Arias was convicted of first-degree murder last May for the 2008 shooting and stabbing death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on her sentence. A new sentencing phase will follow, however, the 33-year-old’s attorneys seek to have the new panel sequestered “to ensure that the jury is not exposed to community and/or media influence.”
During Arias’ roughly five-month trial, excessive publicity surrounded the process including thousands of television news shows and newspaper articles about Arias as well as a Lifetime movie about the case that attracted 3.1 million viewers.
“This integrity is in the most danger of being compromised when the process is contaminated by outside influences,” the attorneys wrote. “Given what took place in the last trial and the propensity for history to repeat itself, it is certainly beyond legitimate dispute that the threat to the integrity of the retrial is severe.”
Prosecutors have not yet filed a response.
On Monday, the judge overseeing the trial postponed setting a date for the new sentencing phase to allow time for prosecutors to respond to a request to obtain jurors’ Twitter handles so they can be monitored to make sure they aren’t communicating about the case.