Jodi Arias is back in headlines this week as an Arizona judge takes steps towards a retrial date in order to work out her penalty.
Arias, who was convicted in May of first-degree murder for killing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, has been the subject of much discussion over the last several months as the jury debated on whether or not to give her the death penalty or a life sentence. Ultimately, a decision couldn’t be reached and a retrial was granted; a new jury will be chosen next month.
The standards for choosing the death penalty include whether the murder was carried out in an “exceptionally cruel” way. Alexander was shot, stabbed over 30 times, and had his throat slit; Arias claimed she was only fighting back after he attacked her in a violent rage. Photographs found on a camera at the crime scene show the couple engaging in sexual activities before heading to the shower, and there are photos of Alexander’s brutalized body as well. His body was found in the shower.
The first trial was drawn out over five months and has already spawned a television movie. Because it was so sensationalized, defense attorneys are asking the judge not to allow cameras into the courtroom during the retrial. At least two witnesses were scared away from testifying because they say they received death threats.
Prosecutors said that Arias killed her boyfriend in a jealous rage after finding out he’d made plans to take a trip with another woman.