Jodi Arias expected to testify during penalty phase Monday - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Jodi Arias expected to testify during penalty phase Monday

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PHOENIX -

Jodi Arias is expected to testify Monday, as jurors try to decide whether she should live or die for killing Travis Alexander.

She told FOX 10's Troy Hayden in an exclusive interview that she'd rather die than spend the rest of her life in prison.
 
So is that what she'll say on Monday?

It's yet another odd and dramatic twist in a trial that has been full of odd and dramatic twists.

Jodi's attorneys in the penalty phase are trying to save her life, but what does Jodi want?

We are in the penalty phase of this trial and Jodi is a convicted first-degree murderer.

The jury heard very heart-rending and emotional statements from the family of the man she stabbed, slashed and shot: her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

Jodi's attorneys make their case on Monday.  They are asking the jury to spare her and give her life in prison instead of lethal injection.

But in the interview immediately after the verdict, was adamant: she wants to die.

"I am pretty healthy. I do not smoke so I would live a long time so that is not something I am not looking forward to so I said years ago that I'd rather get death than life and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom so I would just rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it," said Arias.

Jodi's attorneys tried to withdraw from the case.  They are trying to save her life at the same moment she says she wants to die.  There's a conflict here for the attorneys and they cannot control their client, but the judge denied the request, so they have to stay on the case.

If Jodi tells the jury she wants to die, that contradicts what her attorneys asked the jury to do when they made their opening statement to the jury Thursday.

The memory of Travis' family will be fresh in jurors' minds.

"I have dreams of my brother thrown in the shower to rot.  I don't want to have these dreams any more," said Travis' brother, Steven Alexander.

The jurors presumably haven't heard it, but Jodi has already spoken.

She said, "Well, the worst outcome for me would be natural life. I would much rather die sooner than later. Longevity runs in my family and I would not want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place."

What if Arias tells the jury she wants to live?  Then the prosecutor could ask the judge to show the jury video of Jodi on television, asking to die.

"It is a great tool for him to show someone who is manipulative.. maybe somewhat callous, maybe trying to use reverse psychology on the jury by saying I would rather die than if I had to spend life in prison," said Michael Kimerer, a defense attorney.

Going public with a death wish may prove fatal to Jodi Arias.

Experts say if Jodi speaks to the jury, the key question is: will she take responsibility for the murder of Travis and will she say she's sorry?


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