Despite her best efforts, Jodi Arias will still face the death penalty if a jury so chooses during her upcoming trial. Arias and her attorneys tried to convince a judge and prosecutors to take the death penalty off of the table, but Judge Sherry Stephens denied the motion. Meanwhile, victim Travis Alexander's supporters and friends gathered to honor the six-year anniversary of his death this week.
The group gathered together at the Central Court Building in downtown Phoenix, Arizona with blue balloons. A small crowd learned of the event online and decided to attend and show support for the family. They reflected on Alexander's life and offered prayers.
"It means the worlds to us," Kathy Brown, an organizer of the event, told AZCentral. "Everybody else wants justice just as much as Travis' family does."
"It's heart-wrenching," another organizer, Mikal Ann Dillon, said. "No man should be taken from his family in that manner."
Alexander was shot in the head, stabbed nearly 30 times, and had his throat slit by former girlfriend Arias. A jury found her guilty and was publicized across the country, drawing national, and international, attention. The jury could not agree on a sentence, so Arias has been held in a local prison while awaiting a sentencing retrial. The guilty verdict will still stand and cannot be changed, but Arias will face either the death penalty or some form of life behind bars.
If the new jury cannot agree on a sentence, the death penalty will automatically be removed from the possibility of punishment and Arias will spend her life behind bars. What will be determined is whether she actually spends her life behind bars or will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Family and friends remember Alexander as a devout Mormon who wanted to have a family and enjoy his life. Arias' retrial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 8 but will not be televised.