I know y’all want to talk about Jodi’s hearing today so here is a spot for that. From what I am hearing there will not be a live feed from the courtroom today. Jodi’s attorneys want to challenge the inclusion of the inclusion of the jury instructions of finding the murder “especially cruel,” the component of the murder that made her eligible for the death penalty in Arizona. The defense says that the jury is not qualified to determine what makes one murder “especially cruel” and another not especially cruel.
This is a ridiculous waste of time because the Supreme Court ruled on this exact subject in 2002. In a 7-2 decision in the case of Ring v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a defendant has the right to have a jury, rather than a judge, decide on the existence of an aggravating factor that makes the defendant eligible for the death penalty. In its decision, the Court held that a death sentence where the necessary aggravating factors are determined by a judge violates a defendant’s constitutional right to a trial by jury.
After that motion by the defense is denied, the next order of business should be setting a date to begin the new penalty phase. Juan wants to start it on July 30th but the defense says they need until January to prepare. The defense claims they want to call character witnesses for Jodi. Why didn’t they do that the first time if they had them? I expect the judge to set the case at the beginning of September at the latest and to tell the defense to get their act together.
I haven’t heard much about this lately, but it would not surprise me if Nurmi and Womack have not already wiggled out of the case for them to ask to be relieved from the case AGAIN. And it might just be granted.