(May 21) Today's Top Headlines - Arias pleads for life, promises to do good in prison - Tucson Local Media: Today's Headlines

(May 21) Today's Top Headlines - Arias pleads for life, promises to do good in prison

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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:28 am

In a plea for her life on Tuesday, convicted murderer Jodi Arias said if she is sentenced to life instead of death, she will make a positive impact on the prison system.

In giving examples, Arias said she can teach fellow inmates sign language and Spanish, she can implement a recycling program, donate long hair to the Locks of Love organizations, will create a book club and help improve literacy in the prison system, and finally, she will sell t-shirts that say “survivor”, to help domestic violence programs.

“Some people may not believe that I am a survivor of domestic violence,” she said. “They are entitled to their opinion.”

During the trial where Arias was accused of killing boyfriend Travis Alexander, the defense claimed it was in self-defense, that she was a victim of domestic violence.

In what Arias said was a physical confrontation with Alexander in 2008, Arias said she had no other choice but to defend herself. Arias shot Alexander twice, stabbed him nearly 30 times and slashed his throat.

After being found guilty of first-degree murder, Arias now faces a 12-member jury who will decide if she will receive the death penalty or get life in prison.

While addressing the jury, Arias told stories of her childhood, of her family and the special events she will miss in the future.

“I have only myself to blame for that,” she said.

Arias showed some of her artwork, saying as it stands now she will never be able to create another oil painting.

Arias said early on, her intention was never to go to trial and to preserve Alexander’s reputation, but she felt there was a need to speak out.

“It’s never been my intention to throw mud on Travis’ name,” Arias said. “I loved Travis and I looked up to him. At one point he was the most important thing to me. This is the worse thing I have ever done. Before that day I wouldn’t have even wanted to harm a spider. To this day I can believe I was capable for such violence. I will be sorry for the rest of my life.”

Arias said her family has also suffered a great loss.

“I’ve made many public statements that I would deserve the death penalty over life in prison,” she said. “To me life in prison was the most unappealing outcome I could ask for. I can’t in good conscious ask for death because of them (her family). If (my life) is shortened, it would hurt my family. Please don’t do that to them.

“I want everyone’s healing to begin and I want the pain to stop.”

The 12-member jury will soon deliberate to decide whether Arias deserves life in prison or death.

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