Jodi Arias isn't receiving the death penalty after all, or at least not right away. Arias, who was convicted for the first-degree murder of her boyfriend two weeks ago, has instead received a retrial after the jury that convicted her could not decide whether she should be given life in prison or suffer the death penalty for her crime.
Arias’s trial has been rescheduled for July 18 after presiding judge Sherry Stephens pronounced a mistrial on Thursday. Jurors were told to decide between the death penalty and life in prison on Tuesday and had reportedly been gridlocked about Arias’s fate since Wednesday.
"This was not your typical trial," Stephens told the jurors. "You were asked to perform some very difficult duties."
None of the jurors on the Arias trial had a public comment while they were leaving the Phoenix courtroom.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery thanked the jury for their efforts on the Arias trial soon after Stephens announced the mistrial.
"We appreciate the jury's work in the guilt and aggravation phases of the trial, and now we will assess, based upon available information, what the next steps will be,” he said, according to the AP.
The same jury found Arias guilty of killing Travis Alexander on May 8. Alexander was stabbed multiple times, shot, and nearly decapitated at his home in Mesa, Ariz. Because of the crime’s brutal nature, judges decided that the Arias trial would warrant consideration of the death penalty.
Previously, Arias stated that she would prefer the death penalty to life in prison, and also announced that she had plans to commit suicide. On Tuesday, however, she asked the jury to consider sentencing her to life in prison in order to spare her family any further grief.
“Until very recently I could not imagine standing before you all and asking for life. To me, life in prison was the most unappealing outcome I could think of,” Arias said on the stand. “Either way I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison. ... If it’s shortened the people who will hurt the most are my family.”
Arias’s trial, which featured graphic photos and testimony as well as a sex tape, ran for five months. Arias was the only defense witness, although she told jurors that her best friend Patricia Womack had intended to testify on her behalf but received threats.