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Jodi Arias’ Attorneys Say They Cannot Proceed in Death Penalty Phase

The death penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial was cut short today after Arias’ defense attorneys erupted in confrontational arguments with the judge and prosecutor and said they could not continue defending her.

The jury was expecting to hear character testimony from Arias’ friends today as part the defense’s bid to present mitigating factors to the jury and convince it to sentence her with leniency. But before that could happen, lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked for a mistrial and for permission to withdraw from the case, citing prosecutorial misconduct.

Arias was convicted on May 8 of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. She now faces the death penalty.

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