Following her conviction last week, she told a local TV station that she preferred the death penalty. She said Tuesday night that she changed her mind after a tearful meeting with family members the same day, realizing her death would only cause them more pain.
"I felt like by asking for death, it's like asking for assisted suicide, and I didn't want to do that to my family," she told the AP.
Arias said she fought from the beginning to keep cameras out of the courtroom to limit the media spectacle, and believes the jury should have been sequestered. She stated flatly that she did not receive a fair trial.
"The prosecutor has accused me of wanting to be famous, which is not true," she said.
However, Arias has sought the spotlight at every turn, providing TV interviews and even using a third-party to tweet throughout the trial.
Arias repeated her claims that she never wanted to go to trial in the first place but instead wanted to reach a deal with prosecutors on a second-degree murder count that would have carried a maximum of 22 years in prison. However, she said, "no deal was offered."
She talked to reporters Tuesday after the judge lifted an order barring jail officials from accepting any media requests. The judge did not elaborate on the reason for the ruling, but Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office quickly began arranging the interviews that lasted late into the night.
A shackled Arias wore makeup for the interviews and showed up in a jail classroom with a comb in hand as she fixed her hair for the cameras. When pressed for details on some of her conflicting stories, she was mostly evasive, citing advice from her attorneys and possible pending appeals.
She was also asked about the conflicts she had had with her two court-appointed lawyers, Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott.
Arias said she wanted at least three people called as witnesses who could have testified to having seen bruises on her neck "when I was choked out" by Alexander but she said she was rebuffed by her lawyers. The prosecutor insisted her self-defense claims were an exaggerated attempt to avoid being convicted.
She said her lawyers "felt a little betrayed" and blindsided by her post-conviction interview but that they gave their blessings for Tuesday night's interviews, warning her to be cautious.
Arias said she sometimes wishes she'd never met Alexander, "just because of how ultimately everything ended and I say that for his sake and mine -- not just a selfish thing."