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Jodi Arias Trial Update: Convicted Murderer Returns to Court for Closed Door Hearing

By Charlie Connell c.connell@hngn.com | Oct 04, 2013 02:00 PM EDT

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Convicted murderer Jodi Arias returned to court today for a closed-door hearing. (Photo : Reuters)

Convicted murderer Jodi Arias and her defense team were scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a hearing that has been closed to the public, according to Fox News.

Arias was convicted of murdering her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in May of this year but a jury was unable to come to a conclusion on a sentence. Alexander was stabbed over 25 times and shot in the head during the murder; a jury was able to deem the manner in which he was killed cruel enough to warrant pursuing the death sentence.

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Since the jury was unable to decide on a sentence prosecutors have the option to retry the sentencing phase of the trial. Arias' conviction cannot be overturned in the trial, the only matter that will be settled is whether she will spend life in prison or be executed.

In a retrial both the prosecution and defense would present all of the evidence that was used in the trial so that a new jury could take all of the facts into consideration when making a decision.

Until very recently it appeared as if prosecutors were planning on pressing ahead with a retrial. Then it became known that a settlement conference between the prosecution and the defense had been scheduled for October 24. This may be a sign that either the prosecution does not want to continue with the case or that the defense is trying to strike a deal so that Arias can avoid death row, according to the Arizona Republic.

It is highly unusual that Friday's hearing was closed to the public, especially given that the entire case had been televised to a national audience, according to Fox News.

Some of the issues that may be discussed behind closed doors in today's meeting include a defense motion to monitor juror's Twitter accounts, a motion for change of venue, a motion to sequester the jury and a motion to limit media coverage of the retrial, according to HLN.

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