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   PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias returns to court today as her attorneys ask the judge to vacate the jury's decision that the 2008 killing of her boyfriend was "especially cruel," a finding that allowed the panel to consider the death penalty.

   Arias was convicted of first-degree murder May 8 in the stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. About two weeks later, the same jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or death. While her murder conviction stands, the judge declared a mistrial of the penalty phase.

   Prosecutors say they are preparing to try again for the death penalty with a new jury, but would consider a resolution short of a new trial.

   Arias admitted she killed Alexander, but claimed it was self-defense.

 
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