Jodi Arias Trial Update Today: Court Rejects Jodi Arias Death Penalty Appeal
By Staff Writer | June 01, 2014 12:07 PM EDT
Jodi Arias Trial Update Today: Jodi Arias, who was convicted for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, will not be able to avoid facing the death penalty. An Arizona judge denied a plea to spare Jodi Arias from the death penalty during the second penalty phase of her murder trial.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens dismissed claims by Arias' attorneys that her defense was hurt when a member of the defense team was prevented from visiting the county jails
In a written ruling, Judge Sherry Stephens dismissed claims made by attorneys that the case was compromised when a key member of Arias' defense team was temporarily barred from visiting Maricopa County jails.
"The defendant has failed to establish she suffered any prejudice as a result of the incident involving the mitigation specialist," Stephens said in a ruling logged by the court on Friday but dated May 27.
Jodi Arias, a former waitress and aspiring photographer, admitted to killing Travis Alexander, her then boyfriend at his suburban home in Arizona. But Jodi claimed she did it in self-defense. Alexander was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slit and he was shot in the forehead. Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander in a fit of rage after Alexander said that he wanted to end their relationship. Medical examiners say that the murder took less than 2 minutes.
Last year, Jodi Arias was convicted of murder for the 2008 killing of her lover Travis Alexander in Arizona. The Jodi Arias jurors were not able to a unanimous decision on her case. Friday's proceedings were closed. The sentencing phase of Arias' trial is scheduled to begin on September 8, 2014. The next hearing is set for July 1.
Under state law in Arizona, Arias' murder conviction stands. Prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury to pursue a death sentence. If the second Jodi Arias jury still fails to reach a decision, the death penalty will be removed from consideration. The judge will then sentence Arias to life imprisonment. Jodi Arias would be will be eligible for release after 25 years in jail. The second penalty phase is set for September.
The Jodi Arias retrial was pushed back because attorney Juan Martinez is will be prosecuting in another trial that conflicts with Arias' trial. According to the Arizona Republic, Juan Martinez is scheduled to begin the trial on May 12, the oldest capital murder case in Maricopa County, which may also be a death penalty trial.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Welty ruled the trial of Bryan Hulsey, who was accused of killing a police officer in the Phoenix area in 2007 will go first.Judge Sherry Stephens denied two motions by Jodi Arias to fire her lead attorney, Kirk Nurmi.
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.
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