Jodi Arias Is Costing Taxpayers Over $2 MillionBy: Amanda Crum - January 28, 2014
Jodi Arias, the woman who admitted to the brutal killing of her boyfriend in 2008 but claimed it was self-defense, is in an Arizona jail awaiting a new trial. Meanwhile, her court-appointed attorneys and other costs are mounting, and Arizona taxpayers will be footing the bill.
Arias admitted to murdering her boyfriend Travis Alexander after a day spent being intimate, but says she only did it to defend herself against him when he became violent during an argument. Alexander was found in the shower with 30 stab wounds, a slit throat, and a gunshot to the head; prosecutors have argued that Arias killed him in a jealous rage after he told her he wanted to break off their relationship.
“The state is asking that you return a verdict of guilty, a verdict of first degree murder, not just premeditated murder, but also felony murder, for no other reason than it’s your duty, and the facts and the law support it,” Prosecutor Juan Martinez said in his closing arguments during her trial last spring, and the jury did just that. However, the penalty phase of the trial was a more difficult decision to make, and jurors couldn’t agree on whether Arias should get life in prison or the death penalty.
In order to receive the death penalty, Arias would have to be found guilty of murdering Alexander in an “exceptionally cruel” way, and jurors couldn’t agree on the outcome. Now, a second penalty phase has been set for March 17 with a new jury, and according to Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick, the costs associated with Arias’ court expenses amount to $2,150,536.42 so far. The news isn’t sitting well with many, and is making the rounds across social media today.
The lengthy trial was highly sensationalized and spawned a Lifetime film called “Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret”, but Judge Sherry Stephens has ordered that no cameras be allowed in the courtroom for the second penalty phase in an effort to keep things from getting out of hand.
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