Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Arias judge denies motion to vacate death option

Judge Sherry Stephens left, listens to prosecutor Juan Martinez during the cross examination of Jodi Arias in Maricopa County Superior Court, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Photo / AP -The Arizona Republic - Tom TinglePHOENIX (AP) – A death sentence remains an option for convicted murderer Jodi Arias after a judge denied a defense motion to set aside the jury’s determination that Arias killed her one-time lover in an “especially cruel” manner, a finding that made her eligible for capital punishment.

Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. 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 settle for life in prison.

Arias’ attorneys had sought to have set aside the jury’s determination that Arias killed Alexander in an “especially cruel” manner, one element of so-called aggravating factors that allows the panel to then consider the death penalty.

Judge Sherry Stephens denied the motion in a ruling made public Wednesday.

Defense attorneys argued that the definition of “especially cruel” is too vague for jurors to determine what makes one killing more cruel or heinous than another. Their motion appeared 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.

Prosecutors argued that state and federal courts have found the process continues to pass constitutional muster, and that the defense motion, which also claimed the process violated the separation of legislative and judicial powers, lacked merit.

A hearing is set for Aug. 26. Judge Stephens previously indicated she wanted to set a new trial date for September.

Under Arizona law, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury. Just seating a new impartial panel could take weeks, given the trial’s publicity. That process would be followed by retreading testimony and evidence.

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 spend her entire life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has said the state is still preparing to seek the death penalty, but would consider resolving the case without another trial after consultation with the victim’s family and defense lawyers, among other things.

Arias’ defense by court-appointed attorneys has cost taxpayers nearly $1.7 million so far.

Montgomery has declined to publicly state the cost his office incurred prosecuting the case, citing a vague judge’s order that prevents the release of some details.

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.

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Jean says:

I want Jodi to get the death penalty. It is the only true fit for the extremely cruel killing of Travis Alexander. An eye for an eye. Only she just will get a little sting as the needle goes in, and not have to really suffer the 29 stabbings, the slitting of his throat nearly decapitating him, and then shooting him in the head when he was already dead. She is not worth my tax dollars footing her care for the rest of her natural life. We’ve already spent too much already for justice in this case. I say ; Give her the death penalty swiftly!

Jacqui says:

No, you do not have the right to make such a decision, judge not lest thou be judged, you cannot take the parts from the Bible that suit you. Vengance shall be mine, sayeth the Lord





Christina Collins says:

They should offer her LWOP instead of going after the death penalty again IF she tells the whole story (the truth this time). She should have to stand in court and tell everyone how she planned it and what really happened in that bathroom.

h says:


Laura says:

What exactly does the defense have to present at this point? The jury found her guilty of murder 1 so I doubt the judge will let Nurmi argue self defense again. Aren’t they only supposed to argue mitigating factors?

…. so Juan will have the luxury of stipulating the aggravating factors with photos and gas cans and his awful description of Travis crawling on the floor trying to get away from Jodi. And Nurmi will have……what? 4 emails where Travis is telling her off, just days before the murder?

I actually feel bad for Nurmi at this point. He has to be begging that dumb ho to take LWOP. They have absolutely nothing at this point and Judge Stephens has to be close to telling them “NO MORE STALLING!”, but knowing her she will let the circus go on.

sharon post says:

It’s past time now…how much longer can this go on?

Emily says:

So true Linda!

Linda Ivey says:

This IDIOT (438434) really believes all of this is going away for her. If she gets L W O P for the rest of her natural life will be fine for me. She need’s to sit and ROT just like she left Travis to do. She is getting everything she gets. She can think everyday about what she did and relive it over and over and over.


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