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Death Row: Counting down the days to execution

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jurors to decide if Jodi Arias is eligible for the death penalty
  • Learn about Arizona’s execution procedure
Death Row: Counting down the days to execution

Cruelty verdict could mean life or death for Jodi

Cruelty verdict could mean life or death for Jodi

Death Row could be Jodi Arias’ next stop if jurors decide she’s eligible for the death penalty for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

During the aggravation phase of the trial, Prosecutor Juan Martinez hopes to convince the same jury that convicted Arias that her actions during the murder showed extreme cruelty.

The medical examiner who conducted Alexander’s autopsy is expected to testify Wednesday about the 29 stab wounds to Alexander’s body, the gunshot wound to his face, and the deep neck wound.

If all 12 jurors return a verdict that the aggravating factor of cruelty was proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the case them moves to the penalty phase, where jurors will deliberate a third time on whether Arias will receive the death penalty.  

If sentenced to death, Arias will be housed with other female inmates at the Lumley Unit at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville, Arizona.

Female inmates on Death Row are housed in single cells that are equipped with a toilet, sink, bed and a mattress, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Death Row inmates are not allowed to have contact with other inmates. The only out-of-cell time they are allowed is limited to outdoor exercise in a secured area, two hours a day, three times a week, and a shower, three times a week. Inmates are also allowed two ten minute phone calls per week.

All meals are delivered by a correction officer at the inmate’s cell front. Inmates are allowed to have hygiene items, two appliances, two books and writing materials, which can be purchased from the inmate commissary

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, since 1937, the average Arizona Death Row inmate has spent an average of 12 years on Death Row before their execution.

When an inmate nears their execution date, there are strict procedures officials follow, all of which are outlined in the Arizona Department of Corrections “Execution Procedures” manual.

Below is a brief outline of those procedures, starting with 35 days prior to the execution date:

35 days prior to the execution, the inmate’s height and weight is documented before they are transferred to a single person cell on Death Row at the Lumley Unit.

Inmates are placed under 24-hour continuous observation until they are transferred to Housing Unit 9 at the Central Unit in Florence where all executions are performed.

At least 20 days prior to the execution, a director informs the inmate and other parties of the time of execution. At that time, the inmate will be informed that their body cannot be used for organ donation.

14 days prior to the execution, arrangements are finalized with the medical examiner’s office for disposition of the inmate’s body. The inmate will also be asked to fill out their last meal request.

24 hours prior to the day of execution, the inmate will receive their last meal by 7 p.m. All contact visits and phone calls must be finished by 9 p.m.

12 hours prior to the execution, the inmate is transferred to the Central Unit in Florence. Upon arrival, the inmate may be offered a mild sedative.

While at the Central Unit, the inmate remains on continuous watch. They are issued one pair each of pants, boxer shorts, socks, and shirt on the morning of the execution.

Not later than 5 hours prior to execution, the inmate is offered a light meal.

4 hours prior to the execution, the inmate is offered a mild sedative.

When transferred to the death chamber, a warden will ask the inmate if they wish to make a last statement that is reasonable in length and does not contain vulgar language or intentionally offensive statements directed at het witnesses.

The director will then administer the lethal chemical. After the inmate is pronounced dead, the medical examiner takes photos of the body with and without restraints before the inmate is placed in a body bag.

Will Jodi Arias be sentenced to death? Watch the aggravation phase of Arias’ trial Wednesday on HLN to find out if the jurors find Arias eligible for the death penalty. 

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