Jodi Arias Sentencing Retrial: Is The Death Penalty Sexist? 4 Fast Facts About The Latina's Case

Jodi Arias
Jodi Arias smiled and posed when police took her mugshot, after being arrested for murder. Siskiyou Sheriff's Office

On May 8, 2013 Jodi Arias was convicted of the brutal killing of her on and off boyfriend Travis Alexander. The country's eyes were glued to the footage playing out inside the Arizona courtroom where Jodi Arias was on trial. Now 33 years old, Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder and in Arizona that judgment carries a possible death sentence. The jury that spent four months listening to Arias make claims she stabbed, shot and cut the throat of her boyfriend in self-defense. The jury was able to decide the woman was guilty, but not that she deserved death.

A new jury was supposed to begin hearing testimony in the second death penalty phase of the Arias case on September 16. For an unknown reason the judge over seeing the Arias case (1.) postponed the next hearing until Friday October 4 at 8:30am local time. The death penalty debate is one that divides the United States. There are some that feel the death penalty is a deterrent while others believe the courts should not decide who lives and dies no matter the crime.

Despite the high profile nature of the Jodi Arias case, it seems unlikely that a death sentenced will be handed down. If Arias is sentenced to die for her crime it is even more unlikely that she will be executed. (2.) Since 1976, when the United States reintroduced the death penalty as a form of criminal punishment, 1,342 people have been executed. Of those put to death only 13 were women. This has some asking if the death penalty is sexist.

"There is just less enforcement of the death penalty at almost every stage for females," the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, Richard Dieter to Business Insider. According to B.I. there are two factors that come into play regarding the low number of women who are actually executed. The first is the nature of the crime and the other is how juries view women in a general sense.  Despite the brutality with which Arias killed Alexander, the jury may have had a difficult time sentencing her to death because she is pretty, seemed remorseful and tried to come across as a victim.

Business Insider has reported that only 10 percent of murders committed are done so by women. On the other hand, 35 percent of the murders involving the death of a romantic partner between 1980 and 2008 were done so by women. In the case of a woman that killed her two young children by backing her car into a lake, Susan Smith was put on trial for murder but was painted as a victim. When the jury learned about the abuse she suffered as a child they did not sentence her to death.

Dieter told Business Insider that the jury in the Smith case was "asked to see if this person has any redeeming qualities. And they often see their own mother or wife or grandmother, not someone who will continue to be a threat to society. Jurors just see women differently than men." If Arias were sentenced to die and the execution were carried out she would be put to death by lethal injection. (3) According to Death Penalty Information Center, lethal injection is the primary method of execution for all states. (4) The state of Arizona uses the one drug method of execution by lethal injection. The inmate is strapped to a table in the death chamber and then injected with pentobarbital. The anesthetic is administered in lethal doses, killing the inmate.

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Amanda Schiavo holds a B.A in History from Pace University and has been a member of the Latin Times team since May 2013. She is an amateur historian, an aficionado of all things Disney, is an animal enthusiast and an accomplished equestrian. Schiavo enjoys writing human-interest pieces and stories related to helping animals and animal rights. Schiavo has been a journalist for four years and has written for Brooklyn Today as well as several other publications.