Jodi Arias tells Arizona jury she can be productive in prison if spared death

PHOENIX Tue May 21, 2013 2:18pm EDT

Jodi Arias looks at her family during the penalty phase of her murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona May 20, 2013. REUTERS/Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic/Pool

Jodi Arias looks at her family during the penalty phase of her murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona May 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic/Pool

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Convicted killer Jodi Arias testified on Tuesday that she can effect positive change in prison if jurors sentence her to a life term and spare her the death penalty for brutally killing her ex-boyfriend in Arizona five years ago.

Arias, 32, was found guilty earlier this month in the murder of Travis Alexander, whose body was found slumped in the shower of his Phoenix-area home in June 2008. He had been stabbed multiple times, had his throat slashed and been shot in the face. Arias told jurors she had previously considered suicide but now realized she could lead a productive life in prison.

"I didn't know that if I got life there are many things I can do to effect positive change and contribute in a meaningful way. In prison there are programs I can start and people I can help and programs that I can continue participating in," she told jurors.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Writing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Scott Malone)

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