Questions for readers about Jodi Arias penalty phase

May 16, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good afternoon:

The jury in the Jodi Arias case unanimously agreed yesterday that the prosecution proved the aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e., excessive cruelty).

Meanwhile, defense counsel apparently moved to withdraw from the case after they found out that their client had decided to volunteer for the death penalty.

The judge denied their motion.

The case resumed today with the penalty phase.

Defense counsel are in a difficult situation.

Do they ask the jury to grant her request and sentence her to death, or do they ask the jury to disregard her request and sentence her to life without parole?

What would you do, if you were in their situation?

Now, I will up the ante and ask a tougher question. Let us suppose that they have powerful mitigation evidence to present that would likely persuade jurors to reject the death penalty and sentence her to life without parole. If you were representing her, would you present that evidence despite her objections?

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