Sharon Martin: Jodi's Trial is Similar to Another Arizona Death Penalty Case

By Sharon Martin

Will Jodi Arias get the death penalty? A new jury will have to decide that. Nationally, women account for only 2 percent of death sentences. More than one interviewee told Snapped that it’s rare for Arizona to put a women to death. Right now, there are only two women on death row there.

However, the Jodi Arias case has quite a few similarities to another Arizona death penalty case that we covered on Snapped -- one which ended with a woman being put to death. In October 2000, 30-year-old Wendi Andriano called 911 to report the death of her husband, Joe. He was a terminally ill cancer patient, but she claimed that night he had attacked her. In response, Wendi bludgeoned her husband with a barstool, striking him more than 20 times. She also stabbed him in the neck with a kitchen knife. Unlike Jodi, she immediately claimed self-defense. The brutality of the attack is much like Travis Alexander’s murder. Like Jodi, Wendi faced the death penalty. 

But it is during the trial that the cases really start to match up. Like Jodi, Wendi was a blonde, who showed up at trial as a brunette. The prosecutor in the Wendi Andriano case was Juan Martinez, the same prosecutor in Jodi’s case. And just just as in Jodi’s trial, Wendi took the stand and spent several days sparring with Martinez.

Wendi claimed that her husband’s attack was not a one-time occurrence, saying he had been abusive for years and that she was a victim of domestic violence. Sound familiar? In Wendi’s case, police also had evidence of extra-marital affairs and her attempt to poison her husband before bludgeoning him. The trial lasted three months. (Jodi’s lasted nearly five, so far.) It took the jury less than three hours to convict her. After another four hours of deliberation, the jury sentenced her to death.

That was in 2004, nearly 10 years ago. Jodi has already warned that a death sentence would only drag out the case, and if Wendi Andriano is any indication, she may be right. So will Jodi suffer the same fate?

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