Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Judge ponders September trial date for Arias

Jodi-Arias-May-21-2013-PhotoAP-Ross-D-FranklinPHOENIX (AP) – A new jury could be impaneled to decide whether Jodi Arias should be sentenced to death or life in prison sometime in late September, a judge said Tuesday, as attorneys continue to file motions and keep mum on any talk of a deal to resolve the case without another trial.

Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the stabbing and shooting death of boyfriend Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. About two weeks later, the same jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on her sentence.

Her case is now in limbo as prosecutors decide whether to put on another penalty phase with a new jury in pursuit of the death penalty – or simply take the death penalty off the table, a move that would either see Arias spend the rest of her life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years. That decision would be up to the judge.

Meanwhile, her attorneys are seeking to have set aside the jury’s determination that Arias killed her one-time lover in an “especially cruel” manner. That finding meant that Arias was eligible for the death penalty.

Arias’ attorneys argue that the definition of “especially cruel” is too vague for jurors with no legal experience to determine what makes one killing more cruel or heinous than another. Their June motion appears to challenge a landmark 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found a defendant has the right to have a jury, rather than a judge, decide on the existence of an aggravating factor that makes the defendant eligible for capital punishment.

The high court in that case, which originated in Arizona, determined that allowing judges to make such findings violated a defendant’s constitutional right to a trial by jury. Prosecutors argue that state and federal courts have found the process continues to pass constitutional muster, and that the defense motion lacks merit.

Judge Sherry Stephens gave defense attorneys until Aug. 5 to file final motions supporting their arguments. She set another status conference in the case for Aug. 26.

“It appears there are a number of issues that are unresolved so I am reluctant to set a firm trial date for the penalty phase retrial at this time,” Stephens told attorneys Tuesday.

However, she noted she would like to set a retrial date for late September.

“Parties should work toward beginning trial in late September. That is my intention,” Stephens said.

Tuesday’s hearing lasted less than an hour. Arias was escorted into the courtroom, wearing shackles and dressed in striped jail clothes, by three heavily armed deputies, one carrying a shotgun.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has said the state is still preparing to seek the death penalty again for Arias, but would consider resolving the case without another trial after consultation with the victim’s family and defense lawyers, among other things. He said the cost of the case would play no role in his office’s decision whether to retry Arias.

Taxpayers footed the bill for Arias’ court-appointed attorneys throughout her nearly five-month trial at a cost so far of nearly $1.7 million, a price tag that will only balloon if the case moves forward.

Montgomery has declined to publicly release the cost his office incurred prosecuting the case.

Just seating a new impartial jury could take weeks, given the widespread publicity of the trial that captured headlines worldwide with lurid tales of sex, betrayal and a bloody killing. That lengthy process would be followed by reading testimony and evidence to bring the fresh panel up to speed before jurors would once again attempt to decide whether Arias should live or die.

If the second panel failed to reach a unanimous decision, the death penalty would automatically be removed from consideration, and the judge would sentence Arias to life.

Arias, 33, admitted she killed Alexander, but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her. Prosecutors argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage after the victim wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.


Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Share this post!
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Pinterest


Martha Hancock says:

Does not Jodi deserve the same consideration as a sick animal? If my dog had rabies, I would have it put down with as painless a medicine as I could. She says she rather die than live out her life in prison. Should she not be treated as kindly as a dog who will not recover from his disease, thus being a danger to other animals? She is smart, and she knows her life might be one long regret. I say the jury should grant her wish. Certainly she knows that no one would ever wish to have to treat her as Travis was treated, but justice needs to be done!

Sue Myers says:

Thank you Beth, you are the best.

Patricia Nelson says:


Bonne Rock says:

PLEASE GOD let’s put this EVIL ANIMAL AWAY for good and send her home to see her “real” father, SATAN!!!!!! Thank you…..Amen

Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:

That judge too soft on this all along, for this ugly crime, too much time on this.

