The Instigator
Wylted
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TN05
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Jodi Arias is innocent *Fall Tier Tournament- round 2*

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
TN05
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2014 Category: News
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,329 times Debate No: 63585
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (20)
Votes (3)

 

Wylted

Pro

I want to start by thanking BSH1 for hosting this tournament and TNO5 for participating in it.

A few things to keep in mind, is that my opponent has to show that Jodi Arias is guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't have to prove her innocence. I only have to show reasonable doubt. I plan to do this through a self defense argument, but am not limited to self defense arguments.






What I am going to do is show you that Con has no case. Jodi Arias instead of being the cold blooded murderer my opponent makes her out to be is actually a victim of domestic violence.
She was taking pictures of Travis Alexander with his camera and he flipped out due to his very conservative Mormon background and fear of the photos getting out.
This violent, explosive individual then went after Jodi Arias and she surprisingly found herself in a life or death battle she was fortunate enough to survive. Jodi Arias is a victim on several different levels. Not only a victim of Travis Alexander, but the victim of a weak defense team and a corrupt justice system.
TN05

Con

First off I want to join Wylted in thanking bsh1 for running this tournament. I also want to thank Wylted for his participation.

Before I begin my opening statements, I want to note that my opponent and I have agreed that I must prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jodi Arias is either guilty of first-degree murder or second-degree murder. The definitions are as follows, acccording to a legal wesbite:

First-degree murder - "First-degree murder is defined as an unlawful killing that is both willful and premeditated, meaning that it was committed after planning or 'lying in wait' for the victim. For example, Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. Three days later, Dan waits behind a tree near Victor's front door. When Victor comes out of the house, Dan shoots and kills him."[1]
Second-degree murder - "Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as: 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable 'heat of passion'; or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life. Second-degree murder may best be viewed as the middle ground between first-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. For example, Dan comes home to find his wife in bed with Victor. At a stoplight the next day, Dan sees Victor riding in the passenger seat of a nearby car. Dan pulls out a gun and fires three shots into the car, missing Victor but killing the driver of the car."[2]

Additionally, I want to establish that, as this is a debate on a murder, this will include graphic details of the killing, as well as photographic evidence. These will include, among other things, photographs of Travis Alexander (taken both directly before and directly after he was murdered) as well as blood and evidence of the killing. I will refrain from posting these very graphic and disturbing images directly - however, I will link them externally through citations. In order to fully understand the case, it is important to consider all evidence - accordingly, if you have an aversion to such accounts or images, I would strongly suggest you not read or vote on this debate.

As the prosecutorial side of this case, I will be arguing that Jodi Arias is guilty of either of these forms of murder. I can (and will) prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jodi Arias had both the means and motive to conduct the murder, and will confirm her guilt in accordance with the statutes of first and/or second-degree murder. Additionally, I will debunk the claims made by the Arias camp, as well as by my opponent. With that I look forward to my opponent's opening round.
Debate Round No. 1
Wylted

Pro

Despite my opponent repeatedly saying he needs to prove his case beyond a shadow of a doubt, I disagree. That's way too heavy of a burden for him to carry, probably an impossible Burden of proof. I insist we just hold him to proving his case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is still a higher BOP than would be required in a typical debate, but more fair to him.

INTRODUCTION

What I'm going to do is take you through an extremely plausible scenario for how this day played out and show you that Jodi Arias was indeed acting in self defense. Let's replay the event as it most likely unfolded.

KINKY SEX

According to Jodi Arias's testimony. Her and Travis were into some kinky sex. He would tie her up with some decorative rope and have rough sex with her.[1] He would cut and singe the ends of the decorative rope in the bathroom to avoid damaging the carpet. Afterwards he left the knife in the bathroom on the kitchen sink. ,[1]

Pictures

Jodi went into the bathroom to take pictures of Travis because he was extremely proud of the progress he's made with his body and she thought it would be fun. Jodi goes into the bathroom with his camera and starts snapping photos of him in the shower.[2] Being the devout Mormon that he was Travis probably feared that these photos would get out and he got visibly upset with Jodi. Jodi stunned by this accidently drops Travis's camera. He yells at he "You F**king idiot", and body slams her to the tile. [3]

CHASE

Jodi get's up and runs. to the closet and is so afraid of Travis that she feels the need to grab the gun. During the pursuit Travis is slipping due to being naked and wet and tripping on things and slamming into things getting his shins and legs all cut and bruised up. Somehow they meet up just outside the closet and he attempts to tackle her football style. she draws the gun and it accidently discharges hitting his sinus cavities. [3] The gunshot wound likely snapped him back into a less aggressive state and he went to the bathroom leaning his ear towards the sink to get a better look at the wound. The blood is dripping out of his face and you can see the evidence for this in how the blood is found in the sink.[4]

Jodi being concerned about Travis and thinking he's calmed down likely followed him into the bathroom. Once he realizes he's okay the anger returns from being shot, from being photographed nude, from Jodi dropping his camera. He grabs her by a piece of the clothes to hold her there and start attacking her. She is scared and grabs the knife, off of the bathroom counter. The initial wounds to Travis are superficial and indicate Jodi was merely trying to get away. She is trying to get away, while he keeps her close by holding onto her clothing.

After all of the stabbing to the hands to get him to let go of her clothes and superficial cuts mainly to the left side of his body Jodi final gets a deeper wound into his chest which causes him to let go and grab his chest. At this point she makes her only aggressive move which is a forward lunge to cut his throat and save her own life.

Here is how Jodi gripped the knife to get that type of wound on Travis's neck.[4] Now Travis is mortally wounded and instinctively continues attacking by wrapping his arms around her to slam her again. This is where she stabs him several times in the back to fight him off some more.

IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH

After the event Jodi was in a state of post traumatic stress disorder according to psychologist Dr Geffner.

"She could be suffering from PTSD and borderline personality disorder, but if all of your symptoms of borderline came after the event, it's not appropriate to call it just borderline," Geffner said. "All your tests are supporting some sort of anxiety disorder." [5]

Immediately after the event Arias was likely in a state of shock causing her to repress memories and do things people wouldn't normally do.[6] She went so tried to literally wash away the horror she just experienced by washing Travis and putting the camera in the washing machine. As a photographer she knows to erase pictures you'd just need to take out the flash card, and this shows throwing the camera in the washer was about washing away the horror not erasing any evidence.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

I want you to understand it's not surprising to hear a story of Travis being violent or angry or having a mean streak. Here is an E-mail between him and Jodi where he acknowledges his nasty temper.

Travis: "Yeah, I know, but they"ve see (sic) him at his worst, and I promise my worst is worse. So far."

Jodi: "I"ve seen your worst. We haven"t walked in his shoes but I take that bet."

Travis: "Hah, yeah, if I could transmute that fury I couldn"t be stopped. That shiz is scary."

Jodi: "You"ll master it one day."
[7]

and another e-mail

Travis (next morning): "You couldn't get off your lazy butt to read it could you. That's the sociopath I know so well. It freakin figures."

Travis' response: "I don't want your apology I want you to understand what I think of you. I want you [to] understand how evil I think you are. You are the worst thing that ever happened to me."
[7]

Travis at one point even breaks Jodi's finger and she holds it up in court to show the evidence of his abuse.[8]

This woman is a victim of an abusive relationship, but you wouldn't know that from watching HLN. All you see is this evil psychopath and this perfect Mormon version of mother Theresa. The truth however isn't so neat.

CONCLUSION

My opponent will not offer any physical evidence of the crime scene that contradicts the scenario I laid out. He will not be able to show Jodi Arias as the cold blooded murderer she has been made out to be. This is either what happened that night or as close as you can possibly get to what happened without actually having a videotape of the events.

The best my opponent will be able to do is a character assassination of Jodi Arias. This isn't too uncommon of victims of domestic violence. They are called liars for repeatedly putting themselves in that situation, when the reality is they are afraid to remove themselves from those horrible situations.

It's not unusual for the victim of domestic violence to be called a liar and excuses made for the man. It's also not uncommon for somebody to repress or manufacture memories to try and separate themselves from a traumatic event, but you'll hear my opponent call these psychological defense mechanisms the act of a really good liar. The truth is a really good liar wouldn't say "ninjas did it". That is the act of a psychologically damaged person trying to shield themselves from the pain.

sources
[1] http://abcnews.go.com...
[2] http://abcnews.go.com...
[3] http://abcnews.go.com...
[4] http://herrspeightsventures.com...
[5] http://abcnews.go.com...
[6] http://www.criticalincidentstress.com...
[7] http://justice4jodi.wikispaces.com...
[8]
TN05

Con

In any trial, the prosecution must prove the defendant meets three criteria: means, motive, and opportunity. Given that my opponent has conceded Arias both had means and opportunity to murder Travis Alexander, I will primarily focus on the motive. However, I will briefly go over both means and opportunity first to present some secondary evidence.

