(Photo: Reuters/Charlie Leight)
By Jon Campbell
May 21, 2013|12:52 pmConvicted killer Jodi Arias will take to the stand on Tuesday as her trial continues, and she is expected to plead for leniency to the jury in the hope of avoiding the death penalty. The coverage of today's hearing can be watched online through free live stream through the video player at the bottom of this article.
(Photo: Reuters/Charlie Leight)Although most believe Arias will plead for her life, others remain more skeptical. She has repeatedly portrayed herself as the victim during her trial and her defense team had attempted to portray Arias' murdered ex-boyfriend as some kind of sexual deviant and a bully. In the aftermath of Arias' guilty verdict she gave an interview, allegedly without her counsel's knowledge, and stated that she now would prefer the death penalty rather than life imprison. She called a death sentence "the ultimate freedom" she could get now. Those words stunned viewers of the trial, but many others have claimed that it is just another attempt by Arias to try and manipulate the jury. She will however have one more chance to show remorse in today's hearing, and analysts are split about what stance she will take when giving her testimony today. Arias had originally been scheduled to speak in court on Monday but developments took a dramatic twist yesterday when Arias' attorneys announced they would not be calling a single witness to plea for her life in the penalty phase of her trial.
Photo: Jodi AriasIt had been expected that at least Arias' mother would be called up to ask for sympathy on her daughter. A childhood friend, as well a former boyfriend were also expected to speak to the jury on her behalf. However, all will now no longer speak, according to reports. On Monday one of the witnesses backed out at the last minute, leading to the defense team to submit a motion for a mistrial in the penalty phase. The defense said that Patricia Womack, a childhood friend of Arias, decided she would not testify after receiving death threats. Womack is not the only person to have received death threats in the trial. Dr. Richard Samuels, a psychologist who testified that Arias suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, also claimed that he had received numerous death threats. Yet another witness for Arias, Alyce LaViolette, a domestic violence expert who testified that Arias was abused, also has reported that she had received threats. But ultimately the judge dismissed the application for a mistrial, and the hearing was ended for the day, meaning Arias will take to the stand today.