PHOENIX -- Jurors in the Jodi Arias murder trial told the judge Wednesday that they are unable to reach a unanimous verdict on whether the convicted murderer should be get life or death for killing her boyfriend, prompting the judge to send them back to the deliberation room to work through their differences.
The jury reported its impasse to the judge after only about two and a half hours of deliberations that began Tuesday afternoon.
"I do not wish or intend to force a verdict," Judge Sherry Stephens told jurors before sending them back to continue deliberating.
The panel heard emotional comments last week from the family of victim Travis Alexander as the prosecutor argued that the 32-year-old Arias should be executed for the gruesome killing.
Arias responded Tuesday by pleading for mercy, saying she can become a model prisoner who teaches inmates how to reach and speak Spanish, helps the prison launch recycling programs. She also wants to be an advocate for domestic violence victims.
The same jury of eight men and four women convicted jury of first-degree murder two weeks ago in the death of Alexander, who was stabbed nearly 30 times and nearly decapitated in what authorities said was a jealous rage.
Tuesday night, Arias spoke to spoke to The Associated Press and other media outlets in jailhouse interviews just hours after the jury began deliberating her fate. She spoke out about her murder trial, her many fights with her legal team and her belief that she "deserves a second chance at freedom someday."
She said her lawyers let her down by not calling more witnesses who could have bolstered her claims that she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Travis Alexander.
Arias was convicted last week of first-degree murder in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her one-time lover in what prosecutors described as a cold, calculated killing carried out in a jealous rage. Arias maintains it was self-defense.
The jury began deliberating Tuesday as they worked to determine whether she should live or die for her crime. They adjourned after about an hour and resumed Wednesday morning.
If the jury opts for a life sentence, the judge will have the option of determining whether she spends the rest of her days behind bars or is eligible for release after 25 years. Arias acknowledged it was unlikely she would ever be released, but believed she deserves a second chance.