I had not watched the Jodi Arias murder trial but I knew enough from a few news accounts to know that it involved a grisly act. And today I watched TV coverage with the cynic’s eye as the verdict came in. Guilty in the first degree.
While I assume the jury’s verdict was a just one, I was appalled at the world attention the trial had brought to Arias and this desert island called Phoenix, Arizona. A CNN reporter said it was a combination of an attractive defendant, “an extremely attractive” victim in Travis Alexander and intimate details about their sexual affairs.
I was appalled why normally intelligent and sensitive people would get so wrapped up in the misery of others. It is hard to figure any other answer but that these Arias trial devotees have little going on in their own lives and live, not only in this trial but in most things, vicariously.
I was appalled why, for instance, that a bureau of the local newspaper had created a lottery on the trial’s outcome. First-degree murder, second-degree, manslaughter or acquittal. The tie-breaker was the closest time the verdict would come in. That is about as cold and distant as you come. This was not a game here. Not like a Final Four pool.
And then after the verdict was announced you see all those people in the street acting as simpletons, cheering and celebrating as if the local NBA team had won a big playoff game. Our “team” had won, yours had lost. And the reporters chasing down the smallest shred of info from those who packed the courtroom. Helicopters circling above. If you didn’t know the meaning of “media circus,” you knew it now.
There were no winners here today. Just sadness. A young man murdered and his girlfriend, a seemingly intelligent young woman with huge emotional issues, is going up the river for a long time and perhaps, though I hope not, be put to death.
You have to wonder, is there any hope in the long run for the human species? Is Jodi Arias really any colder and less sensitive that the celebrants? You have to wonder, don’t you?