Means and opportunity
Jodi Arias undoubtedly had the means to commit the crime. Travis Alexander had been stabbed over 25 times, and also had was shot in the head by a .25-caliber gun.[1] Arias has admitted to both stabbing and shooting him, so she clearly had the means and opportunity in both cases.[2]

Motive
This is by far the most difficult aspect of this trail to confirm. However, it is still rather easy to do so. Arias and Alexander met in September 2006, and began dating two months later. They broke up in summer 2007, and Alexander moved on to date other women. Even still, they kept in contact (with Arias reportedly stalking Alexander), before she moved to Northern California. Fast forward to June 2008, when Alexander was found brutally murdered in his home. He was stabbed 27 times and shot in the head - his throat was slit as well.[3] Although my opponent may argue this was a spontaneous assault, it seems clear upon looking at the evidence that she in fact premeditated the murder. Just a few days prior to the killing, a .25-caliber gun was stolen from the Arias family house.[4] This is the same caliber that was used in the killing and, under oath, Arias admitted she has "never owned a gun". The question then arises, where did she get the gun? The only logical answer is that she stole it from her parents, and even if she stole or borrowed one from someone else, it shows clear premeditation to murder.[4] Further, evidence recovered at the crime scene definitively shows that the murder was premeditated. A camera was recovered at the crime scene, with deleted images taken before and after Alexander was murdered having been recovered by the police. These images include numerous pictures of Alexander posing in the shower (presumably taken just moments prior to the murder). These pictures (images 7-16) were not selfies - they were taken, presumably by Arias. However, the pictures don't stop there - two pictures were taken either during or after the murder. The first of these pictures (image 114 in the gallery) points at the ceiling. This could indicate a picture was taken during the incident, by accident. The second of these pictures (image 115) is of Alexander's bloody and presumably lifeless body.[5] The most interesting image taken, however, is the last one taken before the murder (image 17) - take a look at Alexander's face.[5] Does that look more like someone who is angry and ready to attack, as my opponent suggests, or someone who is being forced to pose at gunpoint?

Beyond that, we have even more examples of motive - Arias had messaged one of her former partners that she had found text messages on Alexander's phone that were from other women. On the 911 call taken from the friends who found Alexander's mutilated body in the shower, they noted he was having problems with an "ex-girlfriend who had stalked him and slashed his tires".[6] Of course, one could also wonder why a "self-defense" killing would require you to shoot someone and then stab them dozens of times times or vice versa? The gunshot wound was to the head - by all accounts, that is enough to incapacitate someone at worst, or kill them instantly at best.[7] Once again, this is another sign of premeditation - essentially, if you have a gun, there is not really a need to carry around a knife as well. Moreover, if you have a gun in the first place in a situation like this, it is highly doubtful it is for good intentions. Regardless of reason, however, the prosecution contends Arias started to stab Alexander, who was briefly incapacitated. In a realistic defense situation, the stab wounds would not be targeted and precise, like in the killing, but imprecise, in random body spots, and from wild swings to ward back the attacker, but the stabs were in fact very precise and targeted in specific locations.[7]

Arias's defense
All of this seems incredibly inconsistent with Arias's account, which is that she was the one abused. However, Arias's account itself wasn't consistent. At first, she denied being involved or present in the killing - she denied even being in the state. This is because after she killed Travis, she left and went to meet her new boyfriend for a sexual encounter. When presented with the camera evidence, she at first denied she was there, then changed the story to be that she was there, but that a couple came in and killed Alexander. Finally, she admitted she killed him, but said it was in self-defense.[8] This, frankly, is an absurd claim on the face of it. As I've explained above, the evidence simply doesn't line up with that. Arias's own boyfriend recounts that she had no injuries or anything abnormal, except for two bandages on her fingers.[9] In other words, the Arias defense is complete and utter rubbish.

Wylted's defense
My opponent's defense of Arias is similar to the Arias defense, but not identical. His mainly focuses on hypothetical, unfalsifiable, or incomplete situations. For example:
*My opponent asserts that Arias was assaulted by Alexander, causing her to drop the camera and it accidentally take a picture. However, this only accounts for one of the during-attack pictures (the one facing the ceiling), and not the one that features Alexander's bloodied body.
*My opponent asserts that Arias grabbed the gun while retreating from Alexander, but how is that possible? There is no record of Travis Alexander having owned a gun, and even if he did how would she know where it is or how to get to it?
*My opponent asserts the gunshot wound occurred first, and was to the sinus, and that Travis Alexander would have been in good enough condition to examine the wound in a mirror. However, the gunshot wound was not to the sinus[10] - rather, it entered through the right forehead, passed through his skill (including the right frontal lobe of the brain)[11] and ended in his cheek.[10] That is not a light injury - Dr. Kevin Horn, who performed the autopsy, notes that the injury would have resulted in immediate unconsciousness.[11]
*My opponent argues many of the stab wounds to his knees and shins actually from "things". What exactly these things are is beyond me, as he doesn't explain them. Also, he didn't actually have any stab wounds on his knees or thighs.[10] So in this case, both the things and the wounds are nonexistent.
*My opponent claims the stab wounds to the hands were from Alexander attacking. However, the wounds were defensive - not offensive.[7]

In essence, my opponent's ideas on how the crime ran out falls apart at the seems. More interesting are his psychological arguments. He asserts that Arias had PTSD. However, this is from a defense experts - prosecution experts saw no sign of PTSD or amnesia, but instead borderline personality disorder (BPD).[12] Janeen DeMarte notes that BPD sufferers have "have a terrified feeling of being abandoned by others".[12] My opponent also argues Alexander was abusive, but there isn't any evidence for this. More importantly, we can see much of this as being part of their sex lives - the two were sado-masochistic, and had an up and down relationship.[13] Considering that Arias likely has BPD, this isn't surprising. My opponent also makes a claim that Travis broke Jodi's finger, but he provides no evidence for this.

In conclusion, the evidence is clear - Jodi Arias was responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Travis Alexander. I have given a comprehensive overview of the facts and they align with that explanation - not the Arias camp's or my opponent's. This is clear even without looking at the personal life of either party.

References
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
2. http://radaronline.com...
3. http://www.cnn.com...
4. http://www.hlntv.com...
5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
6. http://www.foxnews.com...
7. http://www.hlntv.com...
8. http://www.cbsnews.com...
9. http://www.cbsnews.com...
10. http://murderpedia.org...
11. http://radaronline.com...
12. http://www.theguardian.com...
13. http://newsfeed.time.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Wylted

