On Tuesday, Jodi Arias took the stand for the last time.
She stood in the Phoenix, Ariz., courtroom that had become her second home for the last several months – the courtroom where her lawyers, and she herself for 18 days, tried to convince a jury that she is a survivor of domestic violence and that she killed Travis Alexander in self defense. The jury didn’t buy it, nor did the general public, and she was found guilty of first degree murder last week.
As a final plea to ask for life in prison, instead of the death penalty (which would still keep her alive for many, many years), Arias took the stand. The 12 jurors, Alexander’s family and much of the country waited as the young woman, who looked as if she couldn’t hurt a spider, stood up to claim remorse and to say the two words we all knew we’d hear.
But she didn’t.
Instead, Arias gave a 19-minute speech sharing a PowerPoint slideshow of her life, gave examples of how sparing her from lethal injection would do the world – and her fellow prisoners – oh, so much good.
Like continuing to donate her hair to Locks of Love, and starting a recycling program with other inmates, selling the T-shirts she “designed” (that only has one word on it) to benefit victims of domestic violence, oh, and she would start a book club behind bars.
This is the only good you could think of to do to change so many lives if spared the death penalty?
She then told the jury how sentencing her to life in prison, versus death, would be a great gift to her family.
“Either way, I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison. It’ll either be shortened or not. If it’s shortened, the people who will hurt the most is my family. I’m asking you please, please don’t do that to them," Arias said.
“I’ve already hurt them so badly along with so many other people. I want everyone’s healing to begin and I want everyone’s pain to stop.”
This is the family who means the world to her; the family she wants to be spared in having to see their Little Jodi put to death. The same family she always thought about – even when she stabbed, shot and slashed the throat of her ex-boyfriend Alexander?
Jodi, Jodi, Jodi … smh … there was one thing you forgot to say.
At some point, you have to put the papers down, Jodi. You have to look at yourself – inside yourself – and not a TV camera after TV camera, like you did following this final statement and whenever opportunity presented itself over the last several years.
Two simple words may have been what keeps you alive. It’s also what will finally take you out of the limelight. It’s what will close the book on your story.
A death sentence would allow you to do what you do best – lie and capture the world with your presence.
Now it all makes sense.