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Jodi Arias defense wants a change of scenery

  • Jurors were unable to decide if convicted murderer Jodi Arias should face life in prison or the death penalty
  • Defense attorneys want the retrial of Arias penalty phase to be moved out of Maricopa County, Arizona
Jodi Arias defense wants a change of scenery

Catching up: The evidence that convicted Arias

Catching up: The evidence that convicted Arias

Jodi Arias' defense attorneys want to take her next trial out of Maricopa County, Arizona, where they say "widespread, unfair, and prejudicial coverage" is tainting the jury pool.

Arias was convicted on May 8 of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. However, jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on whether Arias would face life in prison or the death penalty, so she faces a new trial. Her murder conviction still stands, and the retrial will apply to only the penalty phase of her case.

A new jury will be selected for the retrial, and Arias' defense attorneys posed this question in their motion for a change of venue, which was filed Tuesday: "Given the plethora of unrestrained and bombastic coverage of the previous proceedings, can a fair and impartial jury be found in Maricopa County?"

Read more: Arias defense to new jurors: Show us your tweets!

They did not suggest an alternate venue, but said 70% of the coverage in Arizona about the trial took place in Maricopa County, where "the publicity regarding the trial was largely inflammatory with Ms. Arias frequently being referred to as a stalker, a lair (sic), crazy, and a seductress."

Arias' attorneys have filed additional motions asking the judge to ban or limit live broadcasts of the retrial and to compel jurors to disclose information regarding their Twitter accounts.

Read more: You won't believe what Jodi's been up to lately

Arias made a brief appearance in court Monday, wearing black and white stripes and shackles at a status hearing for her retrial. Judge Sherry Stephens did not set a date for the retrial during that hearing, saying she wanted to wait and review the defense's latest motions first. Judge Stephens scheduled another hearing for September 16, when she is expected to hear arguments on those motions.

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