Pro

Means, Motive and Opportunity
There is a lot more to prove than means motive and opportunity. You can have all 3 and not be a murderer and you can have only 2/3 of them and be a murderer. Examining means motive and opportunty is an investgative tool and it's only used to determine an initial list of suspects. It's also an invesigative tool that is useless alone with the rise of thrill killings.
My opponent must prove that Arias is a murderer beyond a reasonable doubt. We arent playing with percentages here. It can be 80% likely she is guilty and you would still have a ton of reasonable doubt. My opponent has agreed to this burden and given his initial arguments he will not meet it.
The Gun
This wasn't premeditated as my opponent concludes. Let's examine one piece of evidence he uses to conclude premeditation. The stolen Gun. It's true that a gun was stolen from the grandparent's house. Not a particularly uncommon occurence. What my opponent doesn't say is that, the gun stolen from the grandparent's place contained hollow points. [1]
Watch the video in this link to see the difference between the damage caused by a hollow point and one caused by a round tip bullet. [2] The autopsy photos clearly show the use of a round tip bullet and the prosecution doesn't deny that is the bullet used'
There is no reason in the world to believe that Jodi Arias would decide to kill Travis Alexander, but before doing so make a decision to swap out the more powerful hollow tip bullets for round tip bullets. To put it bluntly, the hollow point has stopping power a round point doesn't. People shot with a round point in the hed often can still be conscious and even survive later on. You get shot with a hollow point and it's lights out.
My opponent has a hard task ahead of him. If the gun was used after the stabbing as my opponent contends then that wouldn't be indicative of premeditation. It makes no sense for Jodi Arias to plot a murder, where she stabs her boyfriend repeatedly then shoots him in the head.
If the gun was used before hand then my opponent is at least partially agreeing with the version of events I laid out.
If this is premeditated murder as my opponent makes it out to be, then why wouldn't Jodi Arias, just kill Travis Alexander in his sleep where he can't defend himelf? The version of events my opponent lays out is just nonsense and doesn't add up.
My opponent contends that Jodi bringing a gun shows premeditation, but I've already showed it wasn't the grandparent's gun and on top of that Jodi seemed to be about to testify that the gun was given to Travis by his father. She wasn't allowed to finish. It's on ething to cut off hear say evidence for the prosecution, but the defense should be allowed it, sense it could explain the evidence better.
"Nurmi: You were asked about the gun, when you learned of the gun. You said that you became aware of that in 2007 when you were working as his housekeeper, correct?
Arias: Correct.
Nurmi: What was your understanding of how Mr Alexander had acquired that gun?
Arias: My understanding of how he got the gun is that it.. [ she tails off, swallows, thinks ]
Arias: My understanding is that [pause] his father used to ..
Objection (hearsay) sustained." [3]
"*My opponent asserts that Arias grabbed the gun while retreating from Alexander, but how is that possible? There is no record of Travis Alexander having owned a gun, and even if he did how would she know where it is or how to get to it?"
Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander were lovers. She would know where to get the gun, which cupboard the plates were in and several other details of his house. They were together that day for sex and were taking several nude photos of each other. Just because no record of Alexander owning a gun exists, doesn'tt mean he didn't own one. Lack of evidence isn't evidence of lack.
I think my opponent mistakes where the BOP here is and how much BOP he has. I just have to show a scenario is plausible, he has to show his scenario, actually occurred.
Photographs
"Further, evidence recovered at the crime scene definitively shows that the murder was premeditated. A camera was recovered at the crime scene, with deleted images taken before and after Alexander was murdered having been recovered by the police"
How does something after the fact indicate premeditation? She could have thought tha she'd be arrested for defending herself and lied. Or as I suggest she could be suffering from PTSD and just be trying to erase and wash away the horror of the situation. As a photographer she knew that erasing the images wouldn't destroy the evidence. She'd remove the flash card to destroy the evidence and then discard it.
"take a look at Alexander's face.[5] Does that look more like someone who is angry and ready to attack, as my opponent suggests, or someone who is being forced to pose at gunpoint"
How can you determine by looking at Alexander's face he had a gun to his head? How can you determine whether he was angry or not in that photo? He didn't have a smile on his face and the texts I showed from him and Jodi, indicate he does have a temper problem.
Also what type of murder plan is my opponent suggesting. Is he saying that Jodi Arias took a gun and forced Travis to pose nude, and if so for what purpose?
How does forcing him to pose nude benefit her, what so ever?
This is the dumbest murder plot, I've ever heard of. According to my opponent Jodi Arias stole her grand parent's gun replaced strong bullets with weak bullets then drove to Alexander's house and forced him to pose nude at gun point. After forcing him to pose nude, she sets the gun down, stabs him to death. Waits until he is dead and then shoots him in the head.
In what world is this a murder plot that actually happens?
Domestic abuse
"My opponent also makes a claim that Travis broke Jodi's finger, but he provides no evidence for this."
Quite the contrary I do show evidence for this. The video in round 2 where Jodi Arias holds up a finger that has clearly been broken in the past. I've alse shown from Travis's own e-mils as well as Jodi Arias's E-mails that he does have a history of flying off the handle. Travis Alexander has an explosive temper.
The Testimony of Alyce LaViolettee a domestic abuse expert on some messages from Travis Alexander to Jodi Arias
"In the 16 pages:
What a freakin whore.
He accuses her of going on to the next dick.
He tells her her words are worthless.
He hates her.
She's caused him more pain than the death of his father.
She's a rotten lunatic.
He's never dealt with a more solid form of evil.
She's nothing but a liar.
She lives a life identical to satan.
She's a three hole wonder.
She ought to get tips for giving bjs.
She never loved him.
She's got a slut's job.
Who freaking cares about you you're worthless. You're a bitch.
You're lies make your life worthless.
You're taking up people's air.
You don't care. You don't know what horror you've caused me.
You're a laughing stock.
You don't care about anything but Jodi.
He blames her for a lot of the pain he feels in his own life.
He tells her he was nothing more than a dildo with a heartbeat to her.
You're demented." [4]

She also testifies that victims of domestic abuse do often times block out memories to deal with the trauma.
Clothing.jpg
This picture shows Travis Alexander saw Jodi Arias as a piece of property as well.
PTSD vs BPD
"More interesting are his psychological arguments. He asserts that Arias had PTSD. However, this is from a defense experts - prosecution experts saw no sign of PTSD or amnesia, but instead borderline personality disorder (BPD)"
The defense expert stated that looking at the same evidence as the prosecution's experts, that you can come to the concluion that Arias had PTSD. My opponent gives no reasons, that the prosecutions analysis of the same evidence is superior to the defense expert's analysis. If anything you have to give them equal weight. If you could conclude from the same evidence BPD and PTSD than it's clear that there is some confirmation bias taking place in the prosecutions analysis.
Defensive wounds
"My opponent argues many of the stab wounds to his knees and shins actually from "things". What exactly these things are is beyond me, as he doesn't explain them. Also, he didn't actually have any stab wounds on his knees or thighs"
No I never claimed stab wounds were on Travis's knees or legs, the picture shows clear cuts and bruises. I think a good explanation for them could be that he was chasing Jodi down the hall way and was slipping a lot and running into things due to being wet from just getting out of the shower.
"My opponent claims the stab wounds to the hands were from Alexander attacking. However, the wounds were defensive - not offensive."
Me and my source gave a scenario that explains every wound exactly. If these wounds can be accounted for in my scenario than they do not qualify as evidence for my opponent.
Here is an explanation of the defenive wounds which perfectly correlate with my version of events.
"

Arias reached the knife across the front of her body and made these two cuts, one weak and one strong, the first on top of his thumb and the second in the fleshy part of the hand between the thumb and wrist to make him let go, knife blade pointing up toward the ceiling.

Alexander releases with his left hand and grabs hold of Arias’ clothes with his right hand and then grabs at the knife with his left hand as she tries to keep it away from him.

This produces the two defensive like wounds in Alexander’s left hand (inside his hand, the area of the palm)." [5]

I'm out of character space, more next round.
sources
TN05

Con

To begin his round my opponent questions my focus on 'means, motive, and opportunity'. He notes that it can be possible to have all three and be innocent, or just have two and be guilty. However, he misunderstands my argument here. - the principle can apply to the entire trial. There is no doubt Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander - she admitted to it, and the evidence backs it up. What I am proving is her motivation for the killing - the focal point of this trial. Either her motive was self-defense, or it wasn't, and I am (and have) established it was not.

On the topic of the gun, my opponent makes an argument that, at face value, seems reasonable. He argues that firearm theft is common, that the gun that was stolen from the Arias household had hollow point bullets, and that Alexander was shot with regular bullets. He notes, correctly, that hollow point bullets are much more deadly than regular bullets. He argues that, if she wanted to kill him, why not use the more lethal bullets? First off, firearm theft isn't very common - in 2012, only 5,431 firearms were reported as stolen in Arizona.[1] The problem with the rest of the argument is very simple - the downsides to using the bullets outweigh the benefits. Why? Because if Alexander had been killed by hollow point bullets, it would have been almost certain proof the gun used was the one stolen from the Arias household. Moreover, police could determine the exact brand of bullet used, and compare it with the police report or question the Arias family on it. Basically, by using regular bullets instead of the hollow points, Arias demonstrates premeditation - she carefully thought through the murder.

On premeditation, my opponent makes some claims on premeditation. First, he argues that if she used the gun was used after the stabbing, then it would not be indicative of premeditation. He argues that it wouldn't make sense for her to plan a murder where she stabs him first, and then shoots him - to that, I strongly disagree. The mere fact she brought a gun (with no concealed carry license) to a situation like this is clear evidence she planned to use it. That is evidence of premeditation. Additionally, there are very compelling reasons to stab first, not shoot. Given her anger at Alexander, it would have been much more satisfying to personally stab him and then shoot him than to shoot him and then defile his corpse. Either way, however, she demonstrated an intent well beyond one of self defense - if she stabbed first, she would have incapacitated him well before she started stabbing him in the back, and she would have had no need to further stab or shoot. If she shot first, she would have incapacitated him immediately, and would have had no need to stab him 30 times and slit his throat. Of course, as I established in my opening statements, there is no evidence that Arias had even the mildest defensive wounds, while Alexander had defensive wounds on both hands.

Second, my opponent questions why Arias would not have killed Alexander in his sleep. Once again, that would be very unsatisfying. The killing was excessive and very painful, indicating extreme rage or anger. Killing in one's sleep would not be nearly as satisfying. Additionally, killing him in his sleep would have precluded her from taking pictures of him - as my opponent and I both agree, the couple were sexual partners, and presumably the killing had a sexual nature as well given photos were taken just before the killing was conducted.

