Judge Sherry Stephens has held hearing after hearing behind closed doors as the next steps of the case unfold almost entirely under a shroud of secrecy.
Over the last several months, she has heard arguments over sequestering the new jury, moving the case out of Phoenix, Arias' desire to fire her lead attorney and allowing live television coverage of the retrial, among other issues.
has denied each request, but quietly with orders released days after the secret hearings as the case languishes without public scrutiny even as Arias' legal tab is being picked up by taxpayers at a cost exceeding $1.7 million.
allowed virtually unfettered access to the first trial, which was broadcast live and became to fans like a real-life soap opera as they traveled from around the country to get in the courtroom.
now says the hearing closures are intended to protect Arias' right to an impartial jury, but Bondey says the judge has gone to the extreme, often simply locking the courtroom doors without issuing an order as to why, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
A clerk for Stephens
said the judge could not comment on an ongoing case.