The jury in Jodi Arias’ case is deadlocked on whether the convicted murderer deserves life in prison or should be sentenced to death for her crime.
The jury has already found her guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Travis Alexander. They have also decided that her crime showed enough cruelty and violence to warrant the death penalty.
However, the jury told the presiding judge on Wednesday, the second day of deliberations, that it cannot reach a unanimous sentencing verdict.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens directed the jury to continue their deliberations and reach a consensus on Arias’ fate. The jury later adjourned for the day without reaching that consensus. They will resume deliberations on Thursday.
Jodi Arias has been convicted of killing Alexander, whose body was discovered at his home near Phoenix, Arizona in June 2008. He had been stabbed 27 times, shot in the forehead, and his throat was slit from ear to ear.
The resulting trial featured graphic testimony and photographs about the killing, as well as about Jodi Arias’ relationship with Alexander. Arias claimed her relationship with Travis Alexander was abusive and that she killed him in self-defense. However, the jury disagreed.
Should Jodi Arias’ jury continue to be at an impasse over her sentencing, it is likely a new jury would be called. Under Arizona law, a hung jury in the death penalty phase of a trial requires the selection of a new jury. That could add months onto the trial, as the new jury would have to hear reasons for and against Arias being given the death penalty.
If the second jury cannot come to a unanimous decision, the judge would then either sentence Jodi Arias to life in prison or to be eligible for parole after 25 years. Forer Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley explained of the hung jury possibility:
“If that happens, this jury would be dismissed and a second jury would be impaneled, and you’d literally have to go through the whole case again.”
Even if the deadlocked jury remains so, Jodi Arias’ conviction will still stand.