I sat down to watch Troy Hayden’s interview on Fox 10. Honestly, I’m still not sure why. I must have been caught up in the moment in wanting to hear what Jodi Arias had to say. Now, I regret it.
I regret it because as I sat there watching Arias explain how she favors the death penalty over life in prison, I found myself feeling sympathy for her. Until I remembered what she was on trial for in the first place; killing Travis Alexander. She shot him in the head, stabbed him 27 times and slit his throat. Gruesome.
I have no connection to this case. I have no recollection of Travis Alexander’s death in 2008, nor do I remember when Jodi Arias was arrested a month later. I’m happy justice is in the process of being served here. But, this trial should be no different from any other murder trial, you know, the hundreds of other ones we don’t watch.
Let’s be honest: people didn’t watch this case for justice, despite those “justice for Travis” chants. People watched for their own reasons. The hundreds who showed up to the courthouse did so for their own reasons too. Maybe it was curiosity. Maybe it was the sexy details. Maybe it was something else. Fine. Those are valid reasons to care. I’d just prefer some honesty about it instead of pretending this is about ‘justice.’
I’ll admit I got caught up in all the hype, even as I despised the coverage of the trial. I watched the verdict being read. But, by no means do I pretend I care about justice in this case. I watched simply because I wanted to see Arias’ reaction to the verdict.
See, if this trial was truly about justice we would care about every other murder case. We’d want cameras present during those trials. We’d watch the verdicts being read. But, we don’t care. This is why Arias won. She got us emotionally invested in this murder case while just about every other one gets ignored. We know her name. Like it or not, she’s famous.
I’ll leave you with these facts to add a little perspective. In 2010 the CDC says there were 16,259 homicides in the United States. Around 6,000 of them will go unsolved. We are not in the streets demanding justice for those cases. They haven’t touched us. There are no cameras present and no sexy details. Our sense of ‘justice’ gets skewed when TV cameras show up.
The cameras may have caught every detail of this salacious trial but they’ve missed fact that there are 185,000 murders that remain unsolved that occurred between 1980 and 2008. Why don’t we care about ‘justice’ for their friends and families? The answer seems pretty obvious.