Watch live as Jodi Arias makes her plea to avoid the death penalty:
Following her conviction for murdering her boyfriend, Jodi Arias gave multiple interviews (including the one in the video below) saying she’d rather die than spend her life in jail.
But today at her sentencing hearing, she pleaded for her life.
Arias had said death would be the “ultimate freedom,” but now she is singing a different tune, claiming she can’t give in to death because it would hurt her family.
Arias, already convicted of murder, has additionally been found guilty of cruelty in murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008. In this final phase of her trial, the jury will decide whether she deserves the death penalty.
Below are live updates from today’s hearing.
The judge is issuing instructions to the jury for deliberation.
Prosecutor argues: The victim’s family “can’t forget” that the victim suffered extreme pain and emotional distress, and “they can’t forget that it was extremely cruel. And that is something you can’t forget.”
Arias’ lawyer continues: Jodi has a personality disorder and “it’s not something you can choose. … It is another reason that you have to be merciful. There is so much mitigation in this case. There are so many reasons that you on your own can find to be merciful … to call for life in prison instead of execution. And there is just one aggravating factor.”
Lawyer continues: “Abuse is a mitigating factor. … What changed the trajectory? What caused Jodi to be here? … Verbal abuse. Knowing that it is not an excuse for what she did, Jodi handled it the only way she knew how. She lied. She lied to herself when she would pretend those words didn’t hurt … that he didn’t really mean it. And so when she did the very worst thing that she has ever done in her life … so bad that she couldn’t even accept that she did it, she lied — she lied to herself, she lied to police, she lied to the media, she lied to Travis’ family … [but] it does not diminish the abuse she went through. It does not warrant execution. … She was once a bubbly little girl … who liked to write in her journals … and spend her days reading. … She will be haunted by what she did to Travis … What is so tragic about this case is that if either one of them would have sought help … none of us may have been here.
Arias lawyer: “She could have been a famous artist. She could have been an excellent salesperson. She could have been a lawyer … what changed that trajectory?” Lawyer says things changed in her life when her relationship with her mom fell apart in her youth. “When that happened, everything changed for Jodi.” … “She watched her dad yell at her mom. She watched her dad tease her mom. … Her mom stayed. She learned loyalty. … We know [Jodi] has very low self-esteem, almost no ego. … Travis talked about himself and his religion and how much he believed in family. Jodi thought he was perfect … a week later when he wanted oral sex, she gave it to him … a week later when he was sending over Mormon missionaries … she talked to them … and converted.”
Arias’ lawyer says Arias three times grew her hair long enough to donate it for Locks for Love, making the case that she is compassionate and has something to give.
Arias’ lawyer is explaining “mitigating factors” to the jury and reviewing all the testimony that painted Arias as a likable person.
Court let out for lunch
Jury being read rules for sentencing
Jury comes back in
Father visibly upset, attorneys still at bench
Jury has left, counsel asked to approach bench
Can’t ask for death because of her family (points at her family) “please please don’t do that to them”
“I will be sorry for the rest of my life and probably beyond”
“Its never been my intention to throw mud on Travis’s name…”
Family photos came few and far between
Talking about her ex boyfriend who was supposed to speak for her yesterday
She will help women in prison by: Start classes, start recycling program, help illiterate women in prison. Helping survivors of domestic violence
Donated hair 3 times to cancer patients
“I may have inadvertently caused her [grandmothers] passing destroys me”
Arias crying as she delivers statement on the siblings statements
Court now starting
All attorneys in place still no Arias
Arias has disappeared into holding cell with mitigation expert
An hour late for final statement of Jodi Arias
Arias and attorneys still in chambers
Court is packed but has not begun yet
Still awaiting court to begin, defense team is still in chambers
Defense team called into chambers, Arias is wearing all black and goes in with her attorneys
Alexander’s family is being seated
Arias’ family arrives
No Sign of Jodi Arias’ parents, court is still waiting to begin.
Nurmi is talking with DP Mitigation Specialist as Judge hears other cases