The woman at the centre of a murder case that riveted many Americans with its details of sex and violence made a plea for life in prison today instead of execution, saying she can contribute to society if allowed to live.
Jodi Arias’s statement contradicted what she told a TV reporter minutes after her conviction for first-degree murder: She would rather be executed than spend the rest of her life in prison.
Her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, his throat was slit from ear to ear, and he was shot in the forehead. Arias then dragged him into his shower, where his decomposed body was found days later.
Arias, 32, initially said she knew nothing about the June 2008 killing. Then she blamed masked intruders before eventually settling on self-defence. Prosecutors said she killed Alexander in a jealous rage because he wanted to end their relationship and go to Mexico with another woman.
Arias told the jury in Phoenix, Arizona, she never meant to cause Alexander’s family so much pain.
Holding up a white T-shirt with the word “survivor” written across it, Arias said she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse.
She said she understands that some people don’t believe she was a victim of domestic abuse, but that she still sees that to be true.
The judge instructed jurors they can consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to recommend, including the fact that Arias has no previous criminal record.