PHOENIX — An investigation into the leaks of the identities of jurors at the Jodi Arias murder trial could not pinpoint who was responsible for the illegal disclosures, but it ruled out court employees as the culprit behind the violation.
The presiding judge of Maricopa County Superior Court had a Scottsdale attorney investigate how the names of 12 jurors were published on websites shortly after the panel voted 11-1 to spare the convicted murderer's life. An executive summary of the investigation was released Friday afternoon to The Associated Press.
The name of the holdout juror was leaked through a Twitter account that also posted sympathetic comments about Arias' victim Travis Alexander. A pro-Arias website also published names of 11 people it said were the jurors who voted to sentence Arias to death for the 2008 killing.
Arizona law prohibits the public release of juror names. The information appeared online after jurors who favored the death penalty expressed frustrations over the holdout who wanted Arias to get a life sentence.
The executive summary by attorney Katherine E. Baker said the source of the leak on the holdout juror's identity likely came from court records that revealed her name and a screenshot of her Facebook page for two weeks before the documents were placed under seal.
Baker wrote that the public could have accessed this information during those two weeks.
The summary also said the possibility that a juror leaked the name of the holdout juror can't be ruled out.
Baker recommended that the court review its policies to prevent future leaks.
The 2013 trial of Arias became a global sensation with its revelations about her sexual relationship with the victim and that she had slit his throat so deeply that he was nearly decapitated.
She was convicted but the original jury was deadlocked on whether to give her the death penalty. That set the stage for a second trial to determine her punishment. With the deadlock, Arias received a life sentence.
Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander as revenge because he wanted to date other women and was planning a trip to Mexico with his latest love interest.