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Jodi Arias back in court

Jodi Arias will will return to court this week for a second attempt at a penalty phase for her trial, this time with a new jury. The jury which last year convicted her of the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander could not agree on a penalty for the crime. Though the facts of the case and the brutality of the murder - Arias slit her victim's throat from ear to ear, stabbed him 27 times in the neck and back, and shot him - were enough to find her guilty of the murder, a mistrial was declaird when they could not agree on a penalty after 13 hours of deliberation.

Speaking to media following the mistrial, jury Forman William Zervakos described Arias as "an absolutely normal everyday young woman that was living a life that was perfectly normal." Hypoagency reared its ugly head as he continued, "Then something changed the trajectory of her life after meeting Travis Alexander, and it spiraled downhill from there."

Unable to reconcile the brutal, premeditated crime with the pretty, composed young woman in the courtroom, the convicting jury instead assumed the crime must have been somebody else's fault, and they let the fate of Jodi Arias become somebody else's problem.

If this second jury is equally indecisive, the death penalty will be removed from the table and sentencing will be left to Judge Sherry Stephens, who presided over the murder trial. Should that occur, Judge Stephens could decide to sentence Arias to life without possibility of parole, or life with the possibility of release after 25 years.

Relevant links:

Jodi Arias Prepares To Meet Her New Jury For Sentencing

Somebody else's problem

Gender disparity in criminal court

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