Jodi Arias’ penalty retrial will not broadcast live, unlike the first trial which provided endless cable TV and tabloid fodder.
The live broadcast of the first trial was the reason cited by the nearly two dozen potential jurors who were dismissed on Monday. Out of the pool of 300 potential jurors, around 20 said they had followed the media coverage of the case and therefore could not be impartial.
The judge ruled that no video footage can be broadcast until after the jury gives a verdict for the penalty retrial, which is expected to last until mid-December. Arias admitted to killing boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008 in his Phoenix residence, claiming self-defense. He suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit and was shot in the head. Arias, a former waitress, was found guilty last year but the jury deadlocked on whether to condemn her to death. The murder conviction will stand while the prosecution tries to convince a new jury that she should die for the crime.
— Jane Velez-Mitchell (@JVM) September 29, 2014
If the new jury cannot come to a unanimous decision on the death penalty, Arias will automatically be sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Experts say that if the defense wants to spare Arias’ life, they should probably keep her off the stand in the retrial. William Zervakos, the foreman of the jury that convicted Arias, met with her legal team after the first trial and told them Arias “was her own worst enemy” and was a “terrible defendant.”
Arias and her legal team apparently do not get along well. Kirk Nurmi, the lawyer charged with her defense, has tried to quit the case, but the court has refused to let him off. Arias had also tried to fire Nurmi, complaining that he was “curt, rude and condescending” in a handwritten motion to the court.
She later asked for and was granted permission to represent herself, when the court would not assign her new defense. She later changed her mind as the court date neared and again accepted Nurmi as her lawyer.