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Jodi Arias — Guilty, Murder 1: A Psychiatric Analysis

Arias is guilty of murder 1. Can a psychiatric diagnosis explain why she did it?

After five long years, the Jodi Arias trial came to a climatic end with a guilty verdict for Murder in the First Degree. Justice spoke loud and clear, in a trial consumed with sex, lies and audiotape. As I discussed in past blogs, Arias was not insane or incompetent or a battered woman. She did not suffer from PTSD, nor borderline personality disorder, nor was she a sociopath. The DSM IV, with all of its 365 diagnoses, does not explain Arias’s behavior and there is no one or no circumstance left to blame other than Jodi herself.

As much as we want to place her in a nice psychiatric diagnostic box, complete with a bow on top it just doesn’t work. The DSM system was never designed to explain criminal behavior and for all the “experts” using it, you are just plain misguided. Here’s the simple analysis: Arias was a spoiled, selfish brat, unable to handle Alexander's rejection. She, like many in this day and age, wanted what she wanted -- NOW, and didn’t care what it took to get it. When she finally realized Travis would never be hers, she calmly decided, “well, if I can’t have him, then nobody else will, either” and planned his death.

Judge Stephens is handed the jury's decision.

Typically, this disorder or that disorder is not the reason for an evil act. It’s much simpler than that -- greed, jealousy, anger, obsession, revenge. These base human emotions still explain so much about bad human behavior and these are not part of DSM I, II, III or IV (or the soon to be released 5). Sometimes a person is just plain evil, and that is not a mental health diagnosis. Arias has gotten away with bad behavior all her life, and is now being held accountable -- maybe for the first time ever.

While one would think that the severity of the verdict would have her doing a bit of soul-searching and self-contemplation, she remains defiant. She just doesn't get it. Minutes after her conviction, Arias was heard yelling at her attorneys. Soon after that, unbelievably, she was in front of a KSAZ Phoenix camera and gave an exclusive interview.

Reporter Troy Hayden asked Arias if she had any idea how the public viewed her. Arias admitted she is disliked (the ultimate understatement) by many, but also defiantly stated, "A psychologist once explained to me that society has this need to persecute people. They get some sort of gratification from it, so there might be something going on there." She ignores the severity and cruelty of her actions to the end.

Even now, Arias shows no remorse for taking a life. Not once has she said, “I’m sorry”. In regards to his family, she said "I hope Travis' family remembers their brother the way they want to", giving the impression only she knows who he really was. Meanwhile, she still blames others and is still defiant, while continuing to drag Alexander's name through the mud, even though a jury of her peers (and an overwhelming majority of the public) don't believe a word she says.

During her interview, she also stated "I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I'd rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it." But, with the way Arias operates, is this just one more manipulation and a bit of reverse psychology?

Today comes the aggravation phase, and it will be a mini-trial heard by the same jurors. At stake is life or death. Juan Martinez must prove this murder was cruel, so the last moments of Travis’s life will be detailed for the court and all of us, step by brutal step. Arias' television interview will be allowed, and certainly Martinez will use her own words and urge the jury to grant Arias her wish, potentially paving the way for a lethal injection. As for now, Arias is on suicide watch, observed around the clock.

Arias will never show remorse for killing another human, will never say a kind word to Alexander's family, will remain defiant and in denial to the end. There is no personality disorder or psychosis that explains her actions. She is evil and a murderer and now will be held accountable. Justice was served.

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