Story by Lucy Valencia, Assignment Desk Editor - email
(CBS/AP) -- After launching deliberations Tuesday afternoon, a jury weighing whether or not Jodi Arias will be sentenced to death has announced they are unable to reach a unanimous decision.
After briefly entering the courtroom just before noon on Wednesday, a judge ordered them to continue deliberating.
The judge encouraged them to "write down issues, questions, laws or facts on which we can possibly help."
"I am merely trying to be responsive to your apparent need for help," the judge said. I do not wish to force a verdict."
Arias, 32, was found guilty of first-degree murder by the same jury in the 2008 killing of her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
Under Arizona law, if the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision on sentencing, the panel will be dismissed and jury selection would begin anew, to seat another panel to hear arguments only regarding Arias' sentence. If a second panel were unable reach a unanimous agreement, the judge would sentence Arias to life in prison, with or without the possibility of release after 25 years.
Arias said publicly after her conviction that she would rather die than spend the rest of her life in prison. But appealing to the jury Tuesday, she reversed her request, asking for life in prison for the sake of her family.
"Either way, I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, whether it will be shortened or not," Arias said. "If it's shortened, the people who will hurt the most are my family. I'm asking you please, don't do that to them."
Arias said she didn't intend to cause pain to the Alexander family and called Travis Alexander's death "the worst mistake of my life."
Prosecutor Juan Martinez countered the defense's plea for life in prison, arguing that death, though a difficult choice, was the only appropriate sentence.
The most haunted island on earth is a small island right off the coast of Venice, Italy called ‘The Island Of Poveglia. It's beautiful and deserted but it was also a body dumping ground a few hundred yearsMore >>
Spacious Island for sale; includes hotel. May need exorcism. More >>
Investigators looking for Modesto Cortes-Serillo who's suspected of gunning down a man after an argument is believed to be hiding out in Mexico. According to the Yuma Police Department their investigationMore >>
Man accused of killing a man outside a Yuma restaurant reached to children for help; now brother and sister are in jail. More >>
Midnight last night was the last chance to vote for NASA's newest prototype: a spacesuit design that will eventually go to Mars. In 2012, NASA released the Z-1, which looks strikingly similar to BuzzMore >>
NASA asked the public for help in choosing their future space suit. More >>
Daisy Cortes was in court earlier this week through her attorney asked for her bond to be reduced. According to published reports her attorney reported to the court that Ms. Cortes was unaware of her fathersMore >>
Daughter of suspected gunman has day in courtMore >>
Judge Jorge Lozano has just announced that he plans on running for Superior Court Judge; the 38 year old Justice of the Peace has been serving Somerton and San Luis for the past eight years and believesMore >>
South County Judge seeking a higher callingMore >>