Criminal Justice

Jodi Arias is allowed to represent herself in new sentencing hearing

An Arizona judge has reluctantly granted a request by convicted murderer Jodi Arias to represent herself during a new sentencing hearing.

Judge Sherry Stephens said Arias’ current defense lawyers will remain as advisory counsel when the hearing begins on Sept. 8, report the Associated Press, the Arizona Republic and Reuters. “I do not believe it is in your best interest,” Stephens told Arias. “I strongly urge you to reconsider.”

Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in April 2013 for killing her former boyfriend in the shower of his Mesa home in 2008, but jurors were unable to decide whether she should be executed. The former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, had been stabbed nearly 30 times and shot in the forehead. Prosecutors claimed Arias killed Alexander because he wanted to end their relationship; Arias claimed self-defense.

San Francisco-area defense attorney Daniel Horowitz saw some merit to Arias’ strategy. “If she can get just one juror to bond with her on some level, even if they hate her, they’re getting to know her, and it’s harder to kill someone you know,” he told AP.

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