Criminal Justice

Jodi Arias jury hangs on whether she should get death penalty

It didn’t take long for an Arizona jury to convict Jodi Arias of first-degree murder in the grisly death of her former boyfriend.

But it wasn’t able to agree Thursday on whether the 32-year-old should get the death penalty in the Maricopa County case.

That leaves the prosecution with two options: Retry the penalty phase of the high-profile case with a new jury or take capital punishment off the table, reports ABC News.

Although the judge declared a mistrial on the sentencing phase and has scheduled a new penalty trial for July, the network says the prosecution is still deciding which option to pursue.

The jury split 8-4 in favor of imposing the death penalty, reports the Arizona Republic.

“We appreciate the jury’s work in the guilt and aggravation phases of the trial and now we will assess, based upon available information, what the next steps will be,” said the county attorney’s office in a written statement provided to the newspaper. “As of this point in time, the Court has set a status conference for June 20 and we will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase. Because, for purposes of a jury determination on punishment, this is still a pending matter, there will be no further comment.”

Arias had initially told a reporter she wanted a death sentence rather than life in prison, but changed her mind before testifying in the sentencing phase when she asked the jury to spare her life so that she could work to do some good while in prison by donating her hair, participating in recycling programs and designing T-shirts to raise money for domestic abuse victims, the Associated Press reported earlier.

See also “Jury reaches guilty verdict in Jodi Arias first-degree murder trial” “Judge denies defense motion to withdraw during penalty phase in Arias murder case”

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