Jodi Arias was convicted of murdering her one-time boyfriend Travis Alexander, but the sentencing phase ended with the jury failing to reach a unanimous decision about whether Arias should go to jail for life or get the death penalty.
Prosecutors had the option of taking the death penalty off the table, meaning Arias could have spent her life in prison but also could have been eligible for release in 25 years, depending on the judge’s decision.
But prosecutors didn’t want that, and are pursuing another penalty phase, hoping the new jury can make a unanimous decision.
But CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman called that prospect unlikely.
“The likelihood is that a jury is not going to come to a unanimous death verdict because there are just too many factors that mitigate in favor of a life verdict for someone like Jodi Arias, who is clearly quite disturbed,” Klieman said.
The mitigating circumstances can include “any aspect” of the defendant’s character or record. Eight of these circumstances were raised by the defense in the first sentencing phase, including her age, troubled upbringing, and creative talent.
Arias at one point asked the jury to sentence her to death but later said that she “lacked perspective.” She told the jury in May that “Either way, I’m going to spend the rest of my life in prison, whether it will be shortened or not.”
She added: “I want everyone’s healing to begin, and I want everyone’s pain to end.”
The next phase of the trial is slated to begin on January 3.