Jen Wood of Trial Diaries has published an interview with the jury foreman in the penalty retrial. This statement particularly caught my eye:
We once again discussed how Jodi made phone calls just hours after murdering Travis and even went to see Ryan Burns. Most of us felt Jodi had to get rid of Travis Alexander so she could move on. Juror 17 agreed with this theory as a motive.
Is this a realistic motive for murder?
Firstly, it is not the motive offered by the prosecution, which was apparently that Jodi was jealous that Travis was not taking her to Cancun for a Pre-Paid-Legal conference.
Instead, the idea seems to be more: “Travis made Jodi miserable, and abused her, so she murdered him.”
I can see why they would come up with this theory, there was evidence that Jodi was miserable, and evidence that Travis was abusive, but I don’t think it has any precedent in the history of crime. Of course, the prosecution would not like this motive as it would concede that Jodi was abused.
In a way it has some truth : Jodi killed her abuser. Abused women sometimes kill their abusers to escape from them (with their children), or in self-defense when attacked.
However Jodi HAD escaped already, sitting in Yreka in complete safety. So like all the other motives for premeditated murder, it really doesn’t fit with the idea of murder premeditated by a week.
If Jodi wanted to move on, all she needed to do was to go and see Ryan!
It is not the fault of the retrial jury that they settled on such a preposterous and implausible motive, the alternatives are equally implausible. They must surely have been very puzzled. Their job of course was not to assess guilt, but accept the original verdict.
Jodi escaped death row, but it was apparently a chance event, a juror who didn’t see death as appropriate in this case. The difficulty for any innocent defendant in a penalty phase is the impossibility of showing remorse, this was picked up by the jury as an important factor, even though Juan may have been precluded from arguing it.
And that’s the memo. On to the appeal process to Free Jodi!