The jury is out in the legal community as to whether Jodi Arias helped herself or hurt herself in her 19 days on the witness stand, says USA Today. Did the jurors in Phoenix get to know her too well to send her to Death Row? Or did they see her as a craven killer who is lying to save herself? But there is consensus that 19 days is an unprecedented amount of time for a defendant to stay on the stand, especially considering that defendants usually do not testify at all.
Arias, 32, has been on trial in Maricopa County Superior Court since Jan. 2 for the 2008 murder of her secret lover, Travis Alexander. Alexander, 30, was found dead in the shower of his Mesa home with a bullet in his head, nearly 30 stab wounds and a slit throat. Arias took the witness stand on Feb. 4, and only stepped down at the end of the day Wednesday, after the last of a succession of mind-numbing and often contentious questions from her lead defense attorney, Kirk Nurmi; the prosecutor, Juan Martinez; and more than 200 questions from the jury. Arias spent nine days under direct examination from Nurmi.