Jodi Arias Trial Update 2014: September Date Set In Jury Selection For Penalty Phase Re-Trial Of Arias Murder Conviction; CNN Motions For Video Coverage of Sentencing Trial
Judge Sherry Stephens set the sentencing phase retrial date for Jodi Arias during a hearing on Monday at the Maricopa County Superior Court.
Jury selection for the second attempt at deciding on Arias's punishment for the 2008 murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander is set to begin on Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m., according to court officials.
Arias was convicted of first degree murder in May of 2013 after five months of trial and testimony. The primary jury in the case agreed that Arias killed Alexander in an "especially cruel" manner when they were made aware of the explicit details of the murder. The jury found Arias guilty of stabbing Alexander approximately 30 times, shooting him in the head and slitting his throat from ear-to-ear, according to a report from LatinosPost.com.
However, the panel was unable to come to a unanimous decision as to whether Arias should receive the death penalty or life in prison for her acts. As such, the courtroom decision was to enlist a second jury in the hopes that its members will be able to agree on Arias's fate.
CBS News reports that under Arizona law, while Arias's murder conviction stands, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort solely to secure a death sentence.
But if the new jury, to be chosen in September, also fails to come to an agreement for the sentencing phase retrial, the death penalty option would then be entirely removed from the table.
The responsibility for deciding upon a punishment for Arias would then be transferred to Stephens, who could opt either to send Arias to jail for a life term or to sentence her to prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
According to court documents, CNN filed a motion during Monday's hearing in a bid to be granted permission for video coverage during the sentencing phase retrial and it was announced that said motion would be discussed at an upcoming hearing.
On a separate note that may or may not be related, the Maricopa County Superior Court confirmed that a hearing is scheduled for the Arias case that is slated to take place on April 11 at 11:00 a.m., though it will be a closed proceeding.
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