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Aria jury dismissed, couldn't agree on sentence

PHOENIX -- The jury in Jodi Arias' trial was dismissed yesterday after failing to reach a unanimous decision on whether the woman they convicted of murdering her one-time boyfriend should be sentenced to life or death in a case that has captured headlines worldwide with its sex, lies and violence.

A new panel will be seated to try again to reach a decision -- unless the prosecutor takes execution off the table and agrees to a life sentence. The judge scheduled a retrial for July 18.

Arias, who first said she wanted to die and then that she wanted to live, looked visibly upset about the jury deadlock. She sobbed in the courtroom before the mistrial was announced.

Jurors began deliberating Arias' sentence Tuesday and first reported they had failed to reach a unanimous decision the next day. Stephens instructed them to keep trying.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery yesterday thanked the panel and said a status hearing has been set for June 20, "and we will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase." The same jury on May 8 found Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Alexander, who was stabbed and slashed nearly 30 times at his Mesa home. -- AP

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