Jodi Arias continues to fan the flames of both admirers and haters as they debate her guilt or innocence and whether she is a murderess or victim. The Arizona court found her guilty of murder and she will pay for her crime, the question now is, how much? Her fate is in the hands of the jury, who are currently debating whether the punishment will be (1) Life in prison, (2) Life with the possibility of parole or (3) Death. As we await the verdict, here is a recap of my prior analyses of Jodi:
 
 
•  Is Jodi Arias A Sociopath? The first jury deliberated fifteen hours but was not able to hand down a death sentence. America was shocked and mesmerized by the XXX testimony streaming during daytime television. Viewers were glued to their sets, wondering what type of mental illness could possibly be responsible for such a gruesome and horrific murder. "Sociopath" (the technical term is antisocial personality disorder) was the early diagnosis on all the news and talk shows. As I discussed, Arias' antisocial personality disorder did, indeed, line up with the profile except that she had no prior history before the murder. For Arias to be antisocial, the symptoms must first be evident in childhood and gradually progress from there.
 
• Does Jodi Arias Have Borderline Personality Disorder? Arias seemed to thrive under the scrutiny and aggressive questioning of Juan Martinez. As she taunted and attempted to shock the prosecutor, the courtroom and the world, America watched in stunned disbelief, while pundits disputed whether Arias suffered from BPD. Looking at each symptom with respect to Jodi, it was clear she did meet the criteria for BPD with respect to Alexander. However BPD usually begins during the teen years and most importantly does not involve just one person.
 
• Is Jodi Arias A Battered Woman? As the trial continued Arias and her defense team began accusing Alexander of being a batterer and later a pedophile. This prompted me to wonder if Arias was a battered woman. It should be noted that there is no diagnosis of "battered woman" in the DSM. During Arias' trial, it quickly became clear that Alexander had no history of being a batterer (or pedophile) and Arias had scant evidence of being a battered woman. Indeed, in her journal and in her own words Arias stated that Alexander was awesome.

Boasting of sex utilizing pop rocks and Tootsie pops, Arias gleefully wrote about their escapades. When she told the jury she was physically abused, Martinez noted the words written in her journal on those same dates were nothing but positive remarks regarding Alexander. Also in her final journal entry, which was after the murder, Arias wrote, "If I ever have a son, I'm going to name him Alexander."

Myspace
Source: Myspace

 
• Jodi Arias -- Guilty, Murder 1: A Psychiatric Analysis As I wrote in this analysis, Jodi blamed extenuating circumstances for the murder of Alexander. She showed no remorse for taking her boyfriend's life in such a cruel way and continues to exhibit a lack of remorse to this day. My conclusion: She was an evil person who brutally murdered someone she claimed to love.
 
• Could Jodi Arias And OJ Simpson Be Soulmates? OJ Simpson, another defendant who has staunch supporters and haters, was also a defendant accused of murdering the very person he vowed to love. Obsessive love has been shown to occasionally create monsters with little self-control, which sometimes leads to murder. Yet an obsession with ‘until death do us part’ isn't a mental illness. These individuals are simply unable to cope with rejection, rationalizing their actions while doing anything/everything to hold on to the object of their desire.

• Is Amanda Knox Another Jodi Arias? At first glance, one may wonder why I would compare these two women. But a closer look illuminates uncanny similarities, the first being brutal murders involving a slashed throats for both victims. Then strange and bizarre behavior ensued when the suspects were interrogated by police. Knox performed cartwheels and splits, while Arias inappropriately laughed and performed headstands. I can't think of too many situations that would be more stressful than being in an interrogation room while police try to determine if one is guilty of murder, and yet Knox and Arias were both extremely cool under pressure. Arias was very calm, even laughing with detectives. Knox was also very relaxed and cheeky. Neither women showed any empathy for the deceased. But, like I said, Knox was thousands of miles from home being interrogated in a foreign language. She was slapped and deprived sleep. She  looked disoriented, like a deer in the headlights. Arias was a cold, calculated and uncaring liar.
 
• What's New With Jodi Arias? While Arias was in jail awaiting the penalty phase of her trial, she filed bankruptcy, sold tracings on her website and continued to infuriate her detractors with defiant behavior. The penalty phase has taken much longer than expected, but now the decision is in the hands of the jury. With each passing minute this jury deliberates, the more obvious it becomes more likely that a hung jury will result in a mistrial.
 
• Does Jodi Arias Deserve To Die? Arias is a master manipulator who had another chance to convince a jury to allow her to live. This time, however, the cameras were absent, so we can only speculate as to her antics within the courtroom. When questioned by detectives, Arias mentioned that if she had killed Alexander -- the person she claimed to love (again, similar to OJ) -- she would have made it as quick and humane as possible. In reality, Alexander -- a kind and beloved motivational speaker without any history of violence or abuse, suffered a particularly horrible, gruesome and painful death by being stabbed 27 times, shot in the face and having his throat slashed with such rage and force that he was almost decapitated. Does Arias deserve to die for her crimes? You bet, but I still do not believe the jury will strap this 32-year-old woman to a gurney to face death by a lethal injection. Life in prison is the likely outcome.
 
Who is the real Jodi Arias? Who is this woman that causes an explosion of emotional flames with just the mention of her name? She seemed to be just another high school dropout who took an interest in photography. Pursuing this, she worked various part-time jobs in the hopes of becoming a professional photographer. Years later, she met Alexander, and the obsession began which brings us to where we are today. No matter what the jury decides, Arias will be a topic of psychological debate for years to come.

About the Author

Dr. Dale Archer

Dale Archer, M.D., is a clinical psychiatrist and the author of Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional.

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