crimes and misdemeanors

Jodi Arias Lists Prison Extracurriculars in Attempt to Avoid Death Penalty

 Defendant Jodi Arias looks to her family during closing arguments during her trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona, May 3, 2013. Defense counsel for Jodi Arias denied in closing arguments on Friday in her high-profile murder trial that she went on a meticulously planned covert mission to Arizona expressly to kill her ex-boyfriend and then hide her tracks.
Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic/Reuters/Corbis

After being convicted in Arizona of killing her ex-boyfriend, following the battiest trial of the year, Jodi Arias said, “I believe death is the ultimate freedom and I’d rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it.” She took back that death wish today during the penalty phase of her epic half-year in court, running down her volunteerism behind bars like an overachieving college applicant and detailing her future plans should she be given a life sentence instead of the death penalty. Among her ideas to “affect positive change and contribute in a meaningful way”: implementing a recycling program; teaching women to read; starting a book club; and donating her hair to Locks of Love, which she said she’s done three times since her arrest.

“Additionally,” she said in the bizarre plea to the jury, “I designed a T-shirt … This is the T-shirt” — it says “Survivor” in a simple purple font — “in which 100 percent of the proceeds go to support non-profit organizations, which also assist other victims of domestic violence. Some people may not believe that I am a survivor of domestic violence,” she continued, in reference to her failed self-defense claims. “They’re entitled to their opinion.” They also include the very jurors she was speaking to, those who will ultimately decide her fate. In all, the speech, which was not delivered under oath, was another strange chapter in this long, weird book.

Watch Jodi Arias Try to Avoid the Death Penalty