Jodi Arias Could Join Husband Killer, Vigilante Murderer on Death Row

Jury deliberates today over whether Jodi Arias should get death penalty.

ByABC News
May 22, 2013, 1:54 PM

May 22, 2013— -- Jodi Arias could become the third woman on Arizona's death row if she is sentenced to death today for murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

If condemned to death row, she would likely face a long sentence, since Arizona has not executed a woman since 1930. But that long sentence would be marked by extreme isolation.

The jury that convicted Arias earlier this month is set to continue their deliberations today over whether to give Arias life in prison or the death penalty. They began deliberating at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Arias and her attorneys begged the jury to spare her life on Tuesday during Arias's allocution statement and the closing arguments, telling the jury that Arias would spend her life behind bars helping others and contributing to society.

But prosecutor Juan Martinez told the jury death is the only just punishment for the June 4, 2008 murder, in which Arias killed Alexander with 27 stab wounds, a slashed throat and a gunshot to the head.

Life on Arizona's death row would mean no contact with other inmates -- including her death row neighbors. Her chance to talk to others would be few. She would be allowed only two 10 minute phone calls per week.

She would be permitted visits, but there would be no physical contact with those visitors. And her family is in California, which could make frequent visits difficult.

Her life at Arizona's state prison complex at Perryville, outside of Phoenix, would be largely confined to a 12 feet by 7 feet cell which is outfitted with a toilet, sink, bed and mattress, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections. How she could furnish her cell is strictly limited: just two appliances, hygiene items, two books, and writing materials.

Arias, 32, would be allowed outside of her cell to exercise for only two hours on three days a week, plus three showers per week, according to the department. For the rest of her life, Arias would eat all her meals in that cell.

If the jury condemns her, Arias will join on death row Wendi Andriano, 43, who murdered her husband, and Shawna Forde, 46, who was convicted of killing a man and his daughter in an act of vigilante crime with a group of protesters angry over immigration.

See ABC News' Full Coverage of the Jodi Arias Trial

See the 9 Most Shocking Moments of the Jodi Arias Trial

In 2009, Forde and other members of the vigilante group Minute Men, angry over immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, entered the home of Raul Flores, Jr., and Forde shot and killed him and his daughter. Flores' wife survived the shooting and told officials that Forde was the shooter.

Andriano bludgeoned her terminally-ill husband to death in October 2000. After Joseph Andriano, 33, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Wendi Andriano attempted to poison him. Eventually, she resorted to stabbing him and hitting him with a bar stool until he died.

Juan Martinez, the prosecutor arguing for death for Arias, also prosecuted Andriano.

A third woman sentenced to death had her conviction overturned earlier this year by a federal court judge. Debra Milke had been on death row for 22 years for killing her 4-year-old son, but a judge ruled in March that the conviction could not stand because of questionable testimony by a detective who had a history of misconduct.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said he plans to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neither Forde nor Andriano have dates set for the execution, as both are seeking appeals. In fact, no woman has been executed in Arizon since the 1930s, according to the Department of Correction.

The most recent man executed in Arizona was Richard Dale Stokely, who died by letahl injection in December 2012. More than 120 men now sit on the state's death row, awaiting execution.

The men on death row are housed at a separate maximum-security facitlity in Eyman, Ariz., where they are housed together with gang members and security threat groups, though all are kept in single occupancy cells, according to the Corrections department.

The average time spent on death row before execution is 12 years, the department said.