Jodi Arias retrial: Defense continues push for life sentence

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- The defense team for Jodi Arias continues its push to convince a jury to spare her life by asking the death penalty be taken off the table.

They still argue the convicted murderer was a victim of physical and emotional abuse and doesn't belong on Arizona's Death Row.

The trial entered its 27th day Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Psychologist Robert Geffner was back testifying about Arias' childhood and past boyfriends.

Geffner claims that Arias was in several abusive relationships and as a result suffers from anxiety, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

He said that Arias has answered more than 2,000 questions on various psychological tests over the years and all indications are she suffers from mental illness.

Defense attorneys are trying to establish that Arias was the victim of domestic violence and should not be put to death for the murder of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez wasted no time trying to discredit Geffner on cross-examination, questioning his credibility and the credibility of defense witness statements regarding child porn than may or may not have been on Alexander's computer.

The retrial was supposed to be over last month, but it looks like this case could run through March, especially if Arias herself gets back on the witness stand.

Arias, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Alexander, is fighting for her life as this jury determines whether she should spend the rest of her life in prison or should be executed.

The jury that convicted Arias on May 8, 2013, was unable to reach a verdict in her sentencing, and Judge Sherry Stephens declared a mistrial on May 23, 2013.

The body of 30-year-old Alexander was found in his Mesa apartment. He had been stabbed, his throat was slit and he had a gunshot wound to his forehead.

Arias, who initially denied she killed Alexander, eventually admitted that she killed him in self-defense, but jurors didn't buy into that claim.

Members of the current jury, who were selected from more than 400 potential jurors over several weeks, have been shown graphic photos of the crime scene, have listened to interrogation tapes in which Arias produced a number of lies, and had a juror dismissed for asking a woman journalist in attendance if she was TV journalist Nancy Grace, since the retrial began on Oct. 21.

The trial, which has generated an online and cable news audience nationwide, is expected to last through January, Stephens said last week.