Arias Penalty Phase a Mistrial; New Jury to Consider Killer’s Fate


After all the hype, after all the strong opinions over whether Jodi Arias deserved life or death for the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander, after all the talk, the big trial ended Thursday with a sigh, says the Arizona Republic. At about 4 p.m. Thursday, the jury filed into the courtroom. “Ladies and gentlemen, I understand you have reached a verdict,” said Judge Sherry Stephens. She glanced at the verdict form, and her voice cracked as she said, “The clerk will now read and record the verdict.”

But the verdict was not a verdict at all: The jury could not reach a unanimous decision about whether to sentence Arias to death. Instead, they split 8-4 in favor of death. Arias looked stunned and put a hand to her cheek with a half-smile. There was audible sobbing from the Alexander's row; his sisters were crying inconsolably. Stephens declared a mistrial, then set a date for July 18 to empanel a new jury and reconsider the penalty stage of the trial. The first-degree murder conviction and the aggravation finding that the murder was especially cruel will stand.

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