Jodi Arias escaped the death penalty on Thursday when a jury failed to agree on a sentence for the murder of her lover seven years ago.
The judge declared a mistrial. It was the second time that a jury, charged to decide whether Arias should die or serve life in prison, could not come to a decision. In court in Phoenix, relatives of the victim, Travis Alexander, sobbed.
The judge read a note from the foreperson of the jury: “In my assessment, we are hung, and additional time will not change this.” The judge herself will now decide whether Arias should get a life sentence or should have the possibility of release after 25 years.
Alexander, 30, was shot to death and his throat slit in 2008. Arias, now 34, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008.