Ruling clears way for second Arias penalty phase - FOX 35 News Orlando

Ruling clears way for second Arias penalty phase

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Jodi Arias (file) Jodi Arias (file)

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias will again face a potential death sentence after a judge's ruling cleared the way for a second penalty phase in the case.

Defense attorneys had argued that the Arizona law allowing a retrial of the penalty phase is unconstitutional.

In her ruling made public Friday, Judge Sherry Stephens denied the defense motion. Arias' retrial is set for March 17.

The 33-year-old Arias was convicted of murder last year, but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on her sentence.

Under Arizona law, while her murder conviction stands, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury. If they fail again to reach a unanimous decision, Arias would face life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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