Jodi Arias trial: Murderer spared death penalty after jury unable to agree on punishment

Arias now faces life imprisonment - either with or without the chance of parole

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The Independent US

A young woman found guilty of murdering her boyfriend in a case marked by tawdry details and cable television obsession, has been spared the death after a jury could not agree on her punishment.

Jodi Arias was found guilty of murdering her lover, Travis Alexander, in a 2013 trial which heard how she had stabbed him 30 times, slit his throat and left his body in the shower. At the time, a jury was unable to agree on whether she should be jailed for life or else sentenced to death.

As a result, a judge ordered a second trial to determine the punishment alone. But on Thursday, that jury also announced it could not agree on her punishment.

As a result, Arias will now be sentenced to life in jail without the chance of parole or else imprisonment with the chance of release after 25 years. A judge will announce the sentence on 13 April.

The Associated Press said that members of Mr Alexander’s family wept when the judge said jurors could not reach a decision. They sobbed as they left the courtroom in Arizona, with one covering her eyes as she walked out.

Attorney Jay Beckstead issued a statement from Mr Alexander’s brothers and sisters. It said: “We are saddened by the jury’s inability to reach a decision on the death penalty, however, we understand the difficulty of the decision, and have nothing but respect for the jury's time.”

Prosecutors say Arias killed Mr Alexander as revenge because he wanted to date other women and was planning a trip to Mexico with his latest love interest.

Her lawyer, Kirk Nurmi, told jurors that Arias deserves a second chance because she was the victim of verbal and physical abuse throughout her life.