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JODI ARIAS DEATH PENALTY VERDICT WATCH: Jurors Mull Life vs. Death

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JODI ARIAS
Jodi Arias talking to the AP on Tuesday. | AP

Jodi Arias pleaded for her life Tuesday, two weeks after proclaiming that she would prefer the death penalty over spending the rest of her days in prison.

Why the change of heart? Arias told The Associated Press that her family influenced her decision.

"I felt like by asking for death, it's like asking for assisted suicide and I didn't want to do that to my family," Arias said in a surprise jailhouse interview just hours after a jury began deliberating her fate.

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Arias repeated many of her past claims and testimony to the AP. However, she did insist she was against having cameras in the courtroom for her murder trial.

"The prosecutor has accused me of wanting to be famous, which is not true," she said.

Arias has been convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of her ex-lover, 30-year-old Travis Alexander. Arias stabbed Alexander nearly 30 times, shot him in the head and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa home on June 4, 2008.

The jury heard 19 weeks of testimony and closing arguments in the case before reaching their guilty verdict on May 8.

The defendant, dressed in black on Tuesday, pleaded with the jury to spare her life. She referenced a statement she made to the media on May 8, that she would prefer the death penalty.

"I've made many statements I would prefer the death penalty over life in prison ... To me, life in prison was the most unappealing outcome ... but as I stand here now, I can't in good conscience ask you to give me death," Arias said.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER

Arias told the AP she changed her mind after a tearful meeting with family members. She said she realized her death would only serve to cause her loved ones additional heartache.

The Jodi Arias jury returns to court Wednesday for Day 2 of deliberations in the penalty phase of her capital murder trial.

The eight-man, four-woman panel, concluded their first hour of deliberations at about 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Deliberations resume at 12 p.m. Eastern time.

The jury will decide if Arias, 32, gets the death penalty or life imprisonment.

WEDNESDAY'S LIVE BLOG:

The jury is going home. They will continue deliberating tomorrow at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

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No verdict yet.

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No verdict yet.

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The jury is going back for further deliberations.

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The jury said they are unable to reach a decision. The judge is offering advise on how they can get past that.

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The jury is being brought into the courtroom.

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Court is in session. The judge said they have received a juror question. The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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Everyone is going into the courtroom. It remains unclear if the jury has a question or if the verdict is in.

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Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias' family members have arrived at the courthouse.

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Apparently the jury did not ask the judge the definition of life. The judge was simply clarifying the definition because it was inadvertently left out of the oral reading of the jury instructions Tuesday.

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They are deliberating.

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"The jury instruction is very clear and it tells you there is no procedure in place that will grant her parole," Willmott said during her rebuttal.

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"There is no system in place to grant parole after 25 years," defense attorney Jennifer Willmott told the jury.

"The decision as to whether or not [she will be eligible for parole] is the judges decision, not yours," prosecutor Juan Martinez said.

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"If you unanimously find the defendant should be sentenced to life in imprisonment the judge will sentence the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of release or life with the possibility of release from prison in 25 years," Judge Sherry Stephens told the jury.

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The proceeding that just happened is playing on the live feed at the top of this article.

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Arias has been smiling and laughing with her attorneys. She does not seem very concerned.

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The judge is clarifying some of the instructions for the jury.

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Deliberations have begun.

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Deliberations resume at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

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The live video feed will be added once the penalty verdict is in.

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Deliberations resume at 12 p.m. Eastern time.

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The Huffington Post is live blogging Wednesday's deliberations. Check back here for updates.

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Around the Web

Jury finds Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder - U.S. News

Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder - CBS News

Jodi Arias asks Arizona jury to spare her death penalty