(CBS/AP) -- In a Phoenix courtroom Tuesday, convicted killer Jodi Arias asked a jury to spare her from the death penalty and sentence her to life in prison.
"Either way, I'm going to spend the rest of my life in prison, whether it will be shortened or not," Arias said. "If it's shortened, the people who will hurt the most are my family. I'm asking you please, don't do that to them."
Arias, convicted of firdst-degree murder in the June 2008 death of her lover, Travis Alexander, said, "I want everyon'es healing to begin, and I want everyone's pain to end."
Arias addressed the jury in the penalty phase of her trial.
Arias said she "lacked perspective" when she said shortly after the guilty verdict that she would prefer the death penalty.After five months of trial, Arias told the jury she never meant to cause the family of Travis Alexander so much pain.
Arias' voice wavered with emotion as she read from a sheet of paper with Alexander's family looking on in the gallery. She said she didn't kill herself after Alexander's death because of her love for her own family.
Holding up a white t-shirt with the word "survivor" written across it, Arias said she would sell the clothing and donate all proceeds to victims of domestic abuse.
She said she understands that some people don't believe she was a victim of domestic abuse.
She showed the jury a picture of her best friend and said she didn't testify on her behalf because she received threats.
Her lawyers have said Arias is the only witness they'll call to testify on her behalf.
The sentencing decision will cap months of testimony in the case that has drawn the national and international spotlight and become a media sensation. Whether the jury decides unanimously for either life in prison or a death sentence, the decision will be a binding one.
Under Arizona law, if the jury cannot reach a unanimous decision on sentencing, the panel will be dismissed and jury selection would begin anew, to seat another panel to hear arguments only regarding Arias' sentence. If a second panel were unable reach a unanimous agreement, the judge would sentence Arias to life in prison, with or without the possibility of release after 25 years.