HLN viewers have had a lot questions about the Jodi Arias case since a mistrial was declared on May 23. HLNtv.com will answer some of the most-asked questions in a series of seven articles that will publish every day this week called Arias Trial FAQs, or frequently asked questions.
It is very difficult to say what could delay the Jodi Arias trial at this stage, because anything could happen.
The first jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision about whether to sentence the convicted murderer to death or life in prison. So Arias is now facing a retrial for the penalty phase of her trial, and a new jury will be selected to decide what her sentence will be.
The new penalty phase of the Arias trial is scheduled to begin July 18. Judge Sherry Stephens also scheduled a status hearing on June 20 to check in with the attorneys about their preparations for the new phase of the trial.
At the June 20 hearing, either side could ask for more time to prepare their case for the retrial, and it will be up to the judge to decide if the attorneys should be given more time to prepare.
Another possible delay could occur if Stephens releases defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott from the case.
HLN legal experts say this is unlikely to happen, because Stephens has already denied the defense team's multiple requests to quit the case.
If for some reason Stephens does allow Nurmi and Willmott off the case, new attorneys may need more time to prepare for the retrial of the penalty phase, since they'll have to get caught up on the case and the previous phases of the trial, too. This could potentially push the start date of the retrial later than July 18.
If new defense attorneys are not given an adequate amount of time to prepare for the case, it could help Arias' appeal of ineffective counsel in regards to her sentence.
However, Stephens, who may want to avoid another delay, might not let Arias’ current attorneys, Nurmi and Willmott, off the hook.
Ultimately, though, delays happen in trials all the time, and they are very hard to predict. For example, one of Arias' attorneys could become sick, delaying the trial. There could be scheduling issues with other cases, because Arias’ trial is not the only one going on in Maricopa County, Arizona, right now.