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Jodi Arias Trial Update Today: Jodi Arias Jury May Be Sequestered For Second Sentencing Phase Of Murder Trial

By Staff Writer | September 10, 2013 12:03 PM EDT

Jodi Arias
(Photo : Screen Capture)

Jodi Arias trial update today: Attorneys for Jodi Arias are asking that the jury be sequestered in the second Jodi Arias trial. Jodi Arias' attorneys filed a motion that seeks to have the new jury sequestered "to ensure that the jury is not exposed to community and/or media influence." Jodi Arias Judge Sherry Stephens hasn’t set a new trial date yet.

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Jodi Arias’ lawyers asked the judge to shield the jury from the intense publicity surrounding Jodi Arias’ first trial, which went on for five months and was watched in millions of homes, streamed live on the internet. Jodi Arias has since been the subject of TV movies, books and even an upcoming song by a former BeeGee.
In May, a jury found Jodi Arias, 32, found guilty of premeditated first-degree murder for the June 2008 brutal slaying of Travis Alexander, her former boyfriend. Arias, a waitress and budding photographer, maintained that she was acting in self-defense when she killed Alexander. Arias claimed Alexander had a secret history of violent outbursts, that he was sadistic and had a "nearly predatory sex drive." Arias maintained that she was forced to fight for her life when she triggered one of his violent outburst during a nude photo shoot at his Arizona home.

Because of the extreme violence with which she killed Alexander and her resolute insistence that she was defending herself from repeated domestic abuse, the public was polarized during the trial. The medical examiners’ reports showed that Arias stabbed Alexander 27 times in the torso, chest, heart, and back, shot him in the face, and slit his throat from ear to ear with such violence that he was almost decapitated in less than two minutes.

The motion filed by Jodi Arias’ lawyers cites thousands of television news shows and newspaper articles about Jodi Arias throughout the trial that ran about five month trial. The motion also cites a recent Lifetime movie about the Jodi Arias case that lawyers claimed pulled in 3.1 million viewers.

Attorneys for Jodi Arias claim that the second phase of the trial will draw the same intense publicity and block Jodi Arias from getting a fair trial.

Jodi Arias’ lawyers wrote "This integrity is in the most danger of being compromised when the process is contaminated by outside influences. Given what took place in the last trial and the propensity for history to repeat itself, it is certainly beyond legitimate dispute that the threat to the integrity of the retrial is severe."

The Prosecution has not filed its response yet.

Because of the excessive publicity, Jodi Arias attorneys have already filed motions requesting that the sentencing phase of the trial be moved out of the Phoenix area. Jodi Arias’ lawyers filed a motion for a change of venue after finding that 70 percent of the media coverage in the state started in Maricopa County. Lawyers also want Jodi Arias trial live stream television coverage prohibited for the retrial.

Jodi Arias’ lawyers also requested the names of jurors’ Twitter accounts. The attorneys for Jodi Arias want to monitor the jurors’ Twitter accounts to make sure they’re not tweeting details about the Jodi Arias murder trial on the social media site.

The first Jodi Arias trial ended with a conviction but not a sentence. Jodi Arias' murder conviction stands. Under Arizona law, prosecutors have the option of pursuing a second penalty phase with a new jury to get the death sentence. If the second jury fails to reach a verdict, the death penalty would be removed as an option. The judge will then sentence Jodi Arias to life behind bars or be decide that she may be eligible for release after 25 years.

Jodi Arias admitted she killed Travis Alexander, but said she acted in self-defense because he was given to bouts of rage. Prosecutors said the killing was premeditated and fueled by jealous rage after Alexander said he wanted to break up with Jodi Arias and go to Mexico with another woman.

By Tony Sokol, follow me on Twitter

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