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Penalty Phase of Trial for Jodi Arias to Begin September 8
Jodi Arias will be permitted to represent herself in the upcoming penalty portion of her murder trial, according to a ruling from a judge on Monday. During this phase, jurors will determine if she will be put to death for killing her ex-boyfriend, according to The Associated Press.
Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 of the killing of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander in 2008. Jurors were not able to reach a decision regarding her sentence. The murder conviction stands due to Arizona law and prosecutors can put a second penalty phase with a brand new jury into action in order to acquire the death penalty.
Arias asked Judge Sherry Stephens if she could represent herself for the second penalty phase, which will begin on September 8. The request was approved, but Judge Stephens said there could not be any delays in the trial.
“I do not believe it is in your best interest … I strongly urge you to reconsider,” Stephens told Arias.
Arias has admitted to killing Alexander at his home in Phoenix, but she claims it was in self-defense. Alexander was stabbed almost 30 times, his throat was slit and he was shot in the head.
Arias has been fighting with her defense attorneys since early in the case and escalated when she took part in a series of interviews after her conviction in May of 2013. Her defense attorneys have tried to withdraw multiple times and she even tried to fire them.
The death penalty will be removed from discussion if the jury does not come to a unanimous decision. If this happens, Arias would be sentenced to life behind bars or to be eligible for release following 25 years.Jodi Arias Permitted to Represent Herself at Penalty Phase by Jim Vassallo