Patricia Nelson says:

Back when the trial was still going on I couldn’t say it enough about those death photos, I kept telling everyone to go and look them and see what she deserves after what she did to Travis Alexander.

Heather says:

I don’t see how anyone can look at the autopsy and crime scene pictures in this trial and NOT think this woman deserves the death penalty. She will still die in a much more humane way than Travis Alexander did but at least his family will have some kind of closure.

Amanda says:

Arias and her attorneys are making a joke out of the legal system. This whole process was delayed for five years because of various motions to begin with… and now they’re using every tactic in the book to delay it even further. George Zimmerman, Levi Chavez, and Brett Seacat all began and completed their trials in less time than it took Arias to spew her ridiculous story on the stand. There’s something wrong here.

Rainydog says:

JA will be sitting around doing other inmates hair, shopping at the commissary, having snacks in her cell, allowed visitors and a host of other fun stuff lifers get if sentenced to LIFE. If she gets the DP then all that is off the table and she gets a flat mattress on a hard cold floor in a 6 X 9 cell. That is the cost of a retrial. I vote for the DP!!!!

Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:


LoveBunny says:

Uh, let’s see. . . she stabbed TA 29 times and cut his throat from ear to ear almost decapitating him and shooting him in the head. He had defensive wounds on his hands.

He was also forced to see himself dying in front of his bathroom mirror while she continued to attack him and he aspirated blood all over the place.

I’m sure he felt extreme pain and terror when that happened. . . And the Defense thinks a jury isn’t sophisticated enough to understand the difference between what is especially cruel and heinous and what isn’t.

It’s not like JA gave TA a warm glass of milk and a lethal overdose of sleeping pills all the while cooing a soothing melodious lullaby into his ears. . . We all know it wasn’t “Silent Night”!

LJG says:

This case should have had a sequestered jury and that, in the long run, may have saved some time and cost. In the meantime, the Alexander family deserves and needs this to be put to rest. I don’t understand why the law requires all jurors to agree, why not majority rules? This arias animal does not deserve appeals so I guess we would have to be okay with LWOP. I just hate that this animal will have some kind of “life” while in prison unlike her victim Travis Alexander had his life taken away. Our laws need to be re-looked at and some changes made.

Brenda says:

The judge in the Jodi Aries trial is afraid of her own shadow… get on with this trial for gosh sakes..

Sue G says:

The judge could’ve controlled the cost of this trial but let so much IN and could’nt make rulings from the bench without endless and lengthy side bars. We just saw a strong judge in (Judge Nelson) in Florida, THAT’s how a judge RULES a trial. Judge Stephens is weak and took DAYS off, started late EVERY day and took endless breaks. Wonder how many weeks her delays and days off, not to mention constant sidebars cost the state?

Linda Crockett says:

I would hope that the Judge does not grant any delays in this case. The woman was convicted of pre-meditated 1st degree murder, get on with it and let the family of the victim start to put this behind them. LWOP suits me fine, it takes away much of her appeals process that the death penalty would allow her to drag on for years. It also keeps this narcissist in the stripes she belongs in with the ball and chain around her anytime she is “allowed” to be out in public. ( In her case, court appearances only)

Judy Kelly says:

What amazes me is the comments about the “cost” of this trial. If they wouldn’t have let her on the stand to “babble” for 18 days along with Duhfense witnesses, this could have ended after a month’s time. She butchered a young man, taking away all his rights to an awesome future….she should either be in prison with LWOP or the Death Penalty by now. This has gone on way too long, not fair to the Alexander family….they’ve been to Hell and back. Let it be finished NOW…

kathleen adams says:

not only did she babble as you say Judy all she did was lie!!! the only truth she told is when she admitted to murdering Travis!

Lisa Ricciardi says:

You hit the nail right on the head! Let’s keep this moving forward…..PLEASE Judge!! No more delays!!

Buffy Singleton says:

NOT TO MENTION that all her LIES and changing stories, changing lawyers, etc., delayed the case to begin with!!!!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *