Jodi Arias‘ lawyers called her “a mentally ill woman who has no prior criminal history,” in response to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s vow to continue seeking the death penalty with a second jury after the first could not decide her fate.
“If the diagnosis made by the State’s psychologist is correct, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is seeking to impose the death penalty upon a mentally ill woman who has no prior criminal history,” Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott told The Arizona Republic in a statement Tuesday. “Despite Mr. Montgomery’s recent statements to the media, it is not incumbent upon Ms. Arias’ defense counsel to resolve this case.
“Instead, the choice to end this case sits squarely with Mr. Montgomery and his office.”
Arias’ legal team added that the onus is on Montgomery to suss out whether a long and expensive battle to put her on death row “is a good and proper use of taxpayer resources.”
After a months-long trial that captivated the country’s attention with its’ lurid details of sex, obsession and violence, Arias, 32, was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the brutal 2008 killing of her former lover, Travis Alexander.
A new jury will be selected for the penalty phase, with a retrial date of July 18. Should the second panel deadlock, Judge Sherry Stephens will then hand Arias a sentence of life in prison or 25 years with the eligibility of parole. (The death penalty would not be an option in that scenario.)
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