Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the Travis Alexander trial on Wednesday, and it had many wondering why she didn’t plead temporary insanity rather than claiming she acted in self-defense.
Not guilty by reason of insanity is essentially also “guilty except insane.” According to Arizona Criminal and Sex Crimes Post, Arias had a better chance of getting off with a self-defense plea. It was arguably the better choice even though Arias was virtually unharmed, physically, after the murder.
The judge would have needed to approve a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity, which would have required Arias' defense team to find a psychiatrist who would have testified that she was insane at the time of the murder.
Here’s a quick summary of the known facts about the murder: Arias showed up uninvited to Alexander’s Arizona home on the night of June 4, 2008. The two were intimate together, taking naked pictures in the shower, and then something went sour. The couple continued their X-rated photo shoot in the shower. That’s where Arias claimed Alexander attacked her for dropping his camera, a tale she came forth with two years after she denied any involvement with her ex-boyfriend’s death.
She went on to stab him 27 times, slit his throat from ear to ear, and shot him in the forehead-- all while he was naked. She even moved his corpse back into the shower before fleeing the scene.
When it was clear Arias could no longer evade involvement in the case, she lawyered up and pleaded self-defense. Throughout the trial, and specifically during the 18-days she was testifying, she painted Alexander to be a manipulative deviant who forced her into anal sex and masturbated to pictures of little boys. She claimed he played mind games with her and was seeing other women, all behind the shield of his Mormon faith.
The blood, violence and betrayal in this case helped make it a headline grabber, even turning the home in which Alexander died into an unsolicited tourist hot spot.
Arias recently stated she’d rather be given the death penalty than life in prison.