to do both. My client has indicated that she prefers the death penalty. You need to know that. However, as her counsel, I believe I also have an obligation to cite the mitigating factors that support a penalty of life without possibility of parole. I don’t envy you your job but it must be done with all available and pertinent information.

  21. Xena says:

    Jodi is going to address the jury. She tweeted something earlier about forgiveness. Sounds like she changed her mind about being sentenced to death.

  22. KA says:

    Yes, I would try to save her life. I think they have a moral obligation to. Jodi is not coming out and saying “I did it and I deserve death like I caused” from a guilt perspective anyway.

    She is basically saying that “death would be preferable to life in prison”. She basically wants to kill herself via the death penalty to make her life somehow “easier than prison”.

    I am not sure how it is any different than allowing someone to kill themselves to spare a “tough life”. I think you said it right “suicide by death penalty”.

    We would deem someone in society mentally ill who said that and put them on lock down, not give them the gun to make their life “easier”. Jodi just learned she was guilty of Murder 1. I would not think anyone competent to make any major, life altering decision in that state.

    • two sides to a story says:

      Good point, KA. I agree with your assessment. The defense team has a moral obligation to save her life. The system should have an obligation to not kill people, and therefore to not promote suicide through death penalty either. I didn’t really follow through well on my own beliefs.

      • abbyj says:

        twosides, Very well expressed. Her defense team’s responsibility is to save her life, despite her wishes to the contrary. Her punishment should not depend upon her wish to off herself at this moment post-trial–a point that KA also makes. If her attorneys cannot summon themselves to work on her behalf,then they need to quit. Agreed, too that the system should not be a willing and eager participant in an offender’s attempt at suicide.

  23. two sides to a story says:

    Alpha? That’s quite a dilemma. I can’t honestly say what I’d do with that one. I’ve always been against the death penalty. I can see why her defense team tried to withdraw. I suppose the first step would be to have a long conversation with Arias and present the dilemma and see if she still wanted to die.

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