Jodi Arias Trial Update: Jury Panel Fails To Reach Unanimous Decision On Death Penalty
Jodi Arias still doesn’t know whether or not she’ll receive the death penalty for the murder of boyfriend Travis Alexander. After convicting Arias of first-degree murder, the jury panel was unable to determine whether or not Arias should be punished by death, reported The Huffington Post.
The jury of eight men and four women, who have been sitting in the courtroom of the murder trial since it began in January, reached a “non-unanimous agreement” verdict on Thursday. After a three-day penalty phase of the trial, the jury deliberated for over 13 hours in which they were unable to agree on Arias’ penalty.
According to Arizona law, a new jury must be selected that will aim to reach a conclusive decision on Arias’ sentencing for the brutal 2008 murder. This new jury will reportedly be selected on July 18. If they too are unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the judge will assume the responsibility of sentencing. However, the judge will be unable to sentence Arias to the death penalty. He or she will decide between sentencing her to life behind bars without the possibility of parole, or a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 25 years in prison.
The prosecution, led by attorney Juan Martinez, has the option of offering a plea deal of life in prison. Following the non-verdict verdict, they stated they would be weighing their options. One of the factors Martinez and the rest of the prosecution will likely be weighting is the likelihood of the new jury being selected from a different city.
During the penalty phase of the trial, Martinez had pushed for the death penalty. “Do the honest, right thing, even though it may be difficult," Martinez said. "The only thing that you can do … is to return a verdict of death."
Jennifer Wilmott of Arias’ defense team, pled with the jury to spare her client’s life, arguing, “You have convicted her of first-degree murder. She does not need to be sentenced to death because of her lies. Jodi's life, despite what she has done, is worth saving."
Although Arias previously claimed that she would prefer the death penalty to life in prison, she has since reversed her position and asked the jury last week to let her live. Arias credits discussions with family members for renewing her desire to live.