Now Jodi Arias Doesn't Want to Die

Begs for life behind bars, says she'll promote literacy

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted May 21, 2013 2:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pretty much immediately after being convicted of murder, Jodi Arias told a reporter she wanted the death penalty: "The worst outcome for me would be natural life," she said. In the last 12 days she has changed her mind. Arias today made an impassioned, 18-minute plea for her life, telling the jury in the penalty phase of her trial in Phoenix today that she "lacked perspective" when she said she wanted death and that she was now asking for life behind bars because of her family, reports AZCentral's liveblog. (She also mourned the opportunity to have a family of her own, her voicing breaking as she said she had to lay her dream of being a mother "to rest," reports HLNTV.)

She then outlined a number of charitable efforts she says she'd commit herself to: continuing to donate her hair to Locks of Love, teaching women in prison how to read, and implementing a recycling program. The AP reports that she also held up a white T-shirt with the word "survivor" written across it, and said she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse. (Arias maintains she brutally murdered boyfriend Travis Alexander in self-defense.) Attorneys' closing arguments are up next. The jury must be unanimous in sentencing Arias to life or death; if they opt for the former, the judge will decide if she will have the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Jodi Arias looks at her family during the penalty phase of her murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Ariz.
Jodi Arias looks at her family during the penalty phase of her murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Ariz.   (The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher, Pool)
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