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Leak of juror identities in Jodi Arias trial can’t be pinpointed

PHOENIX — An investigation into the leaks of the identities of jurors at
the Jodi Arias murder trial could not pinpoint who was responsible for the
illegal disclosures, but it ruled out court employees as the culprit behind the
violation.

The presiding judge of Maricopa County Superior Court had a Scottsdale attorney
investigate how the names of 12 jurors were published on websites shortly after
the panel voted 11-1 to spare the convicted murderer’s life. An executive
summary of the investigation was released Friday afternoon to The Associated
Press.

The name of the holdout juror was leaked through a Twitter account that also
posted sympathetic comments about Arias’ victim Travis Alexander. A pro-Arias
website also published names of 11 people it said were the jurors who voted to
sentence Arias to death for the 2008 killing.

Arizona law prohibits the public release of juror names. The information
appeared online after jurors who favored the death penalty expressed
frustrations over the holdout who wanted Arias to get a life sentence.

The executive summary by attorney Katherine E. Baker said the source of the
leak on the holdout juror’s identity likely came from court records that
revealed her name and a screenshot of her Facebook page for two weeks before the
documents were placed under seal.

Baker wrote that the public could have accessed this information during those
two weeks.

The summary also said the possibility that a juror leaked the name of the
holdout juror can’t be ruled out.

Baker recommended that the court review its policies to prevent future leaks.

The 2013 trial of Arias became a global sensation with its revelations about
her sexual relationship with the victim and that she had slit his throat so
deeply that he was nearly decapitated.

She was convicted but the original jury was deadlocked on whether to give her
the death penalty. That set the stage for a second trial to determine her
punishment. With the deadlock, Arias received a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Arias killed Alexander as revenge because he wanted to date
other women and was planning a trip to Mexico with his latest love interest.