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Arias trial: Your biggest questions answered!

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  • You asked us your biggest questions about the Arias trial
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Arias trial: Your biggest questions answered!

You asked — we answered. In Session correspondent Jean Casarez answers questions that many of you have submitted to us on Facebook about the Jodi Arias trial.

Do you have a question of your own? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or via Twitter.

Marsha A.: What has Jodi being doing while the trial is going on? Is she writing, drawing, doodling, or is she compiling another manifesto?
Jean Casarez: From where I sit, I can’t tell you what she’s writing nor would I look — that’s confidential information. But she’s very embedded in the case: She’s listening, writing notes, assisting her lawyers. You don’t see this in every trial, but she’s using every bit of intelligence she has to listen to witness testimony and help her attorneys.

Laura S.: Can Travis’ family sue Jodi for his death?
JC: Sure. It would be a civil wrongful death case. It’s all about money damages and it’s the family of Travis saying that Jodi caused his death. The remedy is money damages because of his loss of life and their loss of companionship. They calculate the life expectancy of the victim and what he could have earned — it’s all as precise as can be. The thing is that Jodi has no money, so when you sue her, what are you going to get? Probably not much, unless she can somehow make a lot of profit off her murder trial. Although, there are laws that prohibit you from profiting on the murder you committed once you’re convicted.

Debra F.: Will the prosecutor zoom back in on the lie about where Jodi shot Travis? She told the counselor it was in the closet. Will this be significant?
JC: A focal point of the prosecution’s closing argument will be to take the jury, figuratively speaking, into the bathroom and align all the forensic evidence with exactly what Jodi did and how she did it. They have hinted a little of this story during cross examination. So wait for closings, because that is when you will see the complete theory of the prosecution as to how they said Jodi murdered Travis.

Carolyn B.: Why has no one ever pointed out how well Travis took her wrecking his car? Wouldn’t he be more upset about the car, which is surely worth much more than the camera?
JC: We have heard testimony that Travis was actually pretty calm when his car, which he was selling to Jodi, was severely damaged. It seems as though, according to what I have read and the testimony, Travis was in Jodi’s corner when it came to U-Haul. There was talk that they were contemplating suing U-Haul for how the company was allowing the vehicle to be transported back to California.

Danielle L.: Does anyone else think that these secretly taped conversations are signs of premeditation? Why did she suddenly start recording [her phone conversations with Travis]?
JC: Jodi admitted on the stand that Travis did not know she was recording their phone sex conversations. In my research of the case, I’ve learned that at one point in her writings, she claimed that she told Travis before he died that she couldn’t figure out how to play back the recordings of the tapes. A big question is: Can you believe what she’s saying here?  

Annette R.: If Jodi visibly shakes when confronted, why does she seem so relaxed and confident when being interrogated by Detective Flores?
JC: She seems very confident and relaxed a lot of the time. She testified that she shakes, and maybe she does or did. We’ve heard testimony that she was quiet and introverted, but there is definitely a strength about her versus a weakness. What this could point to, according to the prosecution’s theory, is that she is not a victim of abuse. Her personality, in many respects, is very different from one who is intimidated as a victim.

Heather P.: If Jodi had access to Travis’ email to check it, why hasn’t it been suggested by the prosecution that she may have sent herself the first email of 2008, saying “I love you, Jodi”?
JC: When Jodi was on the stand during cross-examination, we haven’t heard anything to reflect that possibility, but it could be argued during the prosecution’s closing arguments. These were personal communications between the two of them, and I know that the message went on from there — it wasn’t just “I love you, Jodi.” Why would she do it? What would be her motive? I have looked at a lot of the journal entries, text message and instant messages that have come into court, and I see quite a lot of messages from Travis, saying that he loves being with her, cares about her, that she’s instrumental to his life. It wasn’t only the entry on January 1, 2008.

Kimberly N.: The victim’s family is warned not to make facial expressions or show emotion, the public is warned about laughter, but the defense attorneys and the defendant are permitted to smirk and laugh at the prosecution. Does this not defy any expected code of conduct in the courtroom?
JC: The defense is not allowed to smirk or make any type of gestures or audible sounds in regard to the witnesses or examination. The reason the judge disallows any form of communication from the victim’s family is because it can taint the jury, and the jury can’t be influenced by anything other than actual evidence.

Cindy B.: Is Jodi allowed to watch the news about her trial?
JC: I don’t know. The other night, when I filled in for Nancy Grace on HLN, we looked at some of the tweets that Jodi had been sending from jail and found that there was one directed to Nancy. So a question I’m trying to answer is how did she know that? Did someone tell her? Or did she watch the show? To be continued: I’ll let you know when I find out. 

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