Jodi Arias jurors weigh in on death penalty

PHOENIX - It’s been nearly a year since jurors in the Jodi Arias case were handed the case to deliberate whether Arias was a cold blooded killer, or an abuse victim.

And while the trial is over, many of the jurors forged a bond in the jury room that keeps them together now has friends.

“When we weren't in the court room, we were in a room where we couldn't talk about the trial so we learned about our family members, what our kids were doing. We learned about where we went to school and what we did as children," said Diane Schwartz who was known in the trial as juror 6.

“I feel like we had a life altering experience. As cliché as that sounds, it was and we went through it together," said Carol Gosselink, juror 10, who eventually became an alternate juror.

Jurors convicted Arias of brutally killing her former boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008, but were hung on whether to put her to death or give her a life sentence.

While several of the jurors meet up periodically to have lunch or dinner, ABC15 met with Schwartz, Gosselink and Marilou Allen-Coogan to find out what life is like after Jodi Arias.

Allen-Coogan admits she spent the month after the Arias trial reading everything she could find on the internet about the trial. Many of the reports, including the police interviews with Arias’ parents, were kept from jurors.

“We were so sheltered during the process, and during that month I found Ms. Arias to be very narcissistic,"  said Allen-Coogan.

Over the past 11 months, jurors have watched the wrangling and delays in the retrial of Arias’ death penalty phase.

Allen-Coogan even described it as comical, while Gosselink says it has reaffirmed the impression she got from listening to Arias testify in her own defense on the stand.

Gosselink sat closest to Arias in the jury box and took notes for the jury.

“I got a real close up view of her reaction. She has no remorse. She doesn’t get what she’s done. I think she thinks she’s smarter than everyone else and she’s a smart girl but she has used it in a bad way.”

The recent death penalty case of Marissa Devault , who was convicted of killing her husband with a hammer, was eerily similar to Arias’ trial.

Gosselink points out they both happened in the bedroom and both claimed self-defense.

“She was more believable.” said Allen-Coogan of Devault.

All three respect the jury’s decision not to put Devault to death, saying even if you believe in the death penalty, it’s a tough decision to make.

Gosselink can’t help but wonder if Devault’s children played a role in the jury’s decision.

“She’s a mother and they would look at the fact that she has children and whether or not she would be in their life for them,” said Gosselink.

These three friends know what emotions the Devault jury faced, and what the future Jodi Arias' death penalty jurors will face.

They hope to follow the retrial closely, curious to see what evidence will be allowed in court and whether Arias’ next jurors will be able to come to a unanimous decision on her fate.

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