The boyfriend of Jodi Arias, Travis Alexander, was brutally murdered in 2008. He was stabbed 27 times, had his throat slashed and was shot in the head. Arias herself was not present during the commission of the crime.
No wait, she was present but it was someone else who killed Alexander, not her.
No, no, wait. She actually did kill Alexander, but she was forced to because she feared for her life. You see, Arias had dropped a camera belonging to Alexander, and he, while in the shower, flew into such a rage that she was forced to stab him 27 times, cut his throat and shoot him in the head with a gun that had been reported stolen by her family a week earlier.
That is the one-two-three of the Arias accounts to the police of her involvement, or lack of it, in the brutal murder. And number three is the story she is sticking to for the trial, which is now in its third day.
Arias is claiming self-defense and is pleading with the jury for a compassionate ruling as a victim of one of the most egregious problems faced by women in western culture — domestic violence.
I would suggest a possible fourth scenario that would explain what happened. Jodi Arias is a violent psychopath who murdered Travis Alexander in one of the most brutal and hideous ways imaginable. When her first two lies were discredited by the police, with pictures of the events, she calculated that her best bet for getting off was to pretend to be a victim of domestic violence who killed in self-defense.
She played the VAWA card.
VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, authored by Vice President Joe Biden, was predicated on the idea that women, and only women, are the victims of domestic violence and that only men are perpetrators. The Act was based on notoriously biased and often fraudulent data about the incidence, by sex, of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and has had the effect of not only monumental government waste, but of grossly distorting the very real problem of family violence in public perception.
With massive amounts of taxpayer funding, VAWA and the gender ideology it monetized, have given people like Arias a shot, or at least the hope of beating accountability for their actions, even the unspeakable violence that ended the life of Travis Alexander.
If you think that is far-fetched, think again.
On March 22, 2006, Mary Winkler placed the barrel of a shotgun to the back of her sleeping husband, a church pastor, and pulled the trigger. She claimed self-defense (after fleeing the scene and demonstrating consciousness of guilt in a variety of other ways), citing that her husband had been abusive to her. Though her claims were never proven, they appeared to influence the jury, which included 10 women. She was convicted only of voluntary manslaughter. She ended up serving 5 months in jail (pre-trial) and the judge permitted her to spend up to 60 days in an undisclosed mental health facility in Tennessee.
After a battle with her victim’s family, she was given full custody of her children in 2008.
And she got to appear on Oprah.
Many experts agree that it was the sympathy as an alleged (not proven) victim of domestic violence that garnered Winkler favor with the jury as well as the judge in the case.
So while the vacillating stories/lies offered by Arias, the degree of overkill with which she dispatched Alexander, and the literal mountain of evidence already in front of the jury that this was a vicious, calculated crime, the VAWA card may still have some real effect.
The case also highlights issues of sentencing disparities between men and women in criminal courts, which exceeds the sentencing disparities between Whites and other minorities.
Last night on the Fox News program On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Attorney Michael Cardoza delivered a sobering appeal to viewers regarding the possible sentencing in this case.
This is a first degree murder. I think the big question here will be will the jury bring back the death penalty against her. It’s been my experience that juries don’t like to bring back death penalty verdicts against women. That is where we are not equal in the courtroom, men and women. They’ll gladly do it against a man, but not against a woman. Come on guys, it’s a first degree murder.
While we should, assuming she is convicted, be very mindful of this case as another example of sentencing bias that favors women, it is more important, I think, to see this case in terms of what it represents about the perception of IPV long fostered by legislation like VAWA.
Republicans managed to stall VAWA into a natural death at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day. But we are already aware that efforts to resurrect the recently defunct legislation are underway with a high probability of success, especially if the public remains silent.
I will only reiterate my disagreement with Republican strategy so far as to say they are not educating the public on the real nature of IPV in order to cover themselves politically.
But a dead VAWA is a dead VAWA. And a dead VAWA is the only path we have to non-ideological, research based methods of addressing family violence.
I urge you again to contact your representatives and politely insist that they do everything possible to defeat VAWA before it becomes law again. And to thank those that are making efforts to do so.