Jodi Arias turns Phoenix into national spectacle

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- One full day of deliberation is over in the Jodi Arias murder trial and all we can do is sit and wait for the jury to come back with its decision.

Outside the court a media spectacle has gathered with some of the biggest names in legal TV: Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell.

HLN has basically built its network around wall-to-wall Arias coverage in the weeks since Arias herself took the stand. Shows like HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial - now hosted from downtown Phoenix - have gotten huge ratings.

Velez-Mitchell hosts much of HLN’s coverage of the Arias trial. She’s reported on high-profile trials and defendants like O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony and Michael Jackson. 

She told 3TV that some of the national obsession with Arias comes from the voyeuristic aspect of human nature.

“We do not know what happens behind closed doors and so a criminal trial is one of the few venues where we get to see what people don't tell their psychiatrist, their spouses, their siblings, their best friends.  We get to see it all laid out.  Who amongst us would want to have any of our most private texts and private conversations displayed in front of the entire world?  I certainly wouldn't,” Velez-Mitchell said.

She added that national interest really took off when Arias herself took the stand, likening the salacious testimony to something a group of Hollywood screen writers couldn't come up with.

Indeed, Lifetime has already announced it's working on a movie based on Jodi Arias and her alleged victim Travis Alexander.

However, Velez-Mitchell also said the circus atmosphere of this trial is nothing compared to that of Simpson or Anthony.  She credited the people of Phoenix with displaying a more relaxed and respectful attitude toward the judicial process.

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