New jury may get Arias sentencing trial

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PHOENIX -- A new jury could be impaneled to decide whether Jodi Arias should be sentenced to death or life in prison sometime in late September, a judge said yesterday, as attorneys continue to file motions and keep mum on any talk of a deal to resolve the case without another trial.

Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the stabbing and shooting death of boyfriend Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Two weeks later, the same jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on her sentence.

Her case is now in limbo as prosecutors decide whether to put on another penalty phase with a new jury in pursuit of the death penalty -- or simply take the death penalty off the table, a move that would either see Arias spend the rest of her life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years. That decision would be up to the judge.

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Meanwhile, her attorneys are seeking to have vacated the jury's determination that Arias killed her one-time lover in an "especially cruel" manner. That finding meant that Arias was eligible for the death penalty.

Arias' attorneys argue that the definition of "especially cruel" is too vague for jurors with no legal experience to determine what makes one killing more cruel or heinous than another. -- AP

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