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PHOENIX -- Jodi Arias return to court Friday as attorneys prepared for a second penalty phase.

The proceedings were closed.

Arias was convicted of murder last year for the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, in Mesa, but jurors couldn't reach a decision on a sentence.

Under state law, while her murder conviction stands, prosecutors have the option of putting on a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort to secure a death sentence.

If the second panel fails to reach a unanimous decision, the death penalty will be removed from consideration. The judge then would sentence Arias to spend her life behind bars or be eligible for release after 25 years. The second penalty phase is set for September.

Associated Press,

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