CLICK HERE TO WATCH:  New Alyce LaViolette Interview about how hatred has affected her life.

In the trial, which riveted millions for five months earlier this year and spawned a TV movie, Arias was found guilty in May of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.  Judge Sherry Stephens, who oversaw the murder trial, has said that she’d like to begin picking a new jury next month.  However, those plans were delayed today.  In a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes, the defense and prosecution were given the 1,500 pages of testimony transcripts from the trial for review and the judge announced that she had yet to read the motions filed.  Judge Stephens set a hearing for September 16th at 11:30 a.m. EST.  Jodi Arias’ defense attorneys have filed a motion asking the judge to allow them to monitor the Twitter accounts of the jury to make sure that jurors aren’t communicating details and are actually being fair and just.  Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the 2008 death of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.  Attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott wrote that Arias will “endeavor to paint a complete picture” of who she is and why she deserves a sentence of life.”  Nurmi and Willmott filed a motion asking the judge to require all jurors “to disclose any Twitter accounts, if any, that they may have and/or any Twitter handles, if any, that they may use to the court prior to the commencement of the upcoming retrial as disclosure of this information is essential.”

They want the court to compel the jurors to provide their handles if they use the site.  They note the details would serve as a “crucial tool with which Ms. Arias can work to ensure that her jury are either not communicating…or considering information that was sent to them…as opposed to what is presented to them in court.”  The attorneys argue without the ability to monitor the jurors there would be no way of knowing whether the jurors were following the court’s admonitions.  Jurors are told not to talk about or research the case until everything is over (this includes:  watching media coverage, reading newspapers, participating in social media, discussing the case with anyone, etc.)  The attorneys reasoned that they want to make sure the jury is not discussing the case on Twitter or being influenced on the trial through social media platforms.

“If every juror were to understand and follow this warning…there would be no issue…” the attorneys wrote.

Arias’ attorneys say that after the jury in her first penalty phase failed to reach a decision, they learned that an alternate (Tara Kelley) had communicated via Twitter with a journalist.  The lawyers also wrote that the alternate juror had a conversation on Facebook during which someone else commented about Arias’ temper.  Kelly also wrote on Twitter, “She believed she was allowed to view social media…”

Arias’ attorneys argued that “Twitter provides those who would like to influence Ms. Arias’ jury with the means to do so in a way that could go undetected…”

Along with the other motions they have already filed, defense attorneys have also filed what has become sadly, a pretty standard filing in a high-profile case, the need to ban prejudicial TV coverage.  In the motion filed Thursday, defense attorneys argued that live coverage of the convicted killer’s first trial led to death threats against them and their witnesses. They are asking the judge to not allow video of the proceedings to be aired until the retrial is over, citing Constitutional concerns.  According to court documents, two key mitigation witnesses — Alyce LaViolette and Patricia Womack — refuse to participate in further court proceedings, based on the threats and harassment they received from trial followers who have no respect for the judicial process, the seriousness of proceedings, rights, truth, or fairness.

When the re-penalty phase begins, a new jury will be selected, and it will decide whether Arias will be sentenced to death via lethal injection or life in prison.  Judge Sherry Stephens previously denied Jodi Arias’ defense motion to have the jury’s aggravating circumstance determination of “especially cruel” thrown out.  Arias’ case is currently in limbo as prosecutors decide whether to pursue an entirely new penalty phase or agree to a plea deal for life in prison.

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Comments
  1. Lon Spector says:

    The witch hunts against Jodi need to be exposed, but where is Casey Anthony? She seems to have dropped off the radar. We could use some periodic updates about her!

    Like

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