Jodi Arias is set to face a jury in September in a second penalty phase where prosecutors will try to obtain the death sentence for the convicted killer. In a hearing which took place on Monday – which Arias did not attend – the judge set the new trial date, with jury selection for the second week of September.
Arias, a 33-year-old waitress, has already been convicted of first-degree murder for the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in Arizona. At that time, jurors failed to reach a decision as to which sentence should be handed down to Jodi Arias.
Due to the complexities of Arizona law in this type of case, even though her murder conviction stands, prosecutors are able to apply for a second penalty phase with a new jury in their efforts to secure the death sentence.
It should be noted that prosecutors will be especially keen to win a unanimous decision this time round. If they don’t, the death penalty option will be removed from the table. In that case, Arias would most likely be sentenced to life behind bars, with a possibility of release after serving 25 years.
Even though Jodi Arias admitted that she killed Alexander in her Phoenix home, she claimed it was in self-defense. The fact that he suffered up to 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit, and was shot in the forehead, meant that prosecutors are sure the premeditated murder was in fact carried out in a jealous rage.
Another development in the Jodi Arias trial on Monday was that defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told the judge that he had already filed a motion for the death penalty option to be removed.
It remains to be seen what will be the outcome of the second penalty phase set for September in the ongoing trial of Jodi Arias.