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Jodi Arias Attorney Begs For ‘Mercy’ & Life In Prison In Death Penalty Closing Arguments


May 21 2013, Published 6:38 p.m. ET

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Jodi Arias calmly and with barely any emotions asked the jury not to give her the death penalty Tuesday morning for murdering Travis Alexander and the court proceedings are quickly coming to an end with the prosecution arguing for death and the defense begging for life in prison in their closing arguments.

Jennifer Willmott repeatedly asked the jury in Judge Sherry Stephens’ Maricopa County Courtroom to spare her client from receiving the death penalty and grant her a life in prison sentence.

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“She was under 30,” Willmott said was one of the mitigating factors that she asked the jury to consider as a factor in determining not to give her a death sentence which she says in the video shared by .

“She has no prior criminal history. This isn’t about lies,” she said about Jodi.

“That is a mitigating factor and that is a reason to show her mercy and to give her life in prison instead of the death penalty.”

Jodi stabbed Travis 29 times, shot him in the face and slit his throat from ear to ear and was found guilty of first degree murder, but Willmott argued that she “has a very low self-esteem. Almost no ego.”

She said Jodi “Suffered from depression starting from her teenage years,” and said that she wasn’t in a place of strength when she first met Travis.

“On that day in September 2006 when Travis came striding over to meet her, she was already in a vulnerable place.

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“Travis talked about himself and strength in religion. Jodi thought he was perfect.  He impressed her when he took her to the executive director’s banquet. A week later when he wanted oral sex she gave it to him because she didn’t want to lose what she thought was so good.”

While Jodi watched her attorney speak, Willmott begged the jury not to give her the death penalty.

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“There is so much mitigation in this case. There are so many reasons that you on your own individually can find to be merciful.  Call for life in prison instead of execution.”

She continued with her plea, saying: “Jodi can still contribute to this world. Her life still has value. And you have a choice.

“We are asking you to find that Jodi’s life is worth saving.  To have the ability to understand that despite her very worst deed you can show mercy and find that she still has value in her life and to sentence her to life in prison.”

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Prosecutor Juan Martinez then spoke the jury and argued to them that the horrific and “extremely cruel” murder of Travis by Jodi does warrant the death penalty.

“To his family Travis will be forever young. You have been shown many photographs going through the stages of life.  You’ve seen the progression of life. To his family Travis Alexander will be 30 years old for the rest of his life. They tried to remember him as he was in life.  That smile and perhaps that twinkle in his eye.

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“They also told you they couldn’t forget. Even though they remember him this way. They can’t forget what happened on June 4 2008.

“On that afternoon Travis Victor Alexander suffered immense physical pain. They can’t forget that he suffered extreme emotional distress. They can’t forget that it was especially cruel. That is something that you shouldn’t forget.”

Martinez tried to show the jury a picture of Travis that caused Jodi to cover her mouth and turn away, but Willmott objected and he did not show the picture.

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He forcefully argued that the defense did not present any mitigating factors, from her young age to her friendships to her artwork.

“Nothing they have presented is a mitigating circumstance.  Is it sufficiently substantial to call for leniency for what this individual did?” he asked the jury.

“When you take a look at that and you consider that, and you can consider victim impact statements.  Travis Alexander will never be more than 30 years old. That is his age.

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“It is not sufficiently substantial to call for leniency in this case.  You have a duty. That duty means that you actually do the honest right thing even though it may be difficult. The right thing is the difficult thing in this case.

“The difficult thing to do under these circumstances the only thing you can do based on the mitigating circumstances, and their lack thereof, is return a verdict of death.”

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Willmott then returned for a final time to speak to the jury, continuing her plea for life in prison for Jodi.

“There’s no entitlement here. It’s begging. It’s begging for her life at this point. There is no entitlement.

“The simple question before you is do you kill her? She has done something very bad. You have convicted her of that.”

Jodi watched her attorney intently but did not cry as she listened to the pleas for her life.

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“We know she’s lied.  That’s been this whole case.  But lying is not a capital offense. We’re asking you not to sentence her to death because she lied. You have convicted her of 1st degree murder. She does not need to be sentenced to death because of the lies.

“Do you kill her for the one horrible act or can you see there is a reason to let her live? Can you see there is still value in her life? Can you see that there is value and love from her family? She won’t be living with them and she won’t be living with any of us but she will be living in prison and even there she can contribute to this world.

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“We are asking you to find mercy. To find that Jodi’s life is worth saving. We’re asking you to give her life in prison.”

The jury began their deliberations and will report the verdict as soon as the decision is made.

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