I do not believe there was adequate testimony to conclude that Jodi Arias was an abused woman, although I suspect she was. Jodi Arias did testify that Travis Alexander was abusive in that he pushed her down, closed her leg in a car door, choked her into unconsciousness, slapped, chastised, belittled and berated her. But of course, after all her lying, she was not believable. An expert witness could have explained that lying is not unusual for a an abuse victim. And, what most people do not understand is that in general, abused women are killed more frequently after they leave the relationship. Many stay in the relationship to avoid death or serious abuse.
People are asking for something called “justice.” As an attorney, I used to tell people that fairness and justice are in the eye of the beholder. True. The wise Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for and eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Is that what we want?
I want us to be above the death penalty.
1. Executions cost far more than keeping a person in prison for life, 20 times more. The money saved would be better spent in a victim family assistance fund.
2. Scientific studies show that Capital Punishment does NOT deter crime and in fact, states without the death penalty have lower murder rates. 2011 FBI Uniform
Crime Report showed that the South had the highest murder rate. The South accounts for over 80% of executions. The Northeast, which has less than 1% of all executions, had the lowest murder rate. The death penalty does not deter murder.
3. The death penalty has more to do with whether you can afford the OJ Simpson type of dream team, local politics, and the race of the victim than the merits of the prosecutor's case. In effect, we have a “lethal lottery” of who is put to death.
4. 139 nations worldwide have abandoned capital punishment. The company kept by the US, in this regard is Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan and China. Amnesty International in 2012 said the US ranked fifth for highest number of executions.
5. Life without parole protects the public and costs less tax money as appeals are limited.
6. 3100 people are on death row in the US. Of these, 63 are women. The US leads the world in mass incarceration of prisoners and holds records for solitary confinement and life in prison according to Amnesty International. Arizona has only 3 women on death row, and the last woman to be executed in Arizona was in 1930. If given the death penalty, an already budget-challenged state would be obligated to lay out millions in appeals.
7. Amnesty International said that in December 2012, 111 countries—or more than half the world's countries—voted in favor of a United Nations resolution that would declare a global moratorium on executions.