Arias defense: Victim impact statements should be on tape - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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Arias defense: Victim impact statements should be on tape

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Attorneys for convicted murderer Jodi Arias have filed a motion with the court requesting that anyone who makes a victim impact statement should do so on tape, rather than live in the courtroom in front of the jury.

Members of a victim's family are typically permitted to address the court and the defendant during the sentencing phase of a case.

The motion asks that all "victim impact evidence be presented via videotape, so as to prevent any unpredictable outbursts that interfere with the rights due Ms. Arias."

[Click here to read the full motion (PDF)]

"I've never heard of that being done," said death penalty attorney Michael Black when asked about the potential for a videotaped victim statement being shown in court.

Black says the only incident he could recall of seeing videotaped victim's statements, has been when the victims family or friends were too ill to personally appear in court.

"The judge wouldn't do anything unless the witness was getting out of line and making scurrilous remarks about the defendant," added Black.

The sentencing phase, set to get under way Thursday afternoon, was abruptly postponed until May 15. No explanation for the delay was given and transcripts of the judge's and attorney's conversations were sealed.

Black, however, says it is highly likely that the defense motion about videotaped statements and another motion asking for the prosecution to turn over additional documents is likely what precipitated the delay.

The jury convicted Arias on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Testimony began in early January.

Stay with cbs5az.com for team coverage.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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