Jodi Arias’ Second Penalty Phase Banned from Live Coverage, Judge Rules
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, Sherry Stephens, has rejected a bid by convicted killer, Jodi Arias, which would move her retrial from the city of Phoenix. In addition, Judge Stephens has ruled that no video be permitted in the courtroom when the trial resumes.
Arias, 33, was convicted in May after admitting to the homicide of boyfriend, Travis Alexander. His executed body was discovered June 2008 in the bathtub of his Phoenix home. Travis suffered a gruesome slit to the throat, multiple stab wounds and a gunshot to the face.
Contrary to popular belief, Arias asserts that she was fighting in self-defense. However, the case has been painted out as an act of jealousy due to the fact that the victim wanted to end the relationship to be with another woman.
The first jury failed to reached a verdict on whether Arias should receive the death penalty, which then resulted in a second penalty phase. Arizona law permits prosecutors to seek the death penalty through yet another trial with a jury of new faces.
The Associated Press reported “If the second jury fails to reach a verdict, the death penalty would be removed as an option, and the judge would sentence Arias to either spend her entire life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years.”
This five-month trial has received extensive media coverage with backlashes from many who follow the case. In fear that the penalty phase would be unfair due to its media popularity, the defense attorneys requested that the trial be relocated to a different county. The attorneys also argued that by moving the trial, Arias would be avoiding such ridicule and chastisement from the public, which the attorneys claim she has been experiencing.
Thus, Stephens denied the proposal and reassured that there will be no warrant for live coverage, including mobile electronic devices. Also, she announced that the new jurors would have no prior knowledge and insight of the case.
“The court has no basis for finding the publicity about this case has been so outrageous that it will turn the new sentencing proceeding into a mockery of justice or mere formality,” Stephens said.
A recollection to last October verifies just how unpleasant people have taken to this murder trial, and it clearly seems others will not be supporting that appeal Jodi was asking for on Twitter.
A retrial date has not been set.