PHOENIX - Jodi Arias begged jurors Tuesday to give her life in prison, saying she "lacked perspective" when she told a local reporter in an interview that she preferred execution to spending the rest of her days in jail.
Standing confidently but at times her voice breaking, Arias told the same eight men and four women who found her guilty of first-degree murder that she planned to use her time in prison to bring about positive changes, including donating her hair to be made into wigs for cancer victims, helping establish prison recycling programs and designing T-shirts that would raise money for victims of domestic abuse.
She also said she could run book clubs and teach classes to prisoners to "stimulate conversations of a higher nature."
Arias became emotional as she played a slide show of pictures from her photo album. The images included family portraits, pictures of her and friends and boyfriends and young relatives she has met only from behind bars.
Arias concluded her statement by pleading that jurors not give her the death penalty for the sake of her family.
"I'm asking you to please, please don't do that to them. I've already hurt them so badly, along with so many other people," she said. "I want everyone's healing to begin, and I want everyone's pain to stop."
Arias admitted killing boyfriend Travis Alexander and said it was the "worst thing" she had ever done. But she stuck to her story that the brutal attack - which included stabbing and slashing Alexander nearly 30 times, shooting him in the head and nearly decapitating him - was her defense against abuse.
"To this day, I can hardly believe I was capable of such violence. But I know that I was," she said. "And for that, I'm going to be sorry for the rest of my life."
Prosecutor Juan Martinez told jurors that despite Arias' claims, there were no factors in the case that would warrant a sentence other than death.
He implored them to look at the "whole panorama" of the case, not just Arias' statement Tuesday.
After closing arguments, the jury was sent to begin deliberating Arias' fate.