It’s time for closing arguments! The end is near. But first, Judge Stephens will read the juror instruction to the jury. We know this part. She mention what the defense will present as mitigating factors, no criminal history, remorse, her age, PTSD, and Borderline Personality Disorder. She explains that this is the mitigation phase of the trial and they are to determine if the defense has proved those mitigators. Really? I thought they were trying to prove that a young single male had porn on his computer. huh.
Nurmi walks toward the jury and looks at them briefly. Then he says “Good Morning.” I don’t care how much Nurmi hates Jodi, he has got to be loving this. After all this is what he went to school for, a closing argument in a death penalty case.
Nurmi says that Jodi and Travis’s love story is a sad one. He puts up a photo of happier times. He says that Alexander was killed by the woman he loved. Will you kill her? (dramatic pause) “You will write a chapter of this story with your verdict. How does one make such a serious decision? A decision that you will likely carry with you past this courtroom? You write the ending to this. Don’t make it where both these people in the picture die. In some ways the choice before you is simple. Life or death”
Kirk throws up the mitigating factors. He begins with Jodi’s lack of criminal history. Other than her pot history she has no criminal history.
Next up is age. The poor dear was only 27 when she did the deed. Nurmi quotes DeMarte (not his only psychologists, just as he did last time) saying that the odds were stacked against Jodi since the day she was born because of her Borderline Personality Disorder (again he goes with DeMarte’s diagnosis after trashing it in surrebuttal ). Nurmi discusses her abusive childhood, she was raised in an invalidating environment, she was in abusive relationships. The abuse triggered her BPD. Due to her environment she was emotionally immature. Nurmi raises his voice to say, “The mother who was supposed to protect her abused her!” Sandy is in the courtroom and has shown no emotion. Travis’s brother Stephen left early on when Nurmi mentioned something about Stephen’s suffering being real. When Jodi was a teenager she was smoking pot and contemplating suicide. Nurmi continues to mention Demarte’s name and what Demarte said about his client. For example people with BPD mold themselves into what others want. He puts up a photo of her family when she was a child. He says they were supposed to car about her but they beat her. He says that when a girl leaves home at 17 before finishing high school, that means the home was very abusive. He keeps saying a girl whose life is in your hands.
Nurmi goes through all of Jodi’s relationships that were testified to ending with Darryl Brewer. He says there was no abuse in that relationship because she molded herself to be what he wanted due to her BPD. She dyed her hair blond and got breast implants to be more like Daryl’s ex. Nurmi continues to repeat that this is the girl whose life is in your hands during happier times. This Jodi Arias is not the one sitting at that table.
Then he talks about Travis Alexander. “What did the mentally ill Jodi Arias see in Travis?,” asks Nurmi. “Someone who could do no wrong.” Nurmi shows the baptism picture. Then says Jodi molded herself in Travis’ dirty little secret.
The next mitigator is unusual and substantial duress. He talks about all the horrible things Travis called Jodi, whore, three-hole-wonder, etc and the courtroom lights flicker ominously. He tells the jury that Travis would say nice things and horrible things that would cause her emotional distress. He would tell her he wants to make a sex tape with her, while telling everyone else she is a stalker. Nurmi asks the million dollar question, “What does porn on the computer have to do with anything?” It was another dirty little secret, an analogy to Jodi, something he tried to hide and erase with antivirus programs the way he tries to erase Jodi by lying about her to everyone.
After lunch Nurmi no longer likes DeMarte’s testimony. He says that she is wrong about Jodi not having PTSD (another mitigator).
I suppose we have moved on to remorse now. Nurmi reads some of Jodi’s super secret testimony! I can’t believe they could let that in without allowing the state the opportunity to cross examine. Because, Arizona. It basically says she was appalled by what she had done and how bloody it was. At this point all of Travis’ family and their friends walked out of the courtroom.
“Should you kill this mentally ill girl who found herself in an abusive relationship? If you did you would be killing this girl!” Photos of young Jodi are up. “If you mark death on your jury form, you’re killing this girl. “You’re killing that girl who converted to Mormonism!” You’re choosing to kill Jodi! I urge you not to do it!”
And he’s done. I think he did a good job. Laid down a lot of guilt. Gave people an out, reasons to blame for not killing her. I could be convinced.
But Juan is next.
The Alexanders are back and the Judge seems displeased with their walk out stunt. She seems to say something to Juan. Juan looks a bit thrown off. The jury comes in and is sent right back out. Jodi goes out with the bailiff. The tweeters all have that something weird is going on attitude. It seems something my happen regarding the walkout though I am not sure what the judge can do legally in the other 49 states. It looks like the issue was Jodi needed a bathroom break and the jury had to be out so as not to see her walking in her leg irons or body armor or whatever they have her in. We’re good to go again. Except the jury sitter comes back without his wards. Now what? Also some tweeters are saying Jodi looks like she had been crying. Judge calls for a five minute recess, and then another. Yep, Jodi is crying and gulping water. Speculation is that she is having second thought about her allocution. Well I can’t see that happening NOW. We are in closing arguments. Did she prepare an allocution?
