Convicted of murder, Jodi Arias now pleads for life

PHOENIX (AP) - The woman at the centre of a murder case that riveted many Americans with its details of sex and violence has made a plea for life in prison 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. On Tuesday, she said she "lacked perspective" when she said that.

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.

Jurors deciding whether Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or execution adjourned for the day on Tuesday evening. Deliberations were scheduled to resume on Wednesday at 10 am local time.

Arias, 32, initially said she knew nothing about the June 2008 killing. Then she blamed masked intruders before eventually settling on self-defense. Prosecutors said she killed Alexander in a jealous rage because he wanted to end their relationship and go to Mexico with another woman.

Arias has said the attack was a defense against domestic abuse.

"This is the worst mistake of my life. It's the worst thing I've ever done," she said on Tuesday.

She said 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 recycle trash and designing T-shirts that would raise money for victims of domestic abuse.

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.