Set for September? Jodi Arias penalty retrial looming

(CNN) -- In a status hearing Tuesday, Arizona Judge Sherry Stephens said she'd like to start Jodi Arias' penalty-phase retrial in late September, but refused to set a hard date due to an unresolved issue.

Arias was back in court for the hearing, wearing the striped prison clothes mandated by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Before the hearing began, Stephens met with Arias and her defense team without prosecutor Juan Martinez. It's not clear what was discussed in this meeting, but it was an issue brought up there that made Stephens pause when it came to setting a specific date for Arias' retrial.

Arias was convicted on May 8 of first-degree murder for brutally killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. He was stabbed multiple times, shot in the head and his throat was slit from ear to ear.

The retrial will only apply to the penalty phase of Arias' case. Her first-degree murder conviction still stands, and so does the jurors' finding that Arias murdered Alexander in a "cruel manner."

When the retrial begins, a new jury will be selected, and they will decide whether Arias will be sentenced to death via lethal injection or life in prison.

If the second jury were to say that Arias can live out the remainder of her days behind bars, Stephens would decide whether the convicted murderer will get life without parole or life with the eligibility of parole after 25 years.

The next status hearing in Arias' case is scheduled for August 26.