Lifetime is revisiting of the most notorious criminal cases of the last decade with Jodi Arias: Cellmate Secrets. Only this time, it will be through the eyes of her fellow prison mates. Seven years after being convicted for the 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, Arias is still in prison. And with a lifetime sentence, it's extremely unlikely that she'll ever be released. (Arias eventually admitted to killing Travis, but claimed it was self-defense and that she'd been a victim of domestic abuse).
According to USA Today, Arias was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to "natural life in prison" without the possibility of parole after two juries failed to unanimously decide upon the death penalty. However, some jurors weren't happy about it. According to ABC News, only one juror stood between Arias and the death penalty when the sentencing was handed down in 2015. “Eleven of us strived for justice for Travis, but to no avail,” one of the jurors said in a group audio news conference following the verdict reading, per ABC. “We absolutely thought [the punishment] should be death.”
Another juror added, “I feel that the one holdout had her mind made up from the beginning and ... the biggest thing that angered me was that she alluded that the death penalty would be a form of revenge." According to ABC News, the juror who disagreed with the death penalty began as an alternate juror, coming into the process late and even telling other jurors that she had seen "bits and pieces" of a Lifetime original movie detailing the Arias case, which some thought may have influenced her decision-making. “I think she came in and expected to see a monster in there because of what she saw on TV and the news and when she came in and saw it wasn’t,” another juror said at the conference.
According to a 2015 report from AZ Central, the law in Arizona states that after a second trial with a hung jury regarding the death penalty, Arias could not be tried again and must receive life in prison. The rest of the weren't the only ones disappointed with the sentencing. The victim's family also gave a statement expressing their dismay.
"Travis Alexander's surviving brothers and sisters Gary Alexander, Dennis 'Greg' Alexander, Tanisha Sorenson, Samantha Alexander, Hillary Wilcox, Steven Alexander, and Allie Iglesias are saddened by the jury's inability to reach a decision on the death penalty," part of the statement read, per AZ Central. "However, they understand the difficulty of the decision, and have nothing but respect for the jury's time."
To this day, Arias' case is a developing one. Though she's been in prison for years, she still appealed the first-degree murder conviction in October 2017. However, clerical and transcription errors delayed the process.
In October 2019, Arias’ lawyers attempted to appeal her conviction again on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct, but were denied. The case prosecutor, Juan Martinez, then got disbarred in July 2020. It’s unclear if that would sway a judge, but Arias’ representatives told Fox 10 Phoenix that his disbarment “would be an issue that would be raised” by a lawyer, hinting at future appeals to come.
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