Additionally, my opponent claims that Arias said Alexander did actually own a gun, and that he received it from his father. However, this is false - friends of Alexander have said that he didn't own a gun.[2] Additionally, he argues that Travis Alexander might have owned a gun, even though there is no evidence he did. This is a silly argument - this is a serious debate, and my opponent has no evidence that Alexander owned one. That his central argument in this debate is based on such an unprovable point is a major problem.

On the topic of photographs, my opponent makes multiple claims. First, he questions how taking photographs can be evidence of premeditation; he states she could have been suspicious of being arrested, that she could have had PTSD, or that she knew erasing the photographs wouldn't result in them permanently disappearing. On the first, having the camera throughout the killing (during and after) shows more or less that she was not defending herself, as no person defending themselves would have time to take a picture of the dead body. On the topic of suspicion of being arrested, none of Arias's other behaviors suggest this; in fact, they confirm premeditation. After she killed Alexander, she sent several voicemails to his phone to make it appear like she was out of state.[3] I've already established Arias did not have PTSD, and on the topic of the camera, the images were indeed deleted, but the camera was also thrown into a washer - presumably to render it further unusable.[4]

Second, my opponent asserts the final photograph of Arias isn't evidence of premeditation, and he is welcome to that opinion. However, given that is the final photo of Arias, it would make more sense to line up more closely with whichever side is more accurate. My opponent asserts Alexander went into a murderous rage, but that certainly doesn't show here.

On domestic abuse, my opponent asserts that he did indeed provide evidence that, at one point, Arias broke her finger - in the YouTube video. I would like to note, however, that this was not cited to it, nor was the point in the video given. Additionally, the fact her finger was broken at one point is not evidence of domestic assault - there are many ways someone can break or injure a finger. For example, one of my brother's fingers is crooked - this was caused by a football hitting it. My opponent has not established any conclusive link between the broken finger and domestic assault. Additionally, my opponent gives texts sent by Alexander to Arias. Contrary to showing domestic abuse, however, these seem to show simply anger - not abuse. During any break up people say things like this all the time. People fight. Words are not evidence of domestic abuse, however. The fact he hasn't shown any evidence of domestic abuse, and I how shown definitive evidence that she was not abused, renders any argument on abuse moot. On the matter of shirts, the shirt given isn't inherently offensive - it could be a gag gift or something along the lines.

On the topic of PTSD, my opponent asserts there is no reason to dismiss the PTSD theory. However, there is - my his own admission, the defense lawyer admits his diagnosis was flawed. The test was conducted while Arias was lying and insisting she knew nothing about the test. In other words, the diagnosis is worthless, and the prosecution's expert has far more credibility at this point.[5] Without the PTSD evidence, there is no reason why Arias wouldn't remember what happened, rendering my opponent's case extremely damaged.

On the final issue, defensive wounds, my opponent asserts that the injuries to the legs and knees could easily be explained by him stumbling throughout the house. However, this is insufficient - they could be just as easily explained by the prosecution's claim that Arias dragged Alexander to different rooms while stabbing him. His arguments on the defense wounds similarly rely on his disproven account.

With my basic rebuttals done, I turn the debate back to my opponent.

Reference:
1. https://www.atf.gov...
2. http://www.hlntv.com...
3. http://www.azcentral.com...
4. http://www.hlntv.com...
5. http://www.businessinsider.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Wylted

Pro

My opponent is playing damage control at the moment. He's failed to forward his own case and is now focusing on minimizing the impacts of mine. I've given a scenario of events that are not only a plausible alternative to how the events played out (the only thing I need to prove) but are also more likely to have happened than what my opponent has to offer. You'll read through my opponent's last round and you'll see that he is just trying to switch the BOP. Let's take this point by point.
"Because if Alexander had been killed by hollow point bullets, it would have been almost certain proof the gun used was the one stolen from the Arias household. Moreover, police could determine the exact brand of bullet used, and compare it with the police report or question the Arias family on it. Basically, by using regular bullets instead of the hollow points, Arias demonstrates premeditation - she carefully thought through the murder."

There is no winning with my opponent. If the evidence doesn't point towards my opponent it's a sign of premeditation. If it does Than "Checkmate". My opponent correctly points out that over 5000 guns a year are stolen in Arizona. That's a big number. There is the same amount of evidence connecting Jodi to that gun as there is connecting Travis Alexander, which is none.

"First, he argues that if she used the gun was used after the stabbing, then it would not be indicative of premeditation. He argues that it wouldn't make sense for her to plan a murder where she stabs him first, and then shoots him - to that, I strongly disagree. The mere fact she brought a gun (with no concealed carry license) to a situation like this is clear evidence she planned to use it."

First of all if the only thing my opponent has indicating premeditaion is this gun, he's in trouble. There is absolutely no evidence connecting Jodi to this gun. Second of all my opponent's scenario is stupid. Why would a premeditated murder involve stabbing somebody repeatedly and risking getting yourself killed in the process then after Travis is already dead or close to it shooting him in the head. This plan is dumb and would definitely not be something premeditated. If Jodi Arias wanted him dead, she'd shoot him in his sleep. It's as simple as that.
"Additionally, he argues that Travis Alexander might have owned a gun, even though there is no evidence he did. This is a silly argument - this is a serious debate, and my opponent has no evidence that Alexander owned one."
I don't have to prove Travis owned a gun. I merely have to show reasonable doubt. It's possible that Travis owned an unregistered handgun. I've owned an unregistered handgun at one point. Lots of people own guns with no evidence of doing so existing. When I did own the gun, it's not like I went around advertising the fact that I did. It is an arrestable offense. So it's really no surprise that you wouldn't find anyone to testify that Travis Alexander did own a gun. Also since turnabout is fair play........
Additionally, TNO5 argues that Jodi Arias had brought a gun with her to Alexander's residence although there is no evidence she did. This is a silly argument - This is a serious debate and my opponent has no evidence that Jodi had one.
"having the camera throughout the killing (during and after) shows more or less that she was not defending herself, as no person defending themselves would have time to take a picture of the dead body."
Clearly after Travis started beating the crap out of Jodi Arias, a lot of photographs were taken accidently. I don't know what you're trying to prove with this.
"if she stabbed (shot) first, she would have incapacitated him well before she started stabbing him in the back, and she would have had no need to further stab or shoot"
People survive shot's to the head, they often times can move around and are fully conscious after shots to the head. It's no gauruntee that the second it happens you'll die or be incapacitated.
"Of course, as I established in my opening statements, there is no evidence that Arias had even the mildest defensive wounds, while Alexander had defensive wounds on both hands."

The defensive wounds have all been explained by how the fight played out. Jodi Arias had the upper hand the whole fight. Travis was wet and angry slipping and bumping into things, while trying to attack Jodi Arias. when he tracked her down to the bedroom, he had already body slammed her twice. The gun accidently discharged already and hurt Travis, making it even harder to get the upper hand. Regardless of who had and mantained the upperhand, it doesn't change the fact that It was completely in self defense and other than the slice to the throat every single wound could've been Inflicted on Travis Alexander while in defense mode. The only aggressive cut was to his throat in the one moment that Jodi was actually able to create some seperation.

"After she killed Alexander, she sent several voicemails to his phone to make it appear like she was out of state.[3] I've already established Arias did not have PTSD, and on the topic of the camera, the images were indeed deleted, but the camera was also thrown into a washer - presumably to render it further unusable."

This is absurd. I've already explaied that Jodi Arias was a photograper and that she knew deleting the photos wouldn't erase them. She knew that removing the flash card would've did the job. She stuck the camera in the dishwasher to wash away the horror of the situation.

"My opponent has not established any conclusive link between the broken finger and domestic assault. Additionally, my opponent gives texts sent by Alexander to Arias. Contrary to showing domestic abuse, however, these seem to show simply anger - not abuse. During any break up people say things like this all the time. People fight. Words are not evidence of domestic abuse"

As I've already addresssed an expert on domestic abuse did read all the messages, including ones we aren't privy to and has concluded that Jodi was likely in an abusive relationship. She certainly has a broken finger which isn't to be disputed. It's certainly reasonable to assume it could be the result of domestic abuse.

I've read a lot of those messages. I've posted some of them here' I've never been so mad at an ex that I would say those things. If you were hurt about things. If you cared about a person, youd wish them the best or just wallow in your own self pity. His response considered a person who had a lot of hate in his heart and was a user and abuser.

Let's say he didn't have an abusive history, breaking Jodi's finger and forcing her to dress up like a little boy because he was attracted to children Even had this stuff not happened he is still capable of being violent in this situation. He is capable of chasing of body slamming her then chasing her in a moment of anger.

