May 252013

American Institute for Paralegal Studies:   Jury cannot agree as to the death penalty for Jodie Arias

One of the most intriguing topics in the Criminal online paralegal class is the death penalty.  A death penalty case that has been consistently in the news for the past five months is the Jodie Arias case. If you haven’t heard about Jodie Arias, then you probably don’t have a television or any other type of communication with the outside world. Jodie Arias was recently convicted of first degree murder after a long publicized trial.  It was alleged that she killed Travis Alexander by stabbing him almost 30 times, slitting his throat from ear to ear and shot him in the forehead because he tried to end their affair and go to Mexico with another woman. She testified for 18 days which is unusually long for a defendant in a criminal trial. 

After the jury found her guilty of killing Travis Alexander, it was their task to decide whether she would receive the death penalty.  After three days of deliberation, they told the judge that they could not come to a unanimous decision.  The judge then declared a mistrial in the penalty portion of the trial. Now the prosecutor must decide whether to retry her for the death penalty portion. A new trial would require finding an impartial jury of 12 and could take many weeks. If the prosecutor declines to retry her, then the judge will decide whether to sentence her to life imprisonment with no parole or life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years. The judge sympathized with the jury and told them that she understood that they were asked to perform some very difficult duties.

Some say the death penalty serves as a general deterrence since it discourages others from perpetrating crimes. However, many murders occur as the result of some type of passion, perpetrators may not actually analyze the likelihood of getting caught, convicted, and sentenced to death prior to committing the crime. Yet, proponents of the death penalty believe many more crimes would be committed but are deterred by the threat of the death penalty. 

So do you want to learn more? If so, then sign up for the AIPS Criminal law online paralegal class!  To find out more information on the Criminal law online paralegal class visit the curriculum page of the AIPS website ( at


Janet Russeth, J.D. AIPS Instructor

Janet Russeth, J.D.
AIPS Instructor




  •  May 25, 2013
  •  Posted by at 3:49 pm
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