Jodi Arias pleaded for life in prison, rather than the death penalty, during a hearing on Tuesday. The request was an about face from an interview Arias gave after she was found guilty last week of murdering Travis Alexander.
Arias told a reporter she would prefer the death penalty to life in prison, because death is freedom. But on Tuesday, the woman convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend asked the jury not to punish her family for her actions.
Arias, 32, also referred to her victim’s family, saying, “I never meant to cause them pain.” Alexander’s family has already taken the stand in the final segment of her trial, which will determine whether she will face the death penalty or life in prison.
She added during her testimony that she killed Alexander, but that it was in self-defense. The jury believes different, having already convicted her of first degree murder. The jury also determined last week that the murder of Alexander was committed in an “especially cruel manner,” making her eligible for death row.
Arias explained of her decision to plead for life in prison, rather than the death penalty, “Each time I said that, I meant it, but I lacked perspective. Until very recently, I could not imagine standing before you and asking you to give me life.” Jodi went on to say:
“I cannot in good conscience ask you to sentence me to death, because of [my family]. I think death is tantamount to suicide. Either way, I will spend the rest of my life in prison. It will either be shortened, or not. If it is shortened, the people who will be hurt is my family. I am asking, please, please, don’t do that to them.”
Along with asking for a life sentence, Jodi Arias also stated that she regret’s testifying about the “darker elements” of her relationship with Travis Alexander. She added, “It has never been my intention to malign his name or character. In fact, it was a goal of mine to protect his reputation.”
After Arias’ testimony, the court went into recess. It will convene later today, when closing arguments will be given by both sides. After that, jurors will be excused to deliberate Jodi Arias’ fate.