Jodi Arias awaits her fate today as the jury goes back into deliberation on whether or not to give her the death penalty for the 2008 murder of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. The jurors talked for just two hours today before declaring an impasse to the judge, who sent them back to work it out.
“I do not wish or intend to force a verdict,” Judge Sherry Stephens said.
A death penalty verdict for first degree murder usually calls for a victim to have been killed in an “exceptionally cruel” way; Alexander was found shot and stabbed to death and had his throat slit. Arias admitted to killing him, but said she did it in self defense after he attacked her.
Making things difficult for the jurors is the fact that Arias–who recently said she preferred death to life in prison–has changed her tune and begged them to spare her, saying she wanted to use her time in prison to do things that would have a positive impact on others.
“I didn’t know then that if I got life instead of death that I could become employed and self-reliant. I didn’t know that if I got life there are many things I can do to affect positive change and contribute in a meaningful way. In prison there are programs I can start and people I can help.” said Arias.
Among her goals are implementing a prison literacy program, teaching sign language and Spanish, and donating her hair to cancer survivors.