And just like none of that happened, Juan begins his closing. No explanation about any of that. Juan begins by reciting the speech William Safire prepared for Richard Nixon regarding the Apollo 11 mission in the event it ended badly.
” Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.”
Juan says, “That is so compelling isn’t it? Heart wrenching! And so…not true. Just like the story the defendant told you about Travis Alexander on his knees masturbating to a photo of a little boy is not true.” Juan says that Jodi never even came up with that story until years after Travis was dead. Jodi had everything to gain by telling these lies. Juan has placed the most gruesome photo of Travis up on the screen. He says, “This individual was bad because he watched pornography?” Juan puts up another gruesome photo of Travis’ face and says, ” Look him in the face and tell him it bad to look at porn. The story they give you is that he deserved this because he looked at porn. She’s the one that used the knife, she’s the one that used the gun!This is not a case about love. This is a case about murder. And the person who committed that murder is here in the courtroom today.”
“The defense showed you some pictures they don’t want you to forget. Don’t forget these.” Juan shows autopsy photos. Jodi looks down, so does the Alexander family.
“This is a case about murder, not about masturbation. She knew right from wrong. She premeditated the murder!”
Martinez reminds the jurors that another jury found Jodi Arias guilty and found the especially cruel aggravator. He reminds the jury that they must accept the verdict as such with the aggravator. He starts to talk about all the suffering that Travis went through. Juan says that Jodi knew this was going to be cruel. She planned it that way. “This man that she loves…” OBJECTION! Sidebar.
The especially cruel aggravator has already been established says Juan again and they are duty bound to accept that Travis suffered physical and mental anguish before his death. Juan shows all the photos and point out all the stab wounds and all the suffering. Jodi may have been young, but she knew she was going to make him suffer. She meant to cause him pain. Then Juan talks about Jodi’s pitiful suicide attempt. She nicked herself and decided that hurt so she stopped. She stabbed Travis 27 times. She knew that was going to cause a lot of suffering.
Juan says they do not have to believe expert witnesses when they go to deliberate. What they say may not be true, ” I don’t believe a hired gun, you can tell yourself.”
With regard to remorse Juan says, ” This person over there that is so remorseful made up a story about Travis masturbating to a child’s picture! She made up a story about him borrowing money from her! She made up a story about him breaking her finger! And yet none of this is in her private diary. Instead on the day of the alleged abuse that there was nothing noteworthy to report. Martinez says, “That’s because it didn’t happen!” The man she loved so much she took a knife and cut apart! Of course she had secondary gain to make up the stories after the fact! In her journal when she tells Travis she is moving back to Yreka she says he gave her three tender kisses but when telling the story from jail she says he slapped and hit her.
Martinez goes in on Geffner. He called DeMarte “asinine” that must be one of those psychological terms it takes 30 years to know. He says he always testified saying “we” as if he never did anything on his own. He didn’t even read Jodi’s own testimony in 2013 where she claimed that Travis held her down and she thought about clawing his face off but she didn’t want to hurt him despite her claims that he was trying to kill her. Jodi is a liar. It has been proven many times and she is the only source of most of the allegations she made against Travis.
There was a brief break and Juan is back talking about the Abe letter that was never really sent to Abe only to Travis. I thought it was just that I am tired but the tweeters seem to be on the same page that this Juan closing is nothing spectacular and his all over the place technique is not useful during a closing. Juan goes through a ton of Jodi’s lies one by one. nothing new. Nothing worth typing out. He puts up the picture Nurmi used of young innocent Jodi and says this is the person that told those lies and did those things.
He says the defense is lying to you. He uses the “stop emailing my 9 year old!” email story as an example. Then he railed on Geffner some more, for quite a while.
Next he talked about the phone calls, texts and emails that Jodi sent to Travis after she murdered him. Jodi was not abused. They were in a consensual relationship. One juror writes pretty much all the time during everything (except Geffner) and was writing a lot while everyone else listened. Four jurors picked up they pads and took notes during this part. The PTSD was diagnosed based on domestic violence that did not exist.
Juan says age is not a mitigating factor. Jodi was mature for her age. Lived on her own since 17, self sufficient.
Borderline Personality Disorder is not a mitigating factor, she knew right from wrong. BPD is not a pass to commit murder. Nurmi objects on the grounds that Martinez is mischaracterizing migitators as excuses. Nurmi is right but Stephens overrules. Nurmi makes the same object three times. Three times he is (unfairly in my opinion) overruled.
After a long sidebar, Martinez comes back and says, as I said, BPD is not a mitigating factor in this case, PTSD is not a mitigating factor in this case. They have nothing to do with the murder.
Juan says Jodi was a spoiled child not an abused child. She left home because she was grounded. Not because she was abused.
Juan has the happy, young Jodi photo next to the worst slit throat picture of Travis. He says he will let the jury decided of she was abused. He talks about the victim statements. One of the sisters, one that isn’t there regularly ran from the room and is sobbing outside the courtroom.
He says if you agree there is no mitigation you should return the verdict of death. (Do they have to find NO mitigators or just not enough?) And he is done.
Tomorrow, the defense will give one last argument and then the Judge will identify the alternates and charge the jury. Then we are on VERDICT WATCH! How would you find? What do you think the jury will do?