It's about time. It appears that several pending motions have ruled on at last relating to Jodi Arias' penalty phase retrial - and this thing may actually happen. But not until January of 2014. Outlined in court minute entries, Judge Sherry Stephens ruled on the following:
1) Ruled in favor of Arias, in precluding or limiting live media coverage of the penalty phase retrial. It was nice to see the Judge acknowledging that Jodi Arias herself was responsible for much of the media interest around her case; contacting them to arrange interviews before, and after her trial. There will be use of Twitter or electronic devices inside the court room in this trial.
2) Ruled against Arias in her change of venue motion; the trial will remain in Phoenix.
3) Ruled against Arias in her request for Individualized Voir Dire.
4) Ruled against Arias in her request to sequester the jury.
5) Ruled against Arias in her request for fire attorney Kirk Nurmi.
They are calling 400 potential jurors the first two days of jury selection. The first 100 are scheduled to appear at 10:00AM, the second 100 at 1:30, the third 100 at 3:00PM and the last 100 will appear at 1:30 on day two if they haven't yet chosen a jury from the first 300 potential jurors.
Looks like the only motion Arias' defense really won was the motion against cameras in the courtroom - which means we, the viewing public will not get to watch the conclusion of this trial as it unfolds. No doubt it will still be covered heavily from gavel to gavel the old fashioned way, the way they did it before Court TV and In Session were around.
I particularly liked Judge Stephens response to her media complaint - she stated "In this case, the Court has granted the defense motion to preclude live camera coverage of the trail. As noted by the State in their response, much of the media interest in this case was generated by the defendant contacting media outlets. Defendant now complains she cannot receive a fair sentencing phase retrial because of the media interest in her case and wants the jury sequestered for the duration of the sentencing retrial. The parties estimate the retrial will last at least two months."
I have to admit that I'm highly disappointed that the trial will not be televised live - it's as if we are missing the end of a cliff-hanger. I think the coverage is the least of Jodi Arias' worries. This new jury (hopefully) won't have time to form any "connection" with her - they will be hearing an abbreviated version of trial #1, the conclusion of which we already know, she was found guilty. They only get to decide punishment. Hopefully this new jury will be able to weigh the heinousness of the killing, and carefully weigh it against the mitigating factors and nothing else and return a verdict one way or another.
No trial date has been set that I could find, just "January", which is what the defense wanted all along. What's next for Jodi Arias? Will Sheriff Joe ever crack down on the art business Arias is running right under his staff's noses? Will the IRS catch up to the jailed artist who has been making money and more than likely not filing tax returns? Let's hope so. I doubt she's worried about that. What are they going to do, put her in jail?
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