Jodi Arias murder trial compared to Casey Anthony's trial

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Jodi Arias, 32, was back in court Thursday for day two of her murder trial.

Fascination with the one-time blond bombshell has created a media buzz that has some calling this the trial of the year.

Nancy Grace is covering the death penalty trial on her network show on Headline News or HLN.

TV show host Jane Velez-Mitchell and the show "In Session" are also covering the murder trial.

National networks are parking their rigs outside of the courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

Some are now comparing Arias’ trial to that of Casey Anthony's trial in 2011 because of the national attention it's already getting.

However, criminal defense attorney Dwane Cates, who is not representing anyone in the Arias case, disagrees.

“It's not similar," Cates said. "The Casey Anthony case involved a beautiful little baby that all of America fell in love with. In this case, the similarities are she did do jailhouse interviews, a lot of pretrial publicity. She did a 'Dateline' (NBC) interview, put on makeup and tried to charm America."

There's no denying Anthony and Arias are both young and attractive.

Anthony got off the hook in her death penalty trial for the murder of her daughter.

The question now is will Arias' good looks work in her favor?

“When you look at people on death row, and you look at all the pictures, she doesn't look like any of them," Cates said. "I believe the fact that she is pretty and that she's a white female and that she presents well, I think that will keep her from getting the death penalty. In fact, it will probably keep her from being convicted of first-degree murder. They'll probably come back with some sort of lesser offense, second-degree murder."

Cates is expected to be on "In Session" when the trial resumes on Tuesday.

Prosecutors argue Arias killed her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Travis Alexander, 30, out of jealousy.

Arias claims the murder was in self-defense.

The jury is made up of 11 men and seven women, six of whom are alternates.

“Mostly older people, mostly Caucasians, there may have been one person of color in the jury and that might have been it and that's not unusual in Maricopa County,” Cates said.

In Cates' 15 years of experience in the courtroom, he said, “Men are less empathetic than women, more likely to hand down a death penalty than women jurors were.”

If he was handling Arias’ case he would have preferred more females in the jury box.

Also in the courtroom on Thursday were reporters and journalists from around the country. There were just a few seats left open for the public.