Jodi Arias, the convicted killer whose trial transfixed America, is back in court today for the setting of a date in respect of the retrial of the penalty phase of the case.
The Arias case has already spawned a television movie after she was foudn guilty last May of killing her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
The retrial of the penalty phase is due to the fact that the jury were unable to agree n whether to sentence Arias to death or to life in prison.
ABC reports that Judge Sherry Stephens, who oversaw the murder trial, has said that she’d like to begin picking a new jury next month. The new jurors would not hear the entire case and their only task would be to decide Arias’s fate.
Attorneys for Arias are hoping the retrial will not be as high-profile and have filed a motion asking the judge to keep cameras out or to at least forbid the trial from being broadcast live. The defense says the publicity was so intense that two witnesses, domestic violence expert Alyce Laviolette and Arias’ childhood friend Patti Womak, received death threats and are too scared to come back to testify for the retrial.
Judge Stephens may not buy the defense’s argument since it was Arias who granted jailhouse interviews as the first jury deliberated her fate.
Arias, 33, claimed that she killed Alexander, a Mormon businessman, in self-defense. She is now being held in Maricopa County jail awaiting the sentencing phase of her trial. If a second jury is seated for a new sentencing phase, both the prosecution and defense will spend weeks presenting evidence to catch the jury up on the five-month long murder trial.