I am more than a little concerned about the disbelief in modern psychology which I think is rooted in two factors: (1) philosophical materialism, the theory that only physical stuff is real, which of course precludes psychology; and (2) the reduction of human behavior to good and evil. Some have blamed Western genre novels and films for (2). I would like to suggest that roots of the problem go back much earlier in time to the sacred scriptures of several major religions. Because psychology and genetics were not understood at the time these texts were written, the authors had no other way to understand the world except in terms of good and evil. It is time (well past time actually) to break free of this antiquated way of processing what we see and hear.
I am not in any way trying to excuse what Jodi Arias did to Travis Alexander; but I do hope that the jury takes into account the possibility that she was physically and psychologically abused. When you are a woman (or a man for that matter) and a large man lunges at you "like a linebacker," as Jodi puts it, you might react defensively -- but when the attacker is the man who has been abusing you, that puts a whole different dynamic into play. To put in the vernacular, Jodi could have freaked out on Travis under those circumstances. The jury might also consider the possibility that this was a crime of passion related to the revelation that Travis was going to Cancun with another woman after making love with Jodi Arias. I truly believe that Jodi is too bright to have planned a murder this poorly. She has spent five years in prison and I suspect is looking at more hard time. The most we can hope for is that the jurors will deliberate thoughtfully about the circumstances and come back with a fair verdict -- which in my mind would exclude first degree murder.
NEXT: "FOOLPROOF SUFFOCATION: A DETAILED ANALYSIS."