"On the topic of PTSD, my opponent asserts there is no reason to dismiss the PTSD theory. However, there is - my his own admission, the defense lawyer admits his diagnosis was flawed. The test was conducted while Arias was lying and insisting she knew nothing about the test (murder). In other words, the diagnosis is worthless, and the prosecution's expert has far more credibility at this point"

My argument was that he exmined the prosecutions evidence and concluded that the same evidence they looked at could also lead to the conclusion that Jodi Arias was suffering from PTSD.
Samuals never said the diagnosis was flawed. He did say he should've administered the test at a later point as well, when she was being more honest but that is far from saying it was flawed. This is from my opponent's source.
"These tests, which I administered early, did confirm the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder. Although, I was in error by not re-administering the [test],"

http://www.businessinsider.com...
My opponent can't refute my version of events and fails to show why his version of events is any more reliable. Further more the whole gun argument is a double edged sword for him.
If the gun went off first, then he has to accept my version of events. If it went off last it completely destroys his premeditation argument as that is the dumbest murder plot ever and just plain inconcievable.
This poor girl had no reason to murder Travis Alexander. She is a beauitiful girl that can get any guy she wants. The whole jealous stalker narrative is outrageous .
Why is it that when a girl is trapped in an abusive relationship people always blame the victim or make excuses.
She is a stalker.
She hit him first.
You know how angry he gets, she shouldn't get mouthy with him.
Jodi Arias was lucky and survived her situation, and even after her abuser is dead people are still trying to make excuses for him. It's clear that Travis had temper problems, even e-mails to his friends proved that. It's clear he viewed Jodi as less than human just read the end of my last round. The guy was either beating the crap out of her or a ticking time bomb to do that.
Acts taken after a murder don't show premeditation. Jodi Arias covering up what happened because the police might misunderstand what happened proves nothing. In fact, judging by how things played out she was justified in doing so.
Vote Pro
TN05

Con

To begin his argument my opponent asserts that I am on the defensive - that my case is in shambles and that I'm in damage control mode. Simply put, this is silly, as I will explain in this round.

My opponent attempts to refute my point on the gun theft and bullets - he argues that, contrary to the logic I presented, that gun theft is common in Arizona, and that there is no evidence connecting Arias to the gun. Estimates are that there are between 270 million and 310 million guns in the US, so let's split in the middle and say there are 290 million.[1] Arizona makes up 2.04% of the total US population,[2] let's multiply 290,000,000 by 0.0204. That gives us 5,196,000 guns in Arizona. What this means is that only 0.00096% of guns in Arizona are stolen each year - that's hardly a significant number. More importantly, however, is the theft itself. In an average burglary, you would expect the thief to steal as much as they can - the more items stolen, the more money they can make. The Arias family owned four guns, only one of which was stolen, and there was also money in the same cabinet just laying out in the open.[3][4] In other words, the robber only wanted one thing - the gun. This, combined with the fact that she denies ever owning a gun and there is no evidence to suggest Alexander owned one, immediately narrows the field and presents a clear and compelling reason to link Arias to the theft of the gun and shooting. This is, quite literally, the smoking gun.

My opponent also attacks my linking the carrying of the gun to premeditation. He argues (incorrectly) that there is no evidence linking Arias to the gun. He also claims my scenario is stupid - he asserts there is no logical reason for Arias to stab and then shoot Alexander, and that if she wanted to kill him, she could have done it in his sleep. Me and my opponent both agree Arias some form of mental illness, which renders the idea of her acting sanely moot, but I have also noted the two had a sado-masochistic relationship. It is very likely she could have felt a sort of sexual satisfaction in killing him personally. It isn't nearly as satisfying to shoot him in his sleep as it would be to take pictures of him naked and then brutally murder him. In contrast, I'll ask my opponent this - if Arias was merely acting in self-defense, why did she need to stab Alexander 30 times, slit his throat, and shoot him in the head? That is a far more irrational argument than mine.

On the topic of gun ownership, my opponent argues that he doesn't have to prove Alexander owned a gun, just that he might have. That is an ignorant argument - Travis Alexander's ownership of a gun is central to my opponent's theory. If he doesn't own a gun, his entire case falls apart. He does, in fact, need to show some evidence for this claim in order for it to be given any credibility. The problem, of course, is that there is no evidence Travis Alexander owned a gun. This makes my opponent's claim a bit difficult to support.

On the topic of photographs, my opponent has backtracked - he now says that "clearly after Travis started beating the crap out of Arias, a lot of photos were taken accidentally". In his opening argument, however, my opponent places the camera as the cause of the attack ("Jodi stunned by this accidentally drops Travis's camera. He yells at he "You F**king idiot", and body slams her to the tile."). This reinforces my question - if Arias dropped the camera, how are all these pictures being taken? My opponent can't explain that.

On the gunshot wound, another key point in my opponent's case, my opponent is again struggling. He seems to have dropped his claim that the gunshot wound went through the sinus and had thus conceded that it went through his right frontal lobe. However, he says "People survive shot's to the head, they often times can move around and are fully conscious after shots to the head. It's no guarantee that the second it happens you'll die or be incapacitated". I'm not sure when my opponent went to medical school, but his claim here lies flat in the face of what Dr. Kevin Horn, who performed the autopsy, says - he notes that "[Alexander] would be incapacitated… rapidly".[5] Simply put, there isn't a way Alexander could have done anything after being shot in the right frontal lobe, which completely destroys everything my opponent argues happened after the gunshot wound.

On the issue of the fact that Arias had no defensive wounds while Alexander had many, my opponent asserts that Travis never had the chance to hit her. I call bullsh*t on that. Just a few sentence earlier in the debate, my opponent claimed that Alexander was "beating the crap out of" Arias. Which one is it? It can't be both.

On the issue of voicemails and the camera, my opponent only responds to the phone arguments. I extend my arguments on the voicemails. My opponent thinks it is absurd that Arias would have tried to delete the photos, as "Jodi Arias was a photographer and that she knew deleting the photos wouldn't erase them". I agree! That's why she threw the camera in the washer, to try and ruin it.

On the issue of domestic abuse, my opponent, like he has in all these other responses, has made many claims but presented no evidence. He argues that, even though there is no evidence of domestic violence (besides Arias having broken a finger once, which can be caused by many things), that Arias was abused. Once again, I point to earlier arguments - where is the proof? My opponent can't present any evidence of a physically abusive relationship, because there is none. He is making unfalsifiable claims to try and bolster his very, very weak case. For instance, he accuses Alexander, without any evidence, of being a pedophile. It is much harder for my opponent to prove he was attracted to young boys than it is for me to prove he isn't, so he tries to shift the burden to me. Also, I want to note here that my opponent says "He is capable of chasing of body slamming her then chasing her in a moment of anger". This is another contradiction in my opponent's case - was Alexander able to hit Arias, or was he not? You can't have it both ways.

On the topic of PTSD, tries to counter how I showed that the PTSD diagnosis was in error by saying the doctor never admitted the diagnosis was wrong, just that he should have conducted another test. This is a red herring - if the doctor is confident in the PTSD claim, why would he acknowledge an error in not conducting another test?

Finally, on the topic of my opponent's theory as to what happened, I want to set the record straight - despite what my opponent claims, I have debunked his entire case. Here are just a few reasons that, on their own individual merit, disprove his entire account:
*My opponent claims the camera being dropped instigated the fight, even though that is impossible as pictures were taken during and after the fight.
*My opponent Jodi Arias found Travis Alexander's gun and shot him accidentally in the sinus, snapping him into a "less aggressive state". This is false on two levels: there is no evidence Alexander owned a gun, and Alexander was not shot in the sinus, but the right frontal lobe, which would have rendered him incapacitated basically immediately. Also, what sort of idiot spousal abuser lets their abused partner know where they keep the weapons?
*My opponent claims Arias only stabbed in self-defense. However, this makes no sense on two levels: one, she has a gun. Why would she need to stab him? Two, many of the stab wounds were on Alexander's back - which would basically be impossible to stab in a self-defense situation.

Of course, there are many other holes I've noted earlier. It is worth noting my opponent's entire case revolves around the accuracy of his claim, which is at best incorrect and at worst patently ridiculous. My opponent simply hasn't backed up his extraordinary claims with any real evidence. In contrast, I've shown crime scene evidence proving the guilt of Jodi Arias. I look forward to the final round and my opponent's closing arguments.

