Jodi Arias jurors return to court for hearing

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by Kristine Harrington

azfamily.com

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 6:34 PM

PHOENIX -- A routine hearing in the Jodi Arias murder trial, in which nothing was decided, still managed to attract massive attention. 

In court, three of the former jurors showed up to see the now convicted Arias brought in wearing jail stripes and shackles.

“It was good experience to be here even though nothing really happened today, it was good to see that conviction,” said alternate juror Tara Kelley.

Jodi's appearance was a stark contrast from the way she was presented to the jury in during the trial. 

“It was a lot different,” said form juror Diane Schwartz.  “It was the reality of her conviction and I think that was a resonating experience for all of us. We knew we had done our job on her conviction.”

That gives these jurors some sense that justice was served and is partly why they chose to attend Thursday's hearing.

“I've invested part of my life in this and I wanted a little closure and want to move forward,” said MarieLou Allen-Coogan who remains disappointed by the penalty phase eight to four split vote.  “I came out for death penalty, yes.”

“After five months, what we went through and not able to reach a unanimous decision, we still have interest in what is occurring,” said Schwartz.

After all, this trial consumed the lives of all jurors involved.  Tara Kelley sat in that jury box for five months and in the end was selected as an alternate, unable to vote on Jodi's fate.

“I would have voted for death based on the evidence there,” said Kelley.  That evidence of a horrific murder haunts her to this day.  “I still have recurring nightmares that started during the trial, still try to deal with that but most part get back to normal.”

Tara Kelley says had she not been selected as an alternate, she too would have voted for death.

“I can't say my vote would have changed three other votes, I can only speculate,” said Kelley.

The judge in the Jodi Arias murder trial has delayed a decision on the next step for the high-profile case.

Kelley offers this advice to the next jury. 

“Stay committed. We came in when sick, when we had migraines, when we had deaths in the family and surgeries in the family.  Just stay committed and rely only on what is proven."
 

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