Alex Witt   |  May 19, 2013

Mitigating factors in the Jodi Arias sentence

Criminal Defense Attorney Anne Bremner and Former Prosecutor Wendy Murphy break down the Jodi Arias case with MSNBC’s Alex Witt.  Wendy notes that lack of credibility Jodi Arias will have when she takes the stand. Anne mentions the mitigating factors that could lead a juror to not be in favor of the death penalty. Wendy underscores the gruesomeness of the murder committed by Arias.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this could be the week that jody arias learns her fate. joining me now, criminal defense attorney ann bremner. when she takes the stand, does it make any difference? does she have any creds left with this jury?

>> no, no, no, no. there is virtually nothing she can say that will save her life because she has so offended the jury during her trial. because she took the stand, manipulated them, lied to them about what she did during the crime and then lied to them when she falsely accused travis alexander of being a pedophile, among other things, i don't think there's anything she can say to save her life. it's like throwing a grasshopper at an elephant. even if she comes across sincere, she's not going to make a didn't in their desire to give her the death penalty .

>> although it has to be unanimous. is it the defense tactic to target one, two, three sympathetic looking jurors?

>> she can say she's a good artist, she might be a good person in the future, she's a sister, she's young. all of these factors are mitigation and they only have to show those as a preponderance. and do they outweight the cruelty part? every murder is cruel when you think about it. when you put everything together, can we get one juror? i wish we could see the jurors and see their eyes. but the key is there might be one. that's what the defense wants, just one that says no way.

>> it's coming on the heels of what his sibling said in court. let listen to what he said in court.

>> how much did he suffer? how much did he scream? what was he saying? what was the last thing he saw before his eyes closed? what was his final thought in his head?

>> we lost our father on travis ' 20th birthday and our mother shortly after, and through this trying time in our lives, travis was the one that got us through the pain and the hardship because he was our strength.

>> wendy, the jurors have had all weekend to percolate on all of that and play it over and over in their minds. how damning is that for any chance that she'll get just a life sentence ?

>> you know, the interesting thing about this case is this isn't just a run of the mill murder. and it's wrong that all murders are cruel and worthy of the death penalty . we're talking about nearly 30 stab wounds, slicing his head off nearly ear to ear and after he was dead, a gratuitous bullet to the face for no reason. if ever there was a kill that makes someone look like a psycho path, this is the case. the thing she has going for her through the trial is she doesn't look like charles manson , she looks sweet, she's very well spoken. and there was all that different sex talk, which is a slightly different vibe in a case than most mrd triaurder trials. but i think the jury felt manipulated by that. what they're thinking is she doesn't deserve to live because she's a psychotic psychopath that doesn't deserve to live, why spare her life? for what? she has no value.

>> but, anne, i think it's difficult for any jury to render the death penalty . it gives everybody pause thinking about what you have been charged with doing. how much might that ultimately overcome all of this?

>> i think that, you know, when you actually look at the person and they spent a lot of time with her and they may not like her, i don't know. obviously they convicted her of murder one. when you spend that much time together, you don't convict your family and you don't kill your family. all murder are cruel. look at cases of ted bundy and all the other murder cases . the jurors have to look at her and say we're killing her. how hard was that when you just convicted her of a homicide and you're going to turn around and do a state-sanctioned killing as a juror. each person has to search their own heart and soul and say can i do this. maybe one of them, maybe two of them can't.

>> there are those that think that spending the rest of her life given how young she is in prison, potentially without the possibility of parole, there are those who will weigh that. but thank you so much. we'll see you again.