References:
1. http://www.pewresearch.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
5. http://radaronline.com...
Debate Round No. 4
Wylted

Pro

REASONABLE DOUBT

The recap of round 1 is that TNO5 agrees that he must prove that Jodi Arias was not acting in self defense beyond a reasonable doubt. He has accepted a higher standad of proof than would be expected of a typical debate. If you look at the evidence me and TNO5 brought to the table and consider that, no more no less, than you have to award me this win.

If so much as a shred of doubt is in your mind saying that "maybe this was self defense", and that doubt is resonable then you must award me this win.

THE SMOKING GUN

There are a few spots in my opponent's case he perceives as strong, the gun being one of them. I don't have the same BOP as my opponent. Mine is much, much smaller. He has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt (no matter how small), that the gun was one belonging to Jodi Arias. I merely have to shed some doubt on that and show a plausible alternative.

The swapped out bullets by them selves give pause to assuming the gun belonged to Jodi Arias. It's certainly reasonable to beleive that Travis Alexander possibly had an unregistered firearm. Lots of people do and owning an unregisered firearm isn't something that people go around bragging about. The person most intimate with you who is around your house all the time might know but not too many people outside of that circle.

I can't believe my opponent thinks Jodi Arias is smart enough to swap out more powerful bullets for weaker ones but not smart enough to just buy an unregistered firearm instead of one the same caliber as what was stolen from her grandparent's.

Oddly my opponent's case depends on Arias both being a genius and mentally retarded at the same time.

DEFENSIVE WOUNDS

Go back to round 2, and it's been elaborated on in further rounds. Every single wound has been explained by the scenario that I laid out which is certainly a reasonable scenario which would explain exactly what happened. I'm the only one that has given an explanation for the blood in and on the sink, which is from Travis checking out his gunshot wound. My opponent hasn't really shown how the scenario I laid isn't a correct accounting of the events and he has not laid out a better timeline than what I have developed.

GENERAL RESPONSES

"he asserts there is no logical reason for Arias to stab and then shoot Alexander, and that if she wanted to kill him, she could have done it in his sleep. Me and my opponent both agree Arias some form of mental illness, which renders the idea of her acting sanely moot, but I have also noted the two had a sado-masochistic relationship."

It's extremely disrespectful to call an abuse victim's relationship sado-masochistic. I guess that's a nice way of saying she wanted the abuse or "she was asking for it". I believe she had PTSD after experiencing this and other traumatic events caused by Travis Alexander. Suffering from PTSD doesn't mean she is incapable of having rational thoughts and neither is any other mental disorder you've mentioned.

Just about everyone who sees a psychologist or psychiatrist is diagnosed with some mental disorder or another. Are you shy? That's social anxiety disorder. Do you get angry a lot? If so that is bipolar disorder. Are you sad? Well you got depression. I can go on and on about how therapists try to attatch a disease to every cocievable personality type but the point is there is a difference between a mental disorder and being incapable of rational thought and Arias is certainly capable of being rational.

"It is very likely she could have felt a sort of sexual satisfaction in killing him personally."

Disgusting, unfounded and uncalled for. You're as bad as those perverted prosecuters who put her on the stand and got off on asking her a bunch of sexual questions. Those prosecuters should have been charged with sexual harrassment and contempt of court.

" if Arias was merely acting in self-defense, why did she need to stab Alexander 30 times, slit his throat, and shoot him in the head?"

Every wound has been explained in round 2 and elaborated on in subsequent rounds. The defensive scenario explains everything.

"On the topic of photographs, my opponent has backtracked - he now says that "clearly after Travis started beating the crap out of Arias, a lot of photos were taken accidentally". In his opening argument, however, my opponent places the camera as the cause of the attack ("Jodi stunned by this accidentally drops Travis's camera. He yells at he "You F**king idiot", and body slams her to the tile."). This reinforces my question - if Arias dropped the camera, how are all these pictures being taken? My opponent can't explain that."

Clearly while getting screamed at she'd be more careful and put the camera's string around her neck before being body slammed. Stopping in the middle of a life or death fight with a man twice her size and in decent shape isn't the time to be whipping the camera out and taking photos. No matter how this scenario played out the photos were clearly not taken on purpose.

"People survive shot's to the head, they often times can move around and are fully conscious after shots to the head. It's no guarantee that the second it happens you'll die or be incapacitated". I'm not sure when my opponent went to medical school, but his claim here lies flat in the face of what Dr. Kevin Horn, who performed the autopsy, says"

I probably should have provided some evidence for this but Dr. Horn had no ideal what affect the gunshot had on Travis Alexander, Everybody is different. We've all seen news stories of people surviving gunshot wounds to the head or people fighting off an attacker after getting shot. This type of event is unusual but it does occur and isn't so unlikely that Dr. Horn should have ruled it out immediately regardless of how much he was paid for being an expert witness.

"On the issue of voicemails and the camera, my opponent only responds to the phone arguments. I extend my arguments on the voicemails. My opponent thinks it is absurd that Arias would have tried to delete the photos, as "Jodi Arias was a photographer and that she knew deleting the photos wouldn't erase them". I agree! That's why she threw the camera in the washer, to try and ruin it."

Like I said before she knew that deleting the photos wouldn't ruin them. She knew that washing the camera wouldn't destroy them. She knew that taking a hammer to the camera and beating the crap out of it wouldn't ruin the photos. She was a photographer she knew the only sure fire 100% way of getting rid of those photos would be to take the flash card out. Washing the camera was meant to just wash away all the pain and the horror she just experienced. It's also why she tried to wash Travis Alexander.

Premeditation can't be shown by anything Arias done after the fact. Her thinking she looks guilty for just defending herself could factor into all those decisions. When you couple that with the PTSD you can see why her actions may have seemed a little off.

"On the topic of PTSD, tries to counter how I showed that the PTSD diagnosis was in error by saying the doctor never admitted the diagnosis was wrong, just that he should have conducted another test. This is a red herring - if the doctor is confident in the PTSD claim, why would he acknowledge an error in not conducting another test?"

He looked at all the same reports as the other psychologists and determined not only in his personal test but in theirs that PTSD could be concluded. Admitting you're not perfect in no way admits your conclusions are wrong or that the previous test isn't valid. Had he given her a 2nd test he may have had an easier time on the stand or faced less scrutiny. That's not to say that he disagrees with earlier conclusions but just that he should have did it as a formality to shut people up.

This whole line of arguing is a red herring anyway. Whether or not she has PTSD or not doesn't matter. It explains her actions but her not having PTSD in no way means she is guilty of murder, but yes she does have it. You can't go through that type of experience without facing some sort of PTSD.

Conclusion

My opponent has failed to prove beyond every shred of doubt which would be reasonable that Jodi Arias did not act in self defense, and perhaps that is an impossible burden to meet and could be why most court systems make self defense type defenses carry the same burden as the prosecution. That type of argument is beyond the scope of the debate. My opponent is a competent debater and has agreed to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. I think even without that huge disadvantage I'd be winning this debate but this burden is something my opponent didn't come close to meeting.

Vote Pro

TN05

Con

Before I begin my closing statements, I want to thank Wylted for an excellent debate. I look forward to seeing the results and who advances! In my opening round, I will focus first on rebutting my opponent's final round, and then I will give my closing thoughts.

My opponent's first statement here is rather interesting - he attempts to argue I haven't fulfilled my burden of proof. He notes that "[I] must prove that Jodi Arias was not acting in self defense beyond a reasonable doubt". I agree on this point, I'm not sure why my opponent feels the need to repeat it. However, I think it is very clear from this debate that I have indeed proven that, beyond a reasonable doubt, Jodi Arias did not act in self-defense.

On the issue of the gun, my opponent asserts that "I don't have the same BOP as my opponent. Mine is much, much smaller. He has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt (no matter how small), that the gun was one belonging to Jodi Arias. I merely have to shed some doubt on that and show a plausible alternative". I vehemently contest this point - the gun is indeed a key part of my case, but there is no real reason as to why I must prove it is hers. There are scenarios where it might not be - for instance, if Alexander did indeed have a gun, but Arias stole it to kill him. Is that a likely scenario? No. But it's no less likely than my opponent's hypothesis. Regardless, I think I have definitively shown that there is compelling evidence she stole the gun from her parents.

My opponent argues that "The swapped out bullets by them selves give pause to assuming the gun belonged to Jodi Arias. It's certainly reasonable to believe that Travis Alexander possibly had an unregistered firearm. Lots of people do and owning an unregistered firearm isn't something that people go around bragging about. The person most intimate with you who is around your house all the time might know but not too many people outside of that circle". This ignores virtually every key point I have made on the topic, namely:
*There is no evidence Alexander owned a gun
*There is no reason someone who you assert to be abusive towards you would show you the gun*
and
*Alexander owning an unregistered gun is vital to my opponent's case.

