Tags: jodi arias | penalty-phase | retrial

Jodi Arias' Penalty-Phase Retrial To Be Life or Death Decision

Image: Jodi Arias' Penalty-Phase Retrial To Be Life or Death Decision

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 08:42 AM

By Nick Sanchez

A Sept. 8 date has been set for convicted murderer Jodi Arias' second penalty trial at which jurors will decide between death or life in prison for the brutal murder of her boyfriend.

During a Monday hearing, where Arias was not present, the judge confirmed the guilty verdict reached in May, but set the Sept. 8 date to allow prosecutors to pursue the death penalty after the previous jury failed to decide on a sentence.

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According to the Associated Press, if the second panel jury also fails to reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty, Arias would be sentenced to life in prison, with release eligibility at 25 years, potentially.

The penalty phase retrial was originally scheduled to start Monday, but it was postponed due to a schedule conflict for the prosecution.

Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in May 2013 death of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008.

The Arias trial garnered international media attention. Arias claimed to have killed Alexander in self-defense. However, he had almost 30 knife wounds and a gunshot wound to his forehead.

The fact that the jury hung on the penalty phase, voting 8 to 4 for the death penalty, and the judge declared a mistrial, brought emotions to heightened levels.

The first jury foreman Bill Zervakos told the Arizona Republic that the jury’s task had not been easy and jury members were dismayed to get outside the courtroom and hear the criticism of their performance.

"I think that by the end of it, we were mentally, emotionally exhausted," he told the Republic. "I think we were horrified when we found out that they actually called a mistrial and we felt like we had failed."

In January, the Associated Press reported that including court-appointed attorneys and other costs, Maricopa County spent $2.1 million to defend Arias.

Throughout the trial, Arias has sold her artwork online at JodiArias.com. During a closed-door hearing after the jury hung during the sentencing phase, she solicited sales for the works on Twitter.

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