Arias judge: No video from the courtroom during penalty phase retrial

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014.  Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014. Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman
Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014.  Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014. Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman
Judge Sherry Stephens presides over a hearing as Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014.  Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman Judge Sherry Stephens presides over a hearing as Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014. Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman
Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014.  Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman Jodi Arias appears in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Monday, September 22, 2014. Arias is about to begin the retrial of her sentencing phase. By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Judge Sherry Stephens is refusing to lift restrictions on camera coverage of the penalty phase of Jodi Arias' trial.

Judge Sherry Stephens of Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday rejected local television stations' request to allow video footage to be broadcast 30 minutes after the end of each day's proceedings.

Stephens is sticking by her previous order that no footage can be broadcast until after the verdict.

The ruling issued Monday morning reads:

"The Court is mindful of its obligation to allow public and media access to the trial. That access should not include live broadcast of the trial prior to a verdict for the reasons addressed in previous sealed proceedings. The public and media may attend the penalty phase trial each day. The media will be permitted to videotape the trial each day using their own equipment. The videotaped recordings may be played after a verdict has been reached."

"I think she is actually creating more chaos," says Jen Wood, courtroom blogger for  thetrialdiaries.com. "If she would have just let it be broadcast for people. Because people are saying they're going to fly in from all over to attend this trial. Now they can not watch it from inside their own home."

Arias was convicted of murder last year in the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend at his suburban Phoenix home, but jurors couldn't decide on her sentence. The retrial will determine if she gets the death penalty or life in prison.

Arias' first trial was broadcast live, but Judge Sherry Stephens denied that right this time around, ruling that no footage could be broadcast until after the verdict.

Several local television stations argued that Stephens' ruling is too restrictive and creates constitutional violations.

"For many people, access to the day's proceedings ... will be their only means of attending trial which is their constitutional right," media lawyer David Bodney told the judge.

Although no video from the courtroom can be broadcast until the verdict has been read, still photographs and live tweeting will be permitted.

"The reason she wanted this all blacked out was death threats to witnesses," says Wood. "What is interesting is that we are going to be able to tweet these witnesses' names. So with technology today people are going to have their faces pulled up within seconds."