Death penalty still on table for Jodi Arias

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jodi Arias is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander
  • Arias says she killed Alexander in self-defense
Death penalty still on table for Jodi Arias

Day 8: Jodi Arias' biggest moment of the day

Day 8: Jodi Arias' biggest moment of the day

Arias courtroom spectator: I fear jury is buying it

Arias courtroom spectator: I fear jury is buying it

Jodi Arias' life is still on the line despite her attorneys' efforts to get the death penalty thrown out.

The Supreme Court of Arizona denied Arias' appeal Friday asking for a stay of execution.

Read more: Showdown on the stand: Arias v. Prosecutor Martinez

Arias is facing execution by lethal injection for killing her ex-boyfriend on June 4, 2008. He was shot in the head, stabbed multiple times, and his neck was slit from ear to ear. Arias says she killed Alexander in self-defense.

Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi filed his petition with the Supreme Court Friday, arguing Arias should not face execution, because the aggravating factor serving as the foundation for the death penalty is improper. The same petition was also filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals on January 28, and the appeals court denied it two days later.

In order for Arias to be put to death, prosecutors must prove the defendant committed the offense in an especially heinous or depraved manner. In Arias’ case, prosecutor Juan Martinez must prove Alexander suffered before he died.

The defense is arguing there is inclusive evidence that Alexander suffered, because he may have been shot first, dying shortly afterward. In their scenario, Alexander may not have suffered from the stab wounds that followed. This contradicts medical examiner Kevin Horn’s testimony that Alexander’s first injury was a stab wound to his heart. If Alexander was stabbed first, he may have been conscious and in pain for a few minutes before finally dying.

Read more: What really killed Travis Alexander?

Arias’ attorneys attempted to support their argument by pointing out discrepancies in Mesa, Arizona, Det. Esteban Flores’ testimony. Flores testified earlier in the trial that he believed Alexander’s first injury was the stab wound to the heart. However, during a pre-trial hearing Flores testified that based on conversations with Horn he believed the gunshot was Alexander’s first wound. 

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