The penalty phase of the Jodi Arias retrial took another step closer to finishing as the prosecution presented its arguments on Tuesday, presenting gruesome crime-scene photos repeatedly to jurors.
According to Jacques Billeaud of the Associated Press, the prosecution's tactic was to counter happy photos used by the attorney representing Arias, who was convicted in the 2008 killing of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Prosecutor Juan Martinez accused Arias of being a dishonest woman, asking jurors to sentence her to death.
"It doesn't provide an excuse," Martinez said.
However, Steve Stout of CBS 5 AZ reported that defense attorney Kirk Numi was the first to present the case to save the life of Arias. He argued that she suffered from mental illness and was victimized by physical and emotional abuse.
"She is remorseful," Nurmi said to the jury. "She regrets what she did and the pain she caused."
Legal expert Beth Karas told Stout that Numi did "a good job of reminding the jury that they have Jodi Arias' life in their hands."
In his argument to the jury, Martinez reminded that they were dealing with a ruthless killer who knew exactly what she was doing, according to Stout.
"The murder was committed in an especially cruel matter," Martinez said. "She's the one that used the knife. She's the one that used the gun."
The Associated Press reported that Martinez argued that Arias and Alexander did not have an abusive relationship, hence the need for Arias to disparage her former boyfriend's character to keep attention away from her.
"It averts your eyes," Martinez quipped.
Legal expert Jeff Gold told CBS 5 AZ that Martinez could have done a better job representing the case for Arias to be sentenced to death.
"The case is about the way she did it, the planning and the murder itself," Gold said. "The prosecutor has a reputation as a pit bull. He was whimpering today."
In a surprising move made on Monday, Stout reported that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens dismissed two jurors. Later that day, Arias told the court that she will not "make a final plea to the jury to spare her life."
"The jury will decide whether Arias deserves the death penalty or should spend the rest of her life in prison for the murder of her ex-lover, Travis Alexander," Stout wrote.
Billeaud observed that Arias had different reactions whenever the defense or prosecution made their arguments in court.
"Arias often looked at the jury as her attorney pleaded for the more lenient sentence," Billeaud wrote. "When the prosecutor made his arguments, she occasionally cast her eyes on the jury but mostly looked elsewhere."
Stout reported that the judge approved a media request on Tuesday to broadcast the verdict live. CBS 5 AZ placed a link where viewers can see the verdict handed down to Arias when it happens.
The Associated Press reported that the trial will continue on Wednesday, when the lawyer for Arias is expected to make a final plea to the jury.