The third is by far the most important. Alexander illegally owning a gun is one of many, many points in my opponent's hypothesis that, if disproven or rejected, would make his case impossible. My opponent has presented literally no evidence that Alexander owned a gun, and thus his claim should be treated as what it is: unprovable and likely incorrect.

On the last gun problem my opponent raises, he asserts that Arias would have to be both a genius and a moron to steal her parent's gun, swap out the bullets, and then kill Alexander. Once again, my opponent runs into a problem here: Arias had no intentions of being found. She aimed to establish an out-of-state alibi via phone calls and her sleeping with her boyfriend. If she was able to successful establish that, the caliber of the gun would be irrelevant. It was only once she was found out that the potential issue arose.

On defensive wounds, my opponent argues that his hypothesis adequately explains all wounds, as well as the blood on the kitchen sink (from Alexander examining the gunshot wound). He asserts that "My opponent hasn't really shown how the scenario I laid isn't a correct accounting of the events and he has not laid out a better timeline than what I have developed". This is patently absurd. I have not examined every detail of the crime scene due to time and text restraints (there simply isn't enough room to explain where all 30 stab wounds occurred), but I have, in fact, laid out an affirmative case for her being responsible for the killing and having motive. In contrast, my opponent's case has been thoroughly debunked - the gunshot wound being examined on the sink argument, for instance, has been proven incorrect as the wound Alexander sustained to his head would have incapacitated him immediately, making it impossible for him to head towards the sink.

My opponent's next arguments are, frankly, uncalled for. First, he asserts that I am 'blaming the victim' by describing Arias as being in a sado-masochistic relationship. It find it telling that, rather than try and debunk my claim of them being in such a relationship, he instead feigns outrage and insults me. Can he prove me wrong on this point? Apparently not.

He also claims my suggestion Jodi Arias could have found sexual satisfaction in killing Alexander is "Disgusting, unfounded and uncalled for". I find this interesting on many levels. First, my opponent again doesn't refute my point, instead attacking me. What is my opponent's issue with this statement? I've demonstrated she clearly planned to kill Alexander and, more importantly, she did so violently and utterly mutilated Alexander's body. There must have been a reason for that, so it is really that wrong a thing to say?
Second, my opponent made a similar claim against Alexander's character (that he was an abusive boyfriend with pedophilic tendencies). The difference, of course, is that my opponent has present no real evidence towards either claim, while I've demonstrated all my claims against Arias as having some basis in reality.

On the topic of self-defense, my opponent again stubbornly holds to his debunked hypothesis on how the attack went down. On the issue of the camera, my opponent again continues his backtracking. He now argues she had the camera around her neck, a complete 180 from when he argued she dropped the phone and it hit the ground, causing a picture to be taken. He also says "Stopping in the middle of a life or death fight with a man twice her size and in decent shape isn't the time to be whipping the camera out and taking photos. No matter how this scenario played out the photos were clearly not taken on purpose". I agree the photos were accidental, I'm not contesting that. What I am contesting, however, is how two photos at two very different locations and relatively different times could be taken from a camera that my opponent claims was dropped only once. My opponent has yet to explain how that is possible.

On the issue of the gunshot wound rendering Alexander incapacitated, my opponent once again cannot refute my facts. Instead, he bizarrely claims Dr. Horn could not say what effect being shot in that region of the head would do to Travis Alexander. This is patently ridiculous, and flies flat in the face of what Dr. Horn - an expert in the subject area - says. Who do you trust more - my opponent, who probably has no post-graduate medical knowledge, or Dr. Horn, someone who knows what he is talking about? Given my opponent has presented no evidence to rebut this claim, I think we know who to trust here.

On the issue of whether or not Arias tried to delete the photos, my opponent continues his lack of rebuttals. He simply repeats his talking point that Arias symbolically put the camera in the washer to 'wash away the memories'. Quite frankly you either believe me or my opponent on this one, but his only makes sense in the context of his disproven attack scenario.

On the PTSD claim, my opponent again repeats his standard argument. I will say, for the last time, that the psychiatrist admitted he was in error. That's enough for me to discredit his claim. Confusingly, however, my opponent asserts that that "Whether or not she has PTSD or not doesn't matter". If it doesn't matter, why has my opponent made it a vital part of his argument and vehemently rejected any claims she didn't have it?

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that my opponent's case has been utterly disproven. I've established his theory on what happened is wrong on so many different levels (the camera, gun, gunshot wound to head and defensive wounds) even one of which would completely discredit it. In contrast, I've established there is no evidence that Arias was abused. I've established that, by her own boyfriend's account (who saw her the same day she killed Alexander), she had no visible injuries, except a few bandages on her fingers. I've established Arias created three different stories on what happened. I've established Arias likely stole the gun used to kill Alexander. I've established Alexander had eight stab wounds on his back, which would be impossible to stab if he was attacking her. I've established that Alexander had defensive wounds on both hands. I've established that there is no evidence Alexander owned a gun, and that his friends said he didn't own a gun. I've established Arias attempted to set up an alibi by sending voicemails to Alexander, and going to see her boyfriend to have sex. And, keep in mind, my opponent hasn't disproven a single one of these. He's repeatedly ignored these factual claims to either make claims without evidence or personally attack either myself or the deceased Travis Alexander. Moreover, he's repeatedly backtracked on his claims: from asserting that the camera was dropped to that it wasn't dropped, from asserting Travis Alexander was "beating the crap out of" Arias to saying he never touched her, and from the gunshot being to the sinus to it being in the brain.

My opponent's case is so riddled with holes to make it utterly unworkable. In contrast, my case is completely intact and hasn't been refuted. I believe it is self evident that I have established that, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jodi Arias did not kill Travis Alexander in self defense, and thus I urge a vote for CON.
Debate Round No. 5
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I would have bought a definition of reasonable doubt if one had been presented. I realize that your definition was likely very different, but it needed to appear in the debate in order to be clear, and I just didn't see it.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I appreciate your RFD, I still think your definition of reasonable doubt would land too many innocent people in prison. If I'm sitting on a jury I'd definitely find her innocent based on the evidence presented. I require a lot out of the prosecution.

I think you actually adjusted your definition of reasonable doubt to make the debate fair but I intentionally gave him very little platform to argue on.

In a real trial by presenting a positive defense (self defense, insanity etc.), I'd actually shift the BOP onto myself and it would be a fair fight but this debate wasn't meant to mock a real trial.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

Debate is often compared to a courtroom, and there's a lot of good reasons for that, but the most basic one is that the central dynamic is very similar: the prosecution or proposition set up a case, and the defense or opposition seek to make that case look inferior to the task, whether that task is seeking a conviction of a criminal or meeting one's burden in a debate. Depending on certain variables, the task can be heavier for one side, as is seen in murder cases, where reasonable doubt can stop what appeared to be a solid case for guilt in its tracks. In debate, large burdens can be the death of a seemingly awesome case.

In this debate, there was a very strong cross-over between debate and law. That's obvious. While both debaters display a solid knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death of Travis Alexander, as well as much of the terms involved in this debate, it seems odd to me that the discussion over what is and is not "reasonable doubt" never really comes up. No one defines it, and each side takes very different views on what meets this unknown definition. This ends up throwing the debate into uncertainty, as it is left up to me and the other voters to decide which debater more correctly established that they meet the actual definition.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 2)

It's thrown further into uncertainty by the way the debate breaks down. Pro presents a case to start instead of Con, giving a full story that apparently isn't given by Arias's actual defense attorneys. That was his choice here " to start out the debate by providing his vision of the events as they transpired. This takes the debate somewhat out of the legal realm, and somewhat changes the way that I view the burdens here. Con must still prove that Arias killed Alexander, that's certain, but now, the debate becomes about whether Pro's version of events is accurate, not a specific vision of how things happened from Con. This means that all Con has to do is show that the scenario presented by Pro is not a reasonable alternative to any situation where she could have killed him.

This may not seem like much, but it erases an easy source of advantage for Pro, which was to simply poke small holes in any story presented by Con. Instead, Pro limits himself to a single case, requiring that that single hole be sufficient to prove reasonable doubt. Con exploits that, spending more time pressing Pro on the details of his case than he does defending his own, mainly because Pro spends so little time there. So much as the topic itself calls for a high burden of proof on Con, Pro ends up taking a large burden himself, in that he's forced to provide evidence to support his case in its totality. Con still has more work to do to show that Pro's case does not represent reasonable doubt, since the threshold for reasonable doubt is much lower than the threshold for proof, and so I still consider that going forward.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 3)

However, that simply makes it more difficult for Con to rebut Pro's arguments. And this is where we come back to that missing definition. I'm not sure how thoroughly Pro has to support his case in order to meet his burden. Since I'm not given it, I go with what I see of the basic legal definition, which appears to be that it must reach a basic standard of probability, not just possibility. So that leaves Pro with the burden of having to prove that his version of events is likely on some basic level. That's the threshold that I use to evaluate his case.

