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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jodi Arias - It's Not Over

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 Last time you saw me, live* that is, I believe I looked something like this. At least, this photo was taken inside the KPNX studios where I appeared with co-panelists Jordan Rose and Mark Victor to talk about the stunning development of a hung jury in the final phase of the Jodi Arias jury deliberations.

Camille looks into the camera and talks with Jordan Rose on the night the Jodi Arias jury hung

Yes, Jodi was convicted of 1st degree murder, with all 12 jurors finding pre-meditation. Yes, she was also found to have an aggravating factor, that the murder was committed in an especially cruel manner. Over 2 dozen stab wounds, a gun shot to the face, and a near de-capitation, hard to argue against that one. But the jury failed to agree on what the punishment should be for a pre-meditated, especially cruel, 1st degree murder. 8 voted for death. 4 voted for life in prison. After deliberating just a day and a half, they declared themselves deadlocked, using the verdict form to seal it as a final verdict and avoiding having the judge force them to try some more. 

Jury foreman William Zervakos later stated he was "shocked" to learn that deadlock meant a whole new jury had to be empaneled. He had thought that deadlock meant the judge would decide Jodi's fate, choosing between Natural Life (meaning she dies in prison of natural causes, with the front door firmly locked to her forever) or a life sentence with the possibility of parole (her first chance comes after serving at least 25 years).  Zervakos, and all the jurors, knew that the judge cannot sentence Jodi to execution. It can only be a jury who does so in Arizona.  (For more on this requirement, click here <<)

Zervakos, from his various very public statements, did not seem to realize that instead prosecutor Juan Martinez would have another chance to bring the death penalty crashing down on Jodi's soft-voiced/over-sexed self. 

Everyone who argues in trials or presides over trials or reports on trials or watches or has ever heard of a trial agrees: seating a whole new jury after the trial is over is not only rare, it's bizarre.  But rare doesn't mean "never" and it did already happen in the David Lamar Anthony case. Anthony was convicted in 2002 of the murders of his wife and two step-children and sentenced to death. But two years later, a new jury had to be chosen to hear the penalty phase only. Arizona, you see, had changed its rules and Anthony's case was affected.

They chose a new jury in spring of 2004 and on March 1, began with opening arguments, and proceeded immediately to witnesses. By March 10, Anthony was sentenced to death again, this time by a jury of his peers. Interestingly enough, even in that short amount of time, they managed to lose one juror who was dismissed by the court early after testimony had begun. 

Something else that's worthy of mention at this time is that in the Anthony case, when the second jury was empaneled and then voting for three death sentences for him, the bodies of the three victims had not yet been found.

I might also note that of interest to me personally and to the many readers of my books Anthony was prosecuted by A SUDDEN SHOT prosecutor Vince Imbordino and he was defended by WHAT SHE ALWAYS WANTED defense counsel Herman Alcantar. 

If the Anthony case serves as our model for what to expect in the upcoming Jodi Arias trial Part Deja Deux (okay, that's a really elaborate French/English pun or punlike object, just indulge me, you'll be happier if you just surrender to it now), we can expect that an Arizona jury may be able to reach a swift, unanimous and even severe penalty though they have not heard to the whole trial.
Camille (in Travis blue) with InSession trucks behind her at the scene of Jodi Arias trial

Tomorrow's hearing is expected to be held mostly in chambers but we just never know what kind of dog and pony show may play out in front of us in open court. So I will be there tomorrow keeping my eyes and ears open. Hope you'll join me at @CamilleKimball on twitter for live tweets. 

*Undoubtedly you've seen me on tape about a zillion times, in this now ubiquitous piece of video from the moment Jodi's jury officially deadlocked in the post below. <<


  1. Camille, thanks for the update! So tomorrow's proceedings are just jury selection? Not the actual penalty phase?

  2. Not jury selection. A status conference.

  3. will it be televised

    1. No, it was not televised. Hope you got to follow my tweets. I'm still on the fifth floor now. She was here in stripes and handcuffs. It was over quickly.

  4. Zervakos is "shocked"? In gladiator the Emperor threw the kitchen sink at maximus, took what 5 times but you knew it was just a matter of time(the story has to end). My money is on Martinez and the state, hard to bet against the house!

  5. How is it possible that the foreman didn't realize that the judge would not be the one to make a deision if the jury could not? Wasn't the process explained to them? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it was explained to them. They were given copies of the instructions and the judge read them aloud in open court. There was even a special court session where one section was revisited because it had been inadvertently skipped. Nevertheless, juries have been known to be confused before. Especially ones who come up with a surprising verdict and proclaim incessantly "we had to follow the law!" in the same breath as explaining they "didn't understand" it.

  6. The foreman is simply a bad juror who had his own agenda which manifested itself from day one and that is "I'll do what I want to do and nobody is going to tell me different". Reminds me of my mother in law. I would also guess the other 3 not voting for death really didn't follow the parameters set out by the court. My question is, why was it not debated during their deliberations? Then the point might come up well if we don't vote unanimously they will just get another jury. I've heard many comments that they all get along. Yet maybe they should have debated longer and called each other out. I know I'm all over the place here so sorry!