Convicted murderess Jodi Arias is back on the nation’s radar after the Associated Press reported Tuesday that a new jury may be impaneled to decide if she should be sentenced to death or life in prison.
Right after being convicted of murdering her ex-lover Travis Alexander, Arias told reporters she wanted to be sentenced to death, but it wasn’t long before she said life in prison would be better than no life at all. She asserted that she would essentially make the world a better place if kept alive. She promised to donate her hair and even start a recycling program in prison.
Since the original jury couldn’t reach a decision on the penalty, now it is up to Arizona prosecutors to decide if there will be another penalty phase of the trial, with a new jury, or if the option of death by lethal injection would be completely dismissed, with Arias left to face the rest of her mortal life behind bars.
One reason the jury had a hard time deciding Arias’ sentence was the definition of having killed Alexander in an “especially cruel” manner. If the jury believes the crime was committed in an especially cruel manner she would be eligible for the death penalty. Arias’ attorney’s maintained the meaning of “especially cruel” wasn’t precise enough for jurors without a legal background.
Judge Sherry Stephens in Phoenix gave defense attorneys until Aug. 5 to make their arguments and arranged a status conference for the case for Aug. 26, the AP reports.
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"It appears there are a number of issues that are unresolved, so I am reluctant to set a firm trial date for the penalty phase retrial at this time," Stephens was quoted by the news organization. "Parties should work toward beginning trial in late September. That is my intention."
Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 after she stabbed her onetime lover Alexander nearly 30 times, sliced his throat from ear to ear, and then shot him in the face in his Phoenix home in June 2008. Two weeks after convicting the 31-year-old photographer, the jury was unable to unanimously decide on her sentence.