After 13 hours of deliberation a jury of 12 was unable to come to a unanimous decision in the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial, resulting in a mistrial, and now the jury foreman is speaking out for the first time and RadarOnline.com has all the details.
“The best word I can use is surreal,” Bill Zervakos answered when asked by Inside Edition to describe the experience of the Arias trial.
“One of the reasons I’m doing these interviews, and I’m doing very few, is because after we got out of this we heard about the sensationalism…we knew it was a big deal…but we had no clue the scope of it, literally worldwide. We had no clue about how much vitriol and hatred there was for Jodi Arias out there.
“What she did was horrible, there’s no question about it, but this is a human being. Our jury’s prudence system is based on innocent until proven guilty. And this girl was crucified in the court of public opinion. We didn’t know that of course until after the fact.”
On May 8 the jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder in the brutal slaying of her ex-lover Travis Alexander — but whether she will get the death penalty or not will now be decided by a new jury of 12.
“I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but I don’t think any of the 12 of us went through this, actually 15, but the 12 of us that deliberated specifically, could go through this without a changing of…the changing some of our values and perceptions. So I don’t necessarily want to use the word life-changing, but it certainly had a major impact on our lives, how we view things, the monumental responsibility,” Zervakos said.
“There was a Jodi Arias before June 4 of 2008 and a Jodi Arias after June 4 of 2008. Jodi Arias before that time seemed like an absolutely normal young woman; going through relationships, ups and downs, there was no history of any kind of violence, there was no history of any unusual problems with relationships, they were pretty typical.
“But then there was the Jodi Arias after this horrendous crime, so why would I not expect lies? Why would I not expect her to try and cover her tracks? I think the interviews, to be candid with you, and I’ve understood that she’s done some since the trial and just before it was over, I don’t think it was very smart of her. But did it affect our decision? I wouldn’t think so, no.”
Zavakos went on to tell the news show that the jury was deadlocked 8-4, without revealing his own vote, but saying the majority vote was to give Arias the death penalty.
“There were moments of contention all the way through because every decision we made was huge. Everybody is so emotionally charged and we’re having to control those emotions and it’s only fair when those emotions bubble over but we’re able to reel it back in,” he said.
Interestingly, Zavakos revealed he did believe Arias suffered abuse at the hands of Alexander.
“I do believe that she was emotionally and verbally abused,” he said, also noting the impact of the Alexander family’s pain and suffering saying, “You can’t listen to that kind of hurt, the pain, the anguish, and not be touched.”