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Arizona judge limits live coverage of Jodi Arias’ retrial

PHOENIX — Getting your fix of the sentencing phase retrial in the Jodi Arias’ murder case will be a little tougher to come by because of a new ruling.

Judge Sherry Stephens ruled late Thursday to ban the use of electronic devices from the courtroom. The motion to keep out live cameras and recorders came from Arias’ attorneys. Stephens’ ruling said still photography will be allowed, unless a specific witness objects.

The judge also denied a defense motion to have the jury sequestered, saying the estimated two month-plus retrial would create a hardship to jurors in their relationships with family and create a burden on taxpayers.

The live audio and video coverage of Arias’ murder trial and original sentencing phase generated massive audiences on cable television and websites.

In a related move, Stephens also denied a request for a change of venue. Arias’ defense team asserted that the coverage of the trial was so broad and overwhelming that it would be nearly impossible to find an impartial jury in Maricopa County, but Stephens ruled that the county was large enough to find impartial jurors and that a change of venue would create a logistical nightmare for all involved, including taxpayers.