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Jodi Arias Jury Cannot Decide on Death Penalty, Mistrial Declared

Jodi Arias will not be put to death — at least not yet.

A judge declared a mistrial in the sentencing phase of her murder trial today, after the jury could not agree on whether to sentence Arias to death or to life in prison for murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008.

Arias, 32, was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder for Alexander’s death, and her conviction will stand. Only the death penalty phase of her case can be retried.

It will be up to the prosecutor to decide whether to retry the penalty phase. If he decides to try again for the death penalty, a new jury will be selected and both the prosecution and defense will present evidence and arguments over what sentence Arias should receive.

The retrial would begin July 18, Judge Sherry Stephens announced today. Arias can either be sentenced to death or to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole.

If the prosecution chooses not to retry the penalty phase, Arias will get life in prison, either with or without parole.

The prosecutor’s office has not yet decided what it plans to do.

“We appreciate the jury’s work in the guilt and aggravation phases of the trial and now we will assess, based upon available information, what the next steps will be,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a written statement. “As of this point in time, the court has set a status conference for June 20 and we will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase. Because, for purposes of a jury determination on punishment, this is still a pending matter, there will be no further comment.”

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