Monday, October 20, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Jodi Arias Trial Update: Defense Tries to Have Media Banned from Courtroom for Sentencing Retrial

By Charlie Connell c.connell@hngn.com | Oct 09, 2013 09:30 AM EDT

Jodi Arias
Jodi Arias' legal bills have topped $2 million, a tab being footed by Arizona taxpayers that will only continue to climb with a new penalty phase set for March. (Photo : Reuters)

Jodi Arias, the 33-year-old former waitress who was convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend in May, is still waiting to find out the start date for a sentencing retrial; before a date is announced by Judge Sherry Stephens a number of motions brought by the defense need to be settled, according to the Associated Press.

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A hearing was held on Oct. 4 that was closed to the public. The Arias case became national news specifically because of the television coverage and immense media attention that it received so it was notable that this hearing would not be televised. Much of the hearing was spent trying to decide whether or not cameras will be allowed in the courtroom for the retrial as Arias' defense attorneys are attempting to ban them, according to the Associated Press.

It seems strange that the defense would request cameras to be barred since Arias has courted the media attention since the early days of the trial. She has granted numerous interviews with national media since being arrested. Arias even maintains a Twitter account that is updated through a third party and an online blog where she reviews books that she has been reading. To shun the media going into the retrial is a complete 180.

Prosecutors have argued that the media attention has been at least partially created by Arias and said so in a court motion, according to the Associated Press.

"She cannot create what she now considers a problem and then expect the court to change its procedure to solve the problem," the motion read.

Judge Stephens also heard from lawyers of some of the news organizations that had spent millions, and made millions, covering the case for the last year. The media has maintained that if they are not allowed to cover the retrial of the sentencing it would be akin to showing a movie but not allowing people to watch the last ten minutes.

"She has voluntarily thrust herself into the vortex of this public controversy," David Bodney, an attorney for CNN, said in the hearing. "It is unfair to deprive the public.... Because someone can't control her own speech."

The defense is arguing that it will be impossible for their client to receive a fair trial because of the notoriety the case has received. For this reason they are also seeking to receive a change of venue, according to the Associated Press.

Judge Stephens has not yet ruled on any of the motions and has yet to announce a start date for the retrial. 

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