Judge: New Jodi Arias jury will not be sequestered

NEED TO KNOW
  • Judge Sherry Stephens rules on several key motions in penalty retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias
  • Judge grants defense motion to ban live TV coverage of retrial
  • Arias' retrial is expected to take place early next year
Judge: New Jodi Arias jury will not be sequestered

Airing Jodi Arias' dirty laundry

Airing Jodi Arias' dirty laundry

5,400 questions: The Arias trial by the numbers

Jodi Arias trial by the numbers

The jurors who will decide whether Jodi Arias will die via lethal injection or spend the rest of her life in prison at her upcoming retrial will not be sequestered, Judge Sherry Stephens ruled this week.

Read more: Jodi Arias retrial: What you need to know 

Arias' retrial will only apply to the penalty phase of her case. Twelve jurors already found Arias guilty on May 8 of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in June 2008. Alexander was found stabbed multiple times, shot once in the head and his throat was slit from ear to ear.

During the trial's aggravation phase, those same jurors found that Arias acted "in a cruel manner," but in the penalty phase, they couldn't reach a unanimous decision about whether she should be executed or life in prison.

If the new jurors cannot reach an unanimous decision, Stephens will decide whether Arias will get life without parole or life with the eligibility of parole after 25 years.

truTV: Women executed in America

Arias' retrial is expected to take place early next year, and the potential publicity surrounding the proceedings has been a source of concern for the defense.

In her ruling Wednesday denying the defense's request for sequestration, Stephens said one reason she would not sequester the jury is because she granted the defense’s motion to ban live TV coverage of the retrial. However, she is permitting reporters to attend the proceedings, and one still camera photographer will be allowed in the courtroom.

“The Court expects there will be significantly less media coverage of the case during the retrial of the penalty phase. As noted by the State in its response, much of the media interest in the case was generated by the defendant contacting media outlets. Defendant now claims she cannot receive a fair sentencing phase retrial because of the media interest in her case and wants the jury sequestered for the duration of the sentencing phase retrial,” wrote Stephens. “The Court finds the interests of justice do not require sequestration of the jury of the sentencing phase retrial in this case.”

Read more: So, Jodi Arias has a book club

In the same ruling, Stephens also denied the defense’s motion for a change of venue. Therefore, the retrial will take place at Maricopa County Courthouse in Arizona like Arias’ first trial.

Stephens also denied the defense’s request to individually question potential jurors during jury selection. Candidates will be questioned in groups of 10 for approximately 45 minutes, but she will allow individual questioning if a dispute regarding a potential juror cannot be resolved.

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