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Updated Mar 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Jodi Arias jury selection to begin Sept. 8 for second penalty phase

PHOENIX — Prosecutors will again try to convince a jury to sentence Jodi
Arias to death in a second penalty phase that will begin in September.

During a hearing Monday, which Arias did not attend, a judge set the new trial
date with jury selection to begin Sept. 8.

The 33-year-old former waitress was convicted of first-degree murder in 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 reach a unanimous decision, the death penalty will
be removed from consideration. The judge then would sentence Arias to spend her
entire life behind bars or to be eligible for release after 25 years.

Her second penalty phase retrial had been scheduled to begin Monday but was
postponed because of a prosecution scheduling conflict.

Arias admitted that she killed her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in
2008 at his suburban Phoenix home but claimed it was self-defense. He suffered
nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit and was shot in the forehead.
Prosecutors argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage when
Alexander wanted to end their affair.

Also Monday, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told the judge he had filed a motion
seeking to have the death penalty removed as an option for sentencing. The
document wasn’t yet publicly available, and Nurmi didn’t return a telephone
message seeking comment.

Judge Sherry Stephens has already denied similar previous motions by the

Last month, Stephens denied a separate defense motion that argued Arizona law
allowing a retrial of the penalty phase is unconstitutional.


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