Of Convictions and Death Penalties.

Jodi Arias, convicted of murdering her one time lover Travis Alexander, has been given life in prison by default because the jurors couldn’t make a unanimous decision for the death penalty. This is the second jury that has been unable to make that unanimous decision (the trial had been held in Arizona where law dictates that if all 12 jurors can’t agree on the penalty, then it will go to mistrial). In case you don’t know the whole story, here is what’s been going on for the last couple of years:

In June 2008, Travis Alexander was murdered by his one time lover, Jodi Arias. His throat was slashed to the point of near decapitation, a bullet to the head, and multiple stab wounds. His body was left in the bathtub where friends found it five days later. It’s been stated that she was very manipulative and stalker-ish in nature and sought revenge when Alexander made it clear that he didn’t want to have anything to do with her. In 2013, Jodi Arias went on trial for his murder and mutilation. She was found guilty of the murder, but jurors were unable to come to a unanimous agreement about her sentence (death penalty versus life imprisonment).

Prosecutor Jaun Martinez again pursued the death penalty for Arias in 2015. Yet again, the jury was unable to come to a decision and the judge was forced to sentence Arias to life in prison by default. It’s now being decided whether or not she’ll get chance of parole after 25 years. Jurors came out and stated that the decision was 11-1 for the death penalty but were unable to persuade the last juror to deliberate and change her decision and suspect an ulterior motive from the woman. Obviously, the Alexander family is very upset as they were pushing for the death penalty for the woman who so brutally murdered their brother and son.

Seeing a trial where death penalty is on the table is very conflicting for me. On one hand, I don’t like the death penalty because I don’t believe it’s anybody’s right to play God in whether or not a person should live or die based on their actions, no matter how heinous. Killing a murderer on death row does not bring the dead back. However, when you see certain crimes that have been committed, you start to feel sympathy for the family of the victim and want them to have a peace of mind. If you seen the evidence of Alexander’s crime (it’s brutal, I looked at the crime photos), you start to see why they want the death penalty and begin to emphasize with it.

It’s a hard decision to make and I’m glad I never have to make it. Those who have to be on death trials have a huge task in front of them and it’s a wonder how some have been able to make that decision. My logic and beliefs (no to the death penalty) versus my emotions (wanting the person to get what they deserve), would render me helpless. So while I generally don’t believe in the death penalty, I empathize with all the families who have to watch their family members’ killer be put on trial and seeking justice for them.

What are your thoughts about the death penalty? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter! (But please, no arguments or name calling)


Hannibal the Cannibal

I finished watching Hannibal today when I got off my morning shift. Technically I had ten minutes left of the second to last episode, but I didn’t feel like going through the whole first thirty minutes of the show that I’d already seen just to watch the last ten minutes. I mean, I *could* stick it in my laptop and fast forward it to the last ten minutes, but I’m not that ambitious. So, after watching the whole t.v. series, this was my reaction to it:

O.O Wow!

How disturbing…how dark…how…bloody. I can’t believe I watched that whole t.v.  series and lived to the end to tell the tale. Mads Mikkelsen really knows how to play the bad guy. Talk about psychological thrillers. I know that Dr. Lecter is somehow a part of all the killings throughout the t.v. show, but I haven’t quite figured out he’s twisted his “victims” to kill their victims. I suppose I’d know if I actually read the books, but I haven’t, so therefore I have to sit there in front of the t.v. screen and just chew over it.

Seeing season one has made me want to read Red Dragon, though. I want to read the books that have started a cult fascination of such a twisted, sadistic doctor. Why does he do the things he’s done? What makes him feel pleasure over the death of many, especially in particular ones whose minds are right there on the edge of breaking down? It’s sick, twisted, yes, but at the same time fascinating. We humans have a natural curiosity, and we want to know why people do the things they do, even if it means the person is a sadistic serial killer who takes pleasure in killing and eating others.

I may or may not read the books, but getting over season 1 of Hannibal is going to be quite a feat. Mads Mikkelsen said he was afraid of accepting the role of Hannibal because he felt that Anthony Hopkins (the man who played Hannibal in the original movies), played the character perfectly right down to a T. But from what I saw of the first season, I think the man has done Anthony Hopkins proud. In a sick, twisted way, of course.

A Horror Story, American Style

A while ago, I decided that I wanted to watch American Horror Story. It’s been around for about a year now, but I never really watched it. If you know me well, you know that until this year, I watched very few movies. It’s not that I didn’t like watching movies, it’s the fact that I always had something better that I wanted to do with my time.

But because I’ve been watching a lot of movies this year (a mixture between wanting something to do to relax me after a long week at school and taking classes that made me more aware of media around me), I’ve begun to dig around for movies and t.v. shows that I’ve always meant to watch but never did.

American Horror Story is one of those shows. I knew it was going to have a dark, creepy feel to it, but I didn’t expect the Pilot episode to have quite the intensity that it presented. From what I understand of the first episode, there is this little old mansion in Los Angeles (I don’t know if it’s on the outskirts or in the thick of it, but there you have it) that has had several owners, none of them lasting long. We get a hint of what happens to some of the people who dare go into the building, but we aren’t giving the full story. It then fast forewords to present day when a couple and their daughter purchase the house in order to start a new life. The wife had had a miscarriage and had caught the husband having sex with a teenager, but still decides to move across the country with her husband in order to have a second chance. The girl, feeling on the outskirts as her parents’ marriage disintegrates, begins to cut herself and smoke.

As the episode goes on, you begin to realize that things aren’t what they seem in this new home of theirs. Strange things begin to happen. The neighbor’s mentally ill daughter is able to magically get into the house even when the doors are locked, the maid seems like an old lady to the wife and daughter but a young, sexy woman to the husband, a strange half-burnt man that follows the husband around, strange clown-like figures and psychotic boys.

By the time the episode ended an hour later, I was shell shocked. So many things kept jumping out at me, keeping me on my toes, tense and ready for the next strange event to happen. I think that was the producers and directors’ intent. Put you in a strange, emotional overload so that everything seems to be a downward spiral into insanity. They want you to feel confused as if you were right in the middle of the show with them, wondering what in the world has just happened. It’s almost like a Stephen King novel, where everything isn’t what it seems, that the oddities keep building and building until insanity breaks through and challenges you to question what is real and what is fiction.

I’m interested in seeing the rest of season 1. I want to know who all these myriad of characters are and why they’re here. More importantly, is the new family coming out of it alive? Less sane, perhaps, but alive and doing well? From the last line of “Don’t make me kill you again,” I don’t think life is going to get much better for this American family. I’ll just have to tune into the next episode and sink back down into the next American Horror Story.