Judge restricts live camera coverage in Arias case
PHOENIX (AP) — The second penalty phase in the Jodi Arias murder case will not be televised live, a judge ruled in an order made public Tuesday, marking a change from her first trial that attracted worldwide attention and created a media spectacle when the proceedings were broadcast in real time.
Arias, 33, a former waitress, was convicted of first-degree murder last May for the 2008 killing of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona, but jurors couldn’t reach a decision on a sentence.
Under Arizona law, while her murder conviction stands, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort to secure a death sentence.
If the second panel fails to end in a unanimous decision, the death penalty would be removed from consideration. The judge would then sentence Arias to spend her life behind bars or to be eligible for release after 25 years. The penalty phase retrial is set for Sept. 8.
Video and audio coverage of the proceedings will be allowed but may not be broadcast publicly until after the verdict, Judge Sherry Stephens wrote in her ruling.
“Any violation of this court order will result in immediate expulsion from the courtroom,” Stephens wrote.
Stephens appeared to give herself some leeway with the decision, noting in the ruling that if any footage was at some point during the proceedings allowed to be broadcast, there would have to be a 15-minute delay.
Media lawyers had argued for the same live TV coverage that occurred during Arias’ first trial.
Messages left for attorneys in the case were not immediately returned.
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