The highly publicized case circling Arizona woman, Jodi Arias, has taken yet another turn. The second jury tasked with sentencing Arias could not reach a unanimous decision to give her the death penalty, thus sparing Arias’ life by removing this option of sentencing from the table.
The decision to call a mistrial did not come easily. On Tuesday, March 3, attorneys for Arias approached the judge requesting a mistrial, claiming a hung jury. The judge ordered the jury to keep deliberating.
Jodi Arias is convicted of killing her on and off boyfriend, Travis Alexander, on June 4, 2008. He was found by roommates dead in the shower of his Arizona home after Arias shot him in the forehead, stabbed him dozens of times, and slit his throat so deeply that he was nearly decapitated.
In 2013 Arias, now 34, was convicted of first-degree murder after a long trial that became a global sensation due to tawdry revelations pertaining to the relationship between Arias and Alexander. Nude photos of Arias in sexually suggestive poses were found on a Alexander’s camera’s memory card, time stamped for the day of his death. Photos from the card revealed that the images of Arias were taken just hours before latter, gruesome images of Alexander laying on the bathroom floor in pools of blood.
That jury that convicted Arias of murder was unable to come to a decision on her punishment.
This second jury was then brought in to attempt to sentence Arias. This jury debated for 5 days over 20 hours could not come to a unanimous decision to put her to death. According to the jury foreman, each juror had their minds made up with no ability to budge.
As a defense attorney hugged Arias during the announcement, relatives of Alexander sobbed. A join statement was issued on behalf of Alexander’s seven siblings, stating they were “saddened by the jury’s inability to reach a decision on the death penalty.”
Judge Sherry Stephens is now tasked on April 13 to decide if Arias will spend the rest of her life in prison or if she will be given the opportunity for parole after 25 years behind bars.
Implications for this case reveal the challenges jurors face in court cases. Given the high profiled nature of this case, the pressure was great, even after the heavily weighted evidence against Arias proving her guilt. Jurors can only come to a deadlock twice before the death penalty is removed as an option, making it even more imperative to ensure arguments for or against guilt are well made the first time around.
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