PHOENIX (AP) - The judge in the Jodi Arias murder trial declared a mistrial in the penalty phase Thursday after the jury reported for a second time that it was deadlocked on whether to sentence her to life in prison or death for killing her boyfriend in 2008.
The judge scheduled a retrial for July 18. A new panel likely will be seated to try again to reach a decision on a sentence - unless the prosecutor takes death off the table agrees to a life sentence.
Under Arizona law, a hung jury in the death penalty phase of a trial requires a new jury to be seated to decide the punishment. If the second jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, the judge would then sentence Arias to spend her entire life in prison or be eligible for release after 25 years. The judge cannot sentence Arias to death.
Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley has said the case could drag on for several more months as the new jury reviews evidence and hears opening statements, closing arguments and witness testimony in a "Cliffs Notes" version of the trial.
However, if the prosecutor decides not to pursue the death penalty a second time, the judge would then sentence Arias to one of the life in prison options, and the trial would come to a conclusion.
Source: AP, May 23, 2013