The reason I'm spending all of this time on definitions and burdens is because they are the most central aspects of this debate, which makes it all the more surprising that they get very little in the way of discussion, though both sides seem to assume them quite a bit. Note that all of the above either should have been argued by Con directly or should have been contested by Pro. I could accept Pro's analysis of the burdens provided in the debate, but it's difficult for me to accept that at face value, since it doesn't take the ins and outs of his own case into account. While Con never directly contests it, I can at least see the basis for this burdens analysis in his arguments. I'm forced to evaluate the burdens myself based on the arguments given, and I am trying to be as fair as possible in this regard.

That being said, burdens and definitions aren't what decided this debate, so let's get into the arguments. Just to make this clear off the bat, I've never heard of nor read anything of Jodi Arias and the case on which this debate is founded. As such, anything presented regarding the case itself was taken at face value unless it was contested.

So let's go through the issues:
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 4)

1) The gun

Pro tells me that there's a chance that Alexander had this gun, and that Arias grabbed it out of desperation to defend herself against him. Con tells me that she had stolen the gun that she used a stolen gun from the Arias household. Both of these have limited evidence as no gun has been recovered. If it's the former case, then there's reason to believe that it was used in self-defense. If it's the latter, there's premeditation involved. I'm not sure that this dichotomy is actual " I could see an argument being made for Arias having stolen the weapon in order to have it to defend herself, since she otherwise couldn't acquire one " but since it's uncontested, I'm forced to accept that it is a dichotomy.

The definition issue makes this tougher. I'm told by Pro that any chance that Alexander had a gun is reason enough to buy this as reasonable doubt. However, it's hard not to be skeptical. I'm given no reason to believe he owned one beyond the vague possibility of his ownership. That's not to mention that he would have to have owned another .25-caliber gun, loaded with the bullets in question, and that Arias would have had to have knowledge of its location " again, not something I felt was necessarily true, but Pro never contests it (why couldn't she just have stumbled on it in a hiding place?). It stands as a possibility, but it doesn't come off as probable enough to warrant being regarded as a source of reasonable doubt. I just don't see it meeting that standard. That's not to say that Con's version of events is perfect " the usage of separate bullets from those that were originally in the gun at least presents some doubt that that's the weapon she used. But since it seems far more likely that she stole this weapon and reloaded it with bullets that aren't traceable than the version of events Pro provided. Pro didn't need the same level of likelihood as Con, but he did need to meet a basic threshold for probability, and I just don't see it
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 5)

2) Wounds (knife)

Pro really tries to shoulder Con with a burden he took on himself here from the start, telling him that he must present a complete version of the events that explains everything in order to have a case in this debate. By the end, I'm pretty sure that's not true. The need to explain blood splatter on the sink and every stab wound seems excessive, and while I buy that those could have all been points of attack for Pro to use, I don't think he did so effectively. He simply says that he's presented a series of events that includes them, and therefore that there is a scenario in which they could occur and have it still be self-defense. But this isn't a question of whether such a scenario exists, it's whether such a scenario reaches a basic level of probability. Pro presents a possible series of events, but he has to prove that that series is probable.

For the knife wounds, it all sounds a little garbled from both sides. Each side presents a series of events that seems at least somewhat plausible for how they occurred, with Pro talking about a rather desperate struggle where the only target was Alexander's back, and Con talking about a situation where he was trying to escape. I don't see any particular reason why either situation is implausible, so I accept that this is a source of reasonable doubt, though not enough to sink Con's case.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 6)

3) Wounds (bullet)

This is where the story presented by Pro meets a rather large barrier. From what I can tell from looking at the pictures, Con is right that the bullet would have caused brain injury. Pro's initial version of events doesn't seem particularly applicable in this case, as his argument that humans are different doesn't really explain the complete relocation of the sinus cavities, nor does it counter Con's medically-backed argument that it would likely have incapacitated him. Is it possible that he has a very different skull structure that would have afforded him better protection from injury? Sure, but that probably would have come up in the post-mortem analysis, yet I don't see evidence being presented to that effect. I can maybe buy that he's somewhat active, but Pro is trying to assert that he was very active after being shot. That requires more than just the basic "well, he might be OK" analysis.

4) Motivations

I think too much time is spent here. There's always reasonable doubt in regards to motivations. Both Pro and Con present cases that showcase how her motivations could have resulted in fear-based response or aggressive actions, respectively. The motivations exist on both sides of this debate, and will always exist as a source of doubt, but they aren't enough to prove reasonable doubt on the case as a whole.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 7)

5) The camera

Again, not sure why so much time is spent here. Pro keeps changing the story to suit Con's arguments, which confounds his own case somewhat. Each tries to come up with a reason why she put it in the washing machine. I do buy Pro's argument that she would have been knowledgeable enough to know that removing the flash card would have been sufficient, and therefore that she may have been acting in a more emotional mindset. That being said, I'm not sure what this does to present doubt. If she took the pictures maliciously then sure, that's proof that she was about to murder him, but that's difficult to determine given what I'm seeing. So doubt exists with regards to why and how the pictures were taken, though again, that doubt doesn't do much to Con's overall case. This point really only matters within the larger context of whether a story given by either of the debaters could be wholly correct, so both sides achieve that.

6) Mental state

Here's another issue on which both sides feel relatively equal. I buy that there's at least a reasonable chance that Arias has PTSD, and that there's a reasonable chance that she has BPD. I don't know if either of these actually speak to the larger issue " PTSD doesn't just come from someone who's faced a threat on their life, and BPD could have led to either situation really. I get that there was some discussion over whether the PTSD diagnosis was accurate, but I'm given little support for its inaccuracies. Nonetheless, it really just doesn't affect the cases, leaving both open as probable.

The rest of the arguments given are basically uncontested, and since they're on Con's side, they don't do much except increase the likelihood that he's right. It doesn't erase any reasonable doubt that might exist.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
(Pt. 8)

Conclusion:

So, as might be apparent from my summary, points 1 and 3 are really the most important ones in this debate. The question I should be faced with by this point is: has Con presented a convincing set of circumstances that lack any source of reasonable doubt? Instead, I'm faced with a very different question: has Pro presented a probable series of events that would explain what happened without murder being involved? The onus is in the wrong place because the vast majority of the debate is focused on the wrong issue. I think if Pro had attempted to refocus this debate by stating that his series of events is not what's up for discussion here, but rather whether any of the pieces could feasibly replace the circumstances presented by Con, then this might have ended differently. Instead, Pro attempts to defend every piece, and in the process is forced to win all of it.

And he doesn't. The gun is a problem. If I had any information on Alexander being likely to own a gun for any reason, or even that he engaged in illegal behaviors that could lead one to believe that he would own a gun illegally, I would probably have been satisfied that there was some low threshold of probability. But I can't function based solely on the possibility that maybe he had one. Con gives me some reason why Arias likely stole the gun from her family, and while it's still without proof, it's the only probabilistic argument I'm given on this.

The bullet wound to the head is another problem. Perhaps if I had seen actual cited medical examples of a person receiving a gun wound to the head and being capable of such activities as Pro describes after the fact, his scenario might have held some weight in this regard. If it's happened, there's got to be case evidence. That would have made this at least a base level of probability. Instead, all I get is a claim of possibility, and that's not enough. Con shows me medical support for his claim, and it never really gets rebutted.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MyDinosaurHands 2 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
WyltedTN05Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con has met the reasonable doubt requirement. There are many explanations to Con's arguments that I find reasonable, though unlikely. However, the one thing that it unreasonable is the proposition from Pro that Alexander was angered by Jodi taking pictures of him in the shower. I looked through the pictures; he does not look angry in the slightest. Removing this idea is the final straw for me. There are simply too many things stacking up to reasonably say that every single unlikely explanation for them is correct. On to S&G and conduct, I thought Pro performed poorly in both categories. Bad spelling and sentence structure, and abrasive and rude language in regards to Con's arguments, calling them stupid, dumb, etc. I realize Con fired back in kind to a certain degree, but on the whole, Pro showed significantly worse conduct than Con did.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
WyltedTN05Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm still organizing my thoughts on this into a coherent RFD. I'll get that up sometime tomorrow most likely. However, I am pretty solid on the decision at the moment, and as there are as yet no votes on this debate, I figured you guys should have something more to go off of.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
WyltedTN05Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: will vote on this soon.