11 to 1...
That was the vote that determined whether Jodi Arias' life would run the remainder of its course behind bars or come to a less natural end. She was guilty as far as the law was concerned and of that there was no further deliberation necessary. It was the last word on what seemed like a never ending trial that took years for jurors to come the conclusion...that they could not come to a conclusion.
Luckily for Arias, Arizona only gives prosecutors 2 runs at the death sentence. If 2 juries can't come to a verdict during the sentencing phase of a murder trial it's automatically a life sentence.
So justice is done and we can all go on with our lives.
What happened after the verdict..
Arizona's good at a lot of things: Superbowls, sunshine and cheap labor. It's often celebrated as a land of rugged individualists who believe in freedom and self determination. That is, so long as it's ok with your bible and you don't offend the wrong people.
It's a place that would outlaw smoking but allow firearms in public buildings. It's both nanny state and anarchist which often leads to a cognitive dissonance seen nowhere else in the country.
So with the end of a 7 year spectacle we finally know the outcome of Jodi Arias. But that wasn't enough for the victim's family or for the other 11 jurors. They wanted blood for blood and it was denied. For them there is no justice.
Frontier justice, that is...
After the verdict came a statement prepared by the 11 jurors who wanted the death penalty. They offered condolences and apologies to the victim's family for not delivering what they wanted. When asked how it felt to not deliver the death penalty the response was, "...we felt like we failed. " and " I had a knot in my stomach."
Where does this bloodlust come from? To hear the statements of the 11 jurors who wanted the death penalty you'd think that jury deliberations were nothing more than a formality. By the way, since when do jurors get press conferences?
Hang 'em High! I suppose and sell the book rights later...
Afterward news outlets chased after the 1 dissenting juror demanding a statement and when they didn't get it they trotted out the non sequitur.
Everything from "suspicious" Facebook likes to questioning of her character. Local news stations have stopped just short of accusing her of being an Arias shill. I guess they've never heard of voir dire. If this juror was a problem she would have been removed long ago as a number of others had been throughout the trial. True to form instead of balancing their coverage, local news outlets chose to instead deliver more statements from the Gang of 11.
"We tried to tell the judge she was biased" and "She kept to herself and wouldn't budge"
Is this really in the public interest or are the ratings better when they get another pound of flesh. The talking heads are sensationalist whores, that we know. What's disturbing is that they have to preach to the choir and in Arizona the choir wants blood.
Arizona, you need to admit that you really don't care much for the rule of law when it doesn't suit you. From governors waving fingers at presidents who happen to be the wrong complexion to starving education funding it seems the Grand Canyon State is always inching closer to falling off the edge.
If there's any saving grace in this whole mess it's that the default judgment wasn't the death penalty. At least there's some civility in that.
This isn't an indictment of captial punishment, however. It's an indictment of the bloodlust it nurtures.