Arizona jury to resume deliberations in Jodi Arias death penalty case

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 02, 2015 11:40 AM

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A jury in Phoenix is due to resume deliberating on Monday whether Jodi Arias should be put to death for murdering her ex-boyfriend in 2008, after a penalty phase retrial ended last week in the closely watched case.

Arias, a 34-year-old former waitress from Salinas, California, was convicted of the murder in 2013, but jurors at the original trial deadlocked on whether she should be executed. A new jury was seated in October.

That jury of eight women and four men began deliberating on Wednesday afternoon but did not reach a verdict before breaking for the weekend at the end of Thursday.

The defense pleaded with jurors for Arias' life at closing arguments last week, saying she was remorseful, has had a long struggle with mental illness and was emotionally and physically abused as a child.

Prosecutors rejected that argument and said there were no mitigating factors in the case that should prevent a death sentence.

During 18 days on the witness stand at the original trial, Arias testified that she killed her former partner Travis Alexander in self-defense. The prosecution said that was a lie and that she murdered him in a jealous rage.

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Alexander's body was found slumped in a shower at his Phoenix-area home. He had been stabbed multiple times, shot in the face and his throat was slashed.

Arias decided not to plead her case directly to the jury last week after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens denied the defendant's request that the courtroom be closed to the public and media during her comments.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Daniel Wallis; editing by Matthew Lewis)