A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates were sworn in Thursday for the Jodi Arias murder trial.
Seven women and 11 men, ranging in age from a male who appears to be in his early 20s to several of retirement age will be deciding if Arias is guilty of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.
During Thursday’s jury selection process, defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Wilmott argued that the prosecution was “systematically excluding” women and African-Americans. The jury appears to be all white except for one Hispanic male.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez argued that race and sex had nothing to do with striking the jurors. He cited a couple of women who had previous domestic violence incidents, one female who said she needed to be “100% sure that a person was guilty,” an African-American woman who said she thinks the death penalty is akin to murder, and another woman is married to a preacher.
An African-American man was excused because he recognized one of the defense attorneys as a client at his after-school program.
Judge Sherry Stephens ruled the prosecution showed no bias in their decision to dismiss the potential jurors.
Opening statements are currently scheduled to begin January 2nd.