Jodi Arias: Eligible For Death Penalty

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A jury found Jodi Arias eligible for the death penalty yesterday in court.

That doesn't mean she's necessarily getting it, but it's the first step.

Arias Guilty

The same jury that found Jodi Arias guilty of murder last week took less than three hours to determine that the former waitress is eligible for the death penalty.

The swift verdict sets the stage for the final phase of the trial to determine whether the 32-year-old should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty.

In question is the 2008 slaying of Travis Alexander.

Prosecutors will call her slain ex-boyfriend's family and other witnesses in an effort to convince the panel Arias should face the ultimate punishment.

Arias' defense lawyers will have her family members testify, and likely others who have known her over the years, in an attempt to gain sympathy.

Given the nature of the killing - she slashed Alexander's throat, stabbed him in the heart and shot him in the forehead - this decision was expected.

The victim suffered nearly 30 knife wounds in what prosecutors described as an attack fueled by jealous rage after he wanted to break up with Arias.

The jury simply had to determine the killing was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner to complete the "aggravation phase" of the trial.

Now it's on to the penalty phase, and Arias' opinions are clear.

Minutes after her first-degree murder conviction, Arias granted an interview to Fox affiliate KSAZ, and said she hopes she is put to death, and soon.

"Longevity runs in my family, and I don't want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place," a tearful Arias said. "I believe death is the ultimate freedom."

"I'd rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it."

However, Arias cannot choose the death penalty. It's up to the jury to recommend a sentence. You tell us: Should Jodi Arias get the death penalty?