Jodi Arias Trial Update: Retrial Date Not Yet Set, Jurors May Have to Disclose Twitter Handles
The sentencing retrial for Jodi Arias has been delayed once again as Judge Sherry Stephens failed to announce a start date for the trial so that the court can focus on two pending motions brought by the defense in a hearing at the Maricopa County Courthouse on Monday, according to ABC News.
After a five-month long trial Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the brutal killing of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander. In the first phase of the sentencing the jury was able to come to a conclusion that Arias' crime was brutal enough to warrant a possible death sentence but when it came time to decide upon a sentence they were a hung jury.
Monday's hearing lasted only a matter of minutes as Judge Stephens announced that the court was not yet prepared to issue a start date for the retrial. Previously Judge Stephens has said that she wanted the retrial to begin in September; that seems unlikely now that the court will not meet again until a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 16, according to ABC News.
The two motions that Judge Stephens still needs to consider are a defense request to have cameras banned from the courtroom for the retrial, the original trial became notorious in part because of the courtroom footage shown on television, and a defense request that jurors in the retrial be required to give their Twitter information to the court so that they can be monitored, according to the Associated Press.
Arias' defense attorney Kirk Nurmi cited a Twitter exchange between one of the trial's jurors and a member of the media as a reason that the court would need to monitor action. Michael Cardoza, a defense attorney based in San Francisco, thinks the Twitter request is ridiculous.
"There are just too many constitutional rights that would be violated," Cardoza told the Associated Press. "What's next? Put a 24-7 guard on them? At some point, you just have to rely on the integrity of the jurors."
The retrial is expected to take a matter of weeks if not a month or more. First, a jury of 12 to 18 jurors will have to be selected, a difficult task considering the amount of media coverage given to the trial so far.
Once a jury is in place both the prosecution and the defense will have to walk the jury through all of the events from the trial. While the retrial will only focus on the sentencing, Arias' murder conviction cannot be overturned, the jurors will still need to know the information from the trial in order to determine if they should send Arias to death row, according to ABC News.