Jodi Arias: Life or death?

NEED TO KNOW
  • Having been found guilty of first-degree murder, Jodi Arias is now expected to enter a new phase of her trial next week
  • Court was canceled Thursday, and no reason was given
  • Arias' life is hanging in the balance as the trial moves on to the aggravation phase
  • HLN will cover this phase of the trial live, and HLNTV.com will live blog the proceedings
Jodi Arias: Life or death?

Watch verdict: ‘We the jury’ find Jodi Arias GUILTY

Arias describes sex with Travis on baptism day

Arias describes sex with Travis on baptism day

Even though Jodi Arias is convicted of first-degree murder, her trial is far from over: The jury will now have to decide if she murdered Travis Alexander in a cruel manner.

Arias' life is hanging in the balance as the trial moves on to the aggravation phase, which is expected to begin Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET. Court was canceled Thursday, and no reason was provided.

During this phase, the prosecution will have a chance to present additional evidence in an attempt to prove Alexander’s death was caused in a cruel manner. Arizona law defines "cruel manner" as when a victim suffered physical pain or mental anguish and the defendant knew, or should have known, that the victim would suffer.

Read more: The Arias jurors say it was murder

Prosecutor Juan Martinez is expected to call medical examiner Dr. Kevin Horn back to the stand Wednesday to testify about how Alexander suffered before he died.

Alexander was stabbed multiple times, shot in the head and his throat was slit from ear to ear.

After both sides present evidence on the issue of cruelty, the jury will deliberate for a second time to determine if the aggravating factor of cruelty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read more:  Arias’ attorneys say she ‘simply snapped’

If the jury does not find Arias guilty of cruelty, the case ends and the judge sets a sentencing date within 30 to 60 days. At the sentencing, the judge decides whether to sentence Arias to life in prison without parole or life with parole eligibility after 25 years.

If the jury decides cruelty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the case moves to the sentencing phase.

This is the defense’s opportunity to ask the jury for leniency and present evidence to support why Arias should be spared the death penalty. Witnesses may include Arias’ friends and family. Arias could also make a statement to the jury pleading for her life to be spared.

The jury then deliberates for a third time to determine whether Arias should be sentenced to life or death. Their decision must be unanimous. In the case of a deadlock, a mistrial would be granted and a new jury would be chosen for this phase only.

HLN will cover this next phase of the trial live, and HLNTV.com will live blog the proceedings.

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