Along with millions of others, I have been captivated by the trial of Jodi Arias, the accused murderer of her boyfriend Travis Alexander back in 2008. The trial ranges up there with the Casey Anthony trial in Florida a couple of years back, and for more than a few good reasons.
Both of these crimes were committed by young attractive females. Both inflicted on people who were perceived as innocent and loveable people. Both cases generated a huge amount of interest pre-trial and both have been televised live to tens of millions of people daily for months on end.
The results of the Casey Anthony case are in. The uproar by the public has sent Casey into hiding where she will likely remain for a few more years before she can walk on a public street. As of Jodi Arias, she is in a world of her own and with the verdict going to the jury soon, if the verdict is not what the public wants to hear, then she too could be in hiding.
The Jodi Arias case has been televised daily since January 2nd. Jodi was on the stand for 18 days. She described every kind of sexual act one can imagine, she lied to the State, the Judge, the Jury and even to her own defence council. All on national/international television. So what does something like this cost?
Well, Jodi’s attorneys, Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott, are court appointed and don’t have the privilege of setting their fee. It would be a preset fee assigned by the State. The cost of witnesses, and investigative procedures however can run into much more. It has been estimated that the cost of the defence efforts will exceed a million dollars.
Juan Martinez and his team are already paid by the State and would be involved in duties for the State with or without the Jodie Arias trial taking place. This is true however Martinez and his team are resources that the State is spending and should be counted. The State also had some expert witnesses take the stand and they also have to be paid. That figure has not been disclosed but one would think it is substantial.
Adding to the costs are the administrative, logistic, Judge, jury, police and prison costs. Even though Jodie is being held in a Maricopa County facility run by Joe Arpaio America’s most cost effective Sherrif, there is still a cost involved and costs in high profile cases such as this one can run pretty high.
So it’s agreed that a great deal of money is being expended in the prosecution and the defence of Jodi Arias, but what about the collateral expenses? What about the cost being born by Travis Alexander’s family who have been in court absolutely ever single day of the court proceedings. These folks have left their homes and work to be in Phoenix and see justice being done first handed. Along with Travis’s family there is Jodi’s family, who are also victims of this crime. They also have expenses related to the trial. They are from California and have been in the courtroom, being thrown under the bus as much as they could and they have born their own expenses.
So let’s see who is making money out of the trial. HLN, True TV, Local and international news agencies are all making fantastic money. They have no cast to pay, no set to design and build, no script to write, no author to pay, no director’s salary to pays. Wow not a bad deal. Especially since they have a great income from sponsors. There are plenty of commercials you can bet on that. The money that HLN is raking in is astronomical and the money being spent by the State of Arizona is also astronomical.
If the courts across America, or in other countries for that matter, are going to allow cameras in to televise the event live. Should they not be picking up the tab? HLN ratings have gone through the roof during this trial. They have made an mini industry out of the trial. It runs from early morning until late at night, dragged on by commercial and a pause button that allows them to have more commercials, speak with legal pundits, take votes and rehash and dissect what you just heard. There is little or no lunch break for the viewers as they play catch up during the noon hour break and fill time running to 6:00pm when court actually finishes at 4:30 each day.
There is one thing that has been taken totally out of the picture though. Travis Alexander is dead. He died a gruesome death. Jodi Arias, while she may be a much despised, narsistic, evil villain in this affair, right now she is fighting for her life. So here we sit in our comfy homes with our coffee and comfort foods watching a probable killer fight to save her life. Indeed we have brought Murder down to the level of Entertainment.