Jodi Arias is currently awaiting the retrial of her penalty phase after being convicted in the murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander.  The first penalty phase resulted in a hung jury.  When the retrial of the penalty phase begins, a new jury will be selected, and they will decide whether Jodi Arias will face life or death.  Judge Sherry Stephens has stated that she wants the Arias retrial in September, but no firm date has been set.  There is a hearing scheduled for September 16th.

1. WHERE IS JODI ARIAS?

She is where all inmates are who are awaiting trial or sentencing, the controversial Estrella Jail.  Due to her notoriety and her conviction status, Arias is housed in the HSU or high-security unit. 

2.  HOW WILL AN IMPARTIAL JURY BE SEATED?

Jury selection will occur the same way it did in the guilt-non-guilt phase of the trial.  If there are concerns, a change of venue could occur.  This means that the jury would be picked from another jury pool in a different county because the jury pool in Maricopa County is too tainted.  Of course, people can lie and with information so accessible and the veracity of the media coverage these days, it is a real concern.  Jurors who lie to be part of a trial and do not intend to find the truth or justice are known as sleeper jurors.

3.  COULD THERE BE A PLEA DEAL?

This is the million-dollar question.  Many people have expressed the need to avoid further monetary expenditures and social media fervor.  At any point before a new jury makes a finding, a plea deal can be made.  It’s hard to say what prosecutors actually want out of this case.  The decision is up to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.  Experts say Montgomery is an elected official, and there is a chance he could make a political decision even though that is unethical.  The trial has cost about average for a capital case despite all the delays.  It is unlikely that there will be a plea deal given recent motions filed by attorneys.

4.  WILL THE NEW JURY SEE ARIAS’ EXTRA-CURRICULAR STATEMENTS?

Jodi Arias has made a lot of media statements since her arrest, but whether the jury sees them or depends upon legal issues surrounding their usage.  First off, they weren’t used in the first penalty phase, but there is a question of how the guilt-non-guilt phase information will be presented, which they were used in.  The prosecutor could submit the post-verdict statements Arias made to reporters about wanting the death penalty, but it would probably just confuse the jury since she made statements afterwards about not wanting the death penalty.  Its approval by the judge would depend upon its relevancy and admissibility anyway.

5.  WHAT OTHER DELAYS ARE POSSIBLE?

Well, pretty much anything can happen in a case, so it is hard to say.  Either side can ask for more time to prepare their penalty phase cases, there could be a replacement of counsel, someone could get sick, scheduling issues, etc.  Delays happen in trials all the time.

6.  HOW WILL THE NEW JURY LEARN THE CASE?

It is quite obvious that empanelling a new fair and impartial jury will be difficult, but if done, it is safe to assume that the jurors will not be prejudiced.  This also means that unlike the jury that sat through the trial they will not know any of the evidence, so how will they learn it?  Arizona law says that the new jury will be able to consider the entire record.  This includes the 5 months of testimony from the trial.  However, it isn’t clear how this will be presented to the jury for consideration.  Jerry Cobb, the public information officer for the Maricopa County, Arizona, District Attorney’s office told HLN that the new jury will be told fairly early on that Arias has been convicted of first-degree murder and that it was determined that the aggravator “cruel manner” was also applicable.  Cobb said that the judge and attorneys for both sides would discuss the way the jurors will learn all the information.

Leave your re-sentencing questions in the comments section.

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