I posted this on another blog about my thoughts regarding Jodi Arias potentially getting a deal and pleading guilty for Life Without Parole. My comment is in response to this blog post:
Movement in the Jodi Arias Case?
A reporter for an Arizona newspaper tweeted some interesting news about the Jodi Arias case.
He noticed that “the Maricopa County Superior docket shows a settlement conference set for Jodi Arias at 10:30 am on October 24, 2013.”
The reporter noted that “settlement conferences are used to reach a plea agreement.” Since there has already been a conviction they may be discussing sentencing options. If so, it’s expected that her lawyers will try to spare her from the death penalty.
Even though the conference is “on the docket,” there is no guarantee that it will take place. Delays are characteristic of this court. If the conference does take place, it’s unlikely that it will be open to the media.
The wait continues.
If you were Travis Alexander’s family, would you forego your desire for the death penalty and settle for life in prison?
Michael Kiefer digs deeper into what the settlement conference means and the potential outcomes for Arias. For those concerned about her potential release in the event of a life with parole deal, he notes that it is no longer an option. “Even the chance of “release” after 25 years has been eliminated for murders committed after 2012.”
Kiefer also makes a good point about the appeal process in the event of the death penalty compared to a life without parole sentence. If Jodi Arias is sentenced to death, an appeal is automatic whereas if she receives life, “her appeals would go instead to the Arizona Court of Appeals [as opposed to federal court], then to the Arizona Supreme Court and then back to Superior Court for what is referred to as “post-conviction relief.”
Debra Milke and Johnathan Doody both had their death-sentence verdicts tossed out of court on federal appeals cases.
In that case, life without parole all but guarantees that Jodi Arias never leaves prison.
The comment I posted is this:
As a family member of a murder victim who’s killers were sentenced to death in the State of AZ, I can speak with some clarity on what the system does to family members. One of my sister’s killers DID get off death row with a “mental retardation” claim. In fact, appeals attorneys argued that for both of her sophisticated premeditated murderers. The worst treatment my family ever received was from death penalty appellate lawyers.
This family however, has been tortured by Arias’ defense team from Day One. They’ve also been maligned and demeaned by the local reporter you mention here: Michael Kiefer who has shown sympathy to Arias time and time again in articles and to my ears personally. He is firmly planted in the Arias defense team camp so take anything he reports as “objective” with that knowledge.
In our cases, there was no LWOP in the state of AZ. It was either Life WITH parole in 25 or death. So the DP was a no brainer as they were both in their 20′s and had a chance of release. The odds of a death row inmate actually being executed are in the single digits in terms of percent. The odds of families being tortured are about 100% throughout the lengthy, decades long appeals process.
Those very people championing for “life” will be the very ones putting completely innocent grieving family members through the ringer. Then blaming them for their suffering (I had Michael Kiefer do that exact thing to my face during the Arias trial in the courtroom). So it’s not an easy road for families.
I’m a proponent of something called “Life Row”. Let the “worst of the worst” of our society not get the “best of the best” legal assistance but get what they deserve: to be forgotten in isolation. Remove the access, the web pages that read like singles ads, the high paid attorneys fighting to put danger back on the street, get rid of it all. Let them rot behind some closed door not profiting even in attention for their crimes.
And let the family members move forward without the constant harassment. WE DID NOTHING WRONG.
With all of that being said, I support the Alexander family 100% in whatever they want for whatever reasons they want it, which by the way, they don’t have to justify to anybody.
If they stand steadfast to the DP for Jodi Arias, I stand in solidarity with them holding their hand every step of the way. It’s their life and they are standing in it and they get to decide.
I’m going to PS my post with this:
While we’re at it, let’s limit, legally the number of appeals they get on this Life Row. In years or actual numbers. You get ____ shot at an appeal then you are done, case closed. Now that would be a breath of fresh air and maybe we’d finally start to see deterrence enter in to the picture.