PHOENIX - Even though Jodi Arias has been convicted of first-degree murder, her trial is far from over.
Arias' life is hanging in the balance as the trial moves on to the aggravation phase, beginning Thursday at 1p .m.
The jury will now have to decide if she murdered Travis Alexander in a cruel manner.
During the aggravation phase, the prosecution will have a chance to present additional evidence in an attempt to prove that Alexander's death was caused in a cruel manner. Arizona law defines "cruel manner" as when a victim suffered physical pain or mental anguish and the defendant knew, or should have known, that the victim would suffer.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez is expected to call medical examiner Dr. Kevin Horn back to the stand Thursday to testify about how Alexander suffered before he died.
Alexander was stabbed multiple times, shot in the head, and his throat was slit from ear to ear.
After both sides present evidence on the issue of cruelty, the jury will deliberate for a second time to determine if the aggravating factor of cruelty is proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the jury does not find her guilty of cruelty, the case would end and the judge would set a sentencing date within 30 to 60 days. At the sentencing, the judge would decide whether to sentence Arias to life in prison without parole or life with parole eligibility after 25 years.
If the jury decides cruelty is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the case moves to the sentencing phase.
This is the defense's opportunity to ask the jury for leniency and present evidence to support why Arias should be spared the death penalty. Witnesses may include Arias' friends and family, and Arias could make a statement to the jury pleading for her life to be spared.
The jury then would deliberate for a third time to determine whether Arias should be sentenced to life or death. Its decision must be unanimous. In the case of a deadlock, a mistrial would be granted and a new jury would be chosen for this phase only.
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