The jury for the trial of Jodi Arias continues to deliberate as to whether she is eligible for the death penalty. On Wednesday afternoon, a member of the jury asked Judge Sherry Stephens what would happen if they could not reach a unanimous decision. The judge provided the jury with further instructions, and asked them to continue deliberations, which have carried on into Thursday.
When informed by the juror about a preliminary deadlock, Stephens said the she was able to offer assistance, but was “merely trying to be responsive to your apparent need for help” without urging the jurors to force a verdict.
Arias was convicted earlier this month of murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The trial was long, and Arias claimed that she murdered him in self-defense. Alexander was found stabbed multiple times, shot in the head, and with his throat slit. According to Arizona law, now that Arias has been found guilty, the jury must decide if she acted with cruelty deserving of the death penalty.
When she was first charged several years ago, Arias claimed that she would rather receive the death penalty than spend the rest of her life in prison, which is a sentiment she reiterated shortly after her conviction. But during an interview with TODAY show on Wednesday, Arias said that she would now prefer life in prison because she has more to contribute to the world, and plans on appealing the jury’s decision.
“What I receive will be what I deserve, I believe,” Arias told Dian Alvear. When asked about people who feel that the only way for Alexander to get justice is for Arias to get the death penalty, Arias said, “That’s not justice. That’s revenge.”
Arias also confessed to Alvear that she was suicidal at various points throughout the trial, but that thoughts of her family prevented her from following through with a self-inflicted death.
In the case that the jury is indeed deadlocked, Arizona law states that a new jury will be brought in to make a unanimous determination. If the second jury cannot make a decision, than the possibility of the death penalty is taken off the table, and Stephens will rule whether Aria will receive a life sentence or a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years.Arias Jurors Speculate on Deadlock for Death Penalty by Andrew Ostler