Confessed killer Jodi Arias presented to the jury Tuesday afternoon for 19 minutes, pleading with jurors to spare her from the death penalty.

Speaking directly into jurors' eyes while using a projector to show them pictures of herself in a positive light, she told them she wanted to live -- not for her, but for her family.

She told jurors she'd use the time to do good deeds, including starting community programs in prison. If allowed to live, she'd get involved with literacy, recycling and other programs.

"I didn't know then if I got life instead of death, I could become employed and self-reliant," Arias said. "I didn't know that if I got life, there are many things I could do to affect positive change and contribute in a meaningful way."

Arias addressed the jury in the penalty phase of her trial as the panel considers whether to sentence her to life in prison or execution. Arias said to the jury that the times she asked for the death penalty, she "lacked perspective," and until "very recently could not have imagined standing before you and asking you to give me life.

"To me life in prison was the most unappealing outcome I could possibly think of. I thought I'd rather die," she said from a prepared speech.

Then she had a change of heart.

"But as I stand here now I can't in good consciousness ask you to sentence me to death because of them," referring to her relatives.

"Asking for death is tantamount to suicide. Either way I am going to be spend the rest of my life in prison ... I'm asking you please, please don't do that to them. I've already hurt them so badly, along with so many other people."

After five months of trial, Arias told the jury she never meant to cause the family of Travis Alexander -- whom she admitted having killed -- so much pain. The same jury convicted her of first-degree murder in Travis Alexander's death.

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.

"Samantha said that Travis was the glue to their family," Arias said of Travis's sisters speech. "To know now that both are gone and that I may have also inadvertently induced her passing destroys me."

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, but that she still believes it to be true.

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 judge instructed jurors they can consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to recommend, including the fact that Arias has no previous criminal record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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