Jodi Arias Found Guilty: Faces Life Sentence, Death Penalty
Jodi Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander on Wednesday. She returns to court on Thursday, as the jury begins to contemplate her sentencing, which could result in life in prison or possibly the death penalty for Arias.
Minutes after Arias was deemed guilty, she gave a brief interview to Phoenix television station KSAZ, in which she stated her sentencing preference. "I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life, and that still is true today," she said. "I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it."
Due to her candid statement, Arias is now on suicide watch at an Arizona jail, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office revealed in a statement. "Until she is released from suicide protocol by Sheriff's officials no further media interviews of inmate Arias will be permitted," the office said.
Now that the verdict has been read, the trial now moves into the “aggravation phrase,” where the prosecution will likely present additional evidence to convince the jury that Arias’ slaying of Alexander was performed in a cruel manner. It’s possible that Arias could speak to the jurors once more in her own defense in the hopes of a lesser sentencing.
If the jury decides that Arias deserves the death penalty, the judge is obligated to see the ruling through. However, if the jury does not find in favor of the death penalty, the judge will be faced with selecting one of two options – life in prison without the possibility of parole, or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Alexander was murdered in June 2008. His wounds, inflicted by Arias, included nearly 30 stab wounds, a gunshot to the head and a slit throat.