The Sweat room


The prosecution in the Jodi Arias murder trial in downtown Phoenix has rested its case. Now the media is “resting” while we wait for the defense to launch its side of this seedy trial. You can bet that at some point, the young and attractive defendant, Jodi Arias, will take the stand as she will need to explain her self defense claim in the murder of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

To say this trial has received some media exposure would be a gross underestimate. National and local newspapers, online publications, local television affiliates, and national TV shows are present including Dateline NBC, Nightline, 48 Hours, Good Morning America, Nancy Grace, and In-Session. In-Session is the pool camera, meaning they are responsible for the video footage you see inside the courtroom, and they share that footage (live and taped) with everyone who wants it. So, subsequently, you may see recorded news stories along with “live” footage from inside the courtroom. Three cameras are strategically mounted inside the courtroom so a TV crew inside the media room, aka “sweat room”,  can switch between a shot of the defendant, the attorneys, and those who take the witness stand.

The media sits on one side of the courtroom, while the public can sit on the other side, assuming there are available spaces. Family and friends of the defendant and victim occupy the first rows of seats. The courtroom is almost always packed and I am frequently surprised as to the number of “looky looks”,  those people who wander in from the streets just to catch a glimpse. There are also a fair number of attorneys present who have nothing to do with this case.

The sweat room is a scary place. Crammed inside this small rectangular shaped room are representatives from most of the TV based outlets. This is their temporary home as they must push the necessary buttons to record the footage for future use.  While many colorful stories have been shared here, an equal number of colds and viruses have found new homes. Avoid this place if at all possible.

The trial resumes on January 29.