The Cycle | March 07, 2013
>>> of the latest murder trial to dominate the internet and cable tv . on trial in phoenix, arizona, for more than two weeks on the stand, if that's believable, 32-year-old accused of killing her lover, 30-year-old travis alexander . way back in june of 2008 . after changing her hair and first jodi told police she wasn't there and pictures on the dead man's camera showed she was and while awaiting trial she changed the story to a home invasion and then to self defense . the trial now on a lunch break, also features 150 jury questions to witnesses. which i did not realize was permissible. i learn something new every day, i guess. to borrow the title of a competitor instant specials of last week and arias trial is sex, lies and audio tape . nicely done. katy tur is covering the trial. what's the latest?
>> reporter: not many people knew that the jury could ask questions. part of the reason why the story is all-consuming, 32-year-old arias on the stand for 17 days now. and in that time, she's broke down a couple of times as she's been cross-examined by the prosecution but for the most part, pretty calm and composed explaining the version of events as to what happened the night she killed travis alexander . why she says it was self defense , especially during the last two days taking questions directly from the jury. arizona is one of only a few states you can do that. jurors submit written questions to the judge, the judge then asks the defendant the questions and these questions wide ranging, from her mormonism to the loss of memory she sustained in the night she killed travis alexander . why she remembers some parts and doesn't remember over parts 0 of that night. to bruises she said alexander abused her and yet she never took photos of the bruises but she took photos of almost everything else in her life. not to mention the fact she's changed the story three times.
>> after all the lies you have told, why should we believe you now?
>> lying isn't typically something i just do. i'm not going to say i've never told a lie in my life before this incident, but the lies that i have told in this case are -- can be tied directly back to either protecting travis 's reputation or myv. in his death. in any way. because i was very ashamed of the death.
>> reporter: now, the story's been all consuming because it's so odd. most people didn't know that the jury could ask questions. she faced over 150 questions and some of them have been very graphic and very detailed asking her specific questions about her personal life , about her sex life and during the entire time she was remained composed and calm and matter of fact, answered each one specifically and never seemed like she was on trial and she knows that she is on trial for her life right now, not to mention her appearance n. photos and in friend's descriptions, a sexy blond woman who travis alexander couldn't keep his hands off of but yet you see a mouse sy brown haired girl wearing glasses and no makeup. she looks vastly different than before. you can't figure out who this woman is and not the mention the fact she's changed the story so many times and didn't deny she killed alexander . she shot him in the face and stabbed him repeatedly and slit the throat from ear to ear. she says it was out of self defense . the prosecution denies this. they say that she was jealous the ex was dating other women. if she's convicted, she could face the death penalty . guys?
>> all right. thank you, katy . so we're here with jamie floyd, defense attorney . you know, i'm really fascinated by this trial and i'm really fascinated by the idea that she did many different things to this body. right? we don't know the order --
>> to a living man first.
>> she shot him and stabbed him and cut his throat which perhaps is another form of stabbing but what have you. there's a grab for two -- one different implement. starts with one. goes to another. when you have done so many different things to a body, can you really claim self defense at that point?
>> you can and that's successfully defended in other cases. there have been women who have multiple stab wound defenses in other cases when they have been abused over a course of years.
>> and the second implement?
>> and a second implement. the famous burning bed case we know about from those years ago but in this cases they have been abused over a course of years, there have been witnesses to that abuse. there's a long history of abuse and there can be -- there's testimony about that abuse. this is not that case. there is also not multiple versions of what happened before you get to the scenario you just outlined. first i have this story. then i have this story. and now i'm going to fall back on self defense . with a lot of different injuries imposed on the victim. so, this is not the strongest self defense case i have ever seen by a long shot.
>> jami, another aspect of this katy mentioned is that jodi arias on the stand for 17 days .
>> has that been a good thing for her or sort of devastating to her case?
>> getting on the witness stand is generally a bad thing in any case. you think i'm not guilty. i want to try to convince the jury i'm not guilty. i'll take the witness stand but we most often advise our clients don't talk. if you talk, it goes badly for you. the one time you want your client to talk is in a self defense case. why? you have to convince the jury that you were afraid. however, the longer you're up there, the more damage you're going to do to the case. 17 days ? i can't think of any witness being on the witness stand for 17 days . and i've been doing this a long time. the defendant, 17 days ? and unsophisticated, nonlawyer on the stand for 17 days , bad news for the defense.
>> what about this -- we were just hearing about the jury asking questions, the town hall portion of the trial, i guess.
>> oh my --
>> you are getting the read in the middle of the trial about where the jury could be coming from and maybe questions otherwise not -- is this a good thing?
>> no. no.
>> bad thing? sorry. okay.
>> generally more states -- i don't really like it as a lawyer because we lawyers are what? control freaks .
>> but the system, take a step back for a second. is it a good thing for the system? no. you are paid to be a -- okay.
>> here's the problem with it. there's a lack of control for the judge. the judge cannot step in and 150 questions. i mean, look at the delay to the process if every courtroom in the country and we're overburdened now and this interposition by the jury. jurors in every courtroom in the country ask questions through the judge of the lawyers. and sometimes to the judge directly. so that's fine. but i find this to be very troubling, especially given the number of questions that have been put to this defendant. 150. that's just a volume of questions i have never seen. i'm aware of this rule. i have seen it before.
>> but not this many.
>> not this many.
>> all right. jami floyd , thank you very much.
>>> check out the dateline special about this friday 11:00 p.m .
>>> up next, is the christian right the key to unlocking republican votes for immigration reform ? happy birthday to my 4-year-old.