Jurors in the Jodi Arias murder trial Thursday will finally get their chance to question the defense expert who claims arias suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Judge Sherry Stephens announced Wednesday that the jurors have submitted dozens of questions they want put to psychologist Richard Samuels on their behalf. This process will begin when testimony resumes in the Arizona courtroom.
Arizona is one of three states that allow jurors to pose questions to witnesses after prosecution and defense lawyers have finished their questioning. Arias’ defense attorney, Jennifer Willmott, wrapped up her redirect examination of Samuels Wednesday, giving the 12 jurors and six alternates — seven women and 11 men –- their first opportunity to put questions to the defendant.
The defense and prosecution began reviewing the jurors’ questions Wednesday afternoon. Judge Stephens was expected to begin asking Samuels the questions after the afternoon break, however the trial was recessed early when a spectator became ill and vomited in the gallery. There were no details about the person’s illness.
The jurors’ questions and Samuels’ answers could prove to be a defining moment in the trial that will ultimately have a large impact on Arias’ fate. Arias faces the death penalty if convicted.