TODAY   |  May 22, 2013

Jodi Arias: Death sentence is ‘revenge,’ not justice

As an Arizona jury continues deliberating whether Jodi Arias deserves the death penalty after being convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Arias sat down with NBC’s Diana Alvear.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> jodi arias could learn her fate as early as this afternoon. a jury is deciding whether she should be executed or sentenced to life in prison . and tuesday arias asked the jury to spare her life. nbc's diana alviar spoke to arias last night. good morning.

>> reporter: arias told me she deserves life in prison because she still has a lot to contribute to society. and while she felt betrayed by the jury's verdict, she says she's hoping they'll show her mercy. this may sound harsh, but a lot of people out there feel the only true justice for travis alexander is for you to get a death sentence .

>> that's not justice, that's revenge.

>> reporter: jodi arias says she asked the jury to spare her life, not for herself, but in order to spare those around her anymore pain.

>> every time i have a thought or desire to commit suicide, there's one element that is always -- almost always caused me to waivever. they're sitting right over there. they're my family.

>> reporter: earlier this months, just minutes before she was convicted of murder, she told a local station, she preferred the death penalty .

>> i said years ago that i would rather get death than life and that is still true today.

>> reporter: tuesday, a much more emotional arias begged for her life, showing jurors her baby pictures, sharing childhood memories, even displaying her artwork. arias said she wanted to give back, by teaching inmates to read, speak spanish, and sell t-shirts she designed.

>> which 100% of the proceeds go to the support nonprofit organizations.

>> reporter: arias maintains she was abused by the man she killed.

>> if it was self-defense, did travis deserve to die?

>> i don't believe that travis deserved to die. i don't recall -- i do have memory gaps and i wish that i could take back everything that happened.

>> reporter: even though she says all she felt in those moments were terror, she still feels a sense of loss. do you miss travis ?

>> i miss all of the good traits about him. taken in that context, yes, i do.

>> reporter: at times arias says she was suicidal during the trial. was it guilt? was it remorse? is that why you wanted to --

>> that was certainly an element, guilt, remorse, just, i've completely f'd up my life and i've hurt a lot of people in the process and i think i'll be doing everyone a favor.

>> now it's up to the jury, who have one question before them.

>> do you kill her.

>> reporter: what do you deserve?

>> i can't really comment on that. what i receive will be what i deserve, i believe.

>> reporter: arias tells me her attorneys plan to appeal the verdict. as for the jury, we could be hearing their final decision in just a few hours. savannah?

>> diana alvear, thank you.