Jodi Arias Believes She Should Be Punished, But Not Death Row, Friends Say

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Jodi Arias Believes She Should Be Punished

The two Phoenix women say they have been supporting Arias since 2008 when she first arrived at the Estrella Jail in Phoenix. Bering got to know Arias well while incarcerated on an accessory to arson charge. She asked her friend Campbell to visit Arias, too, because Arias' family was out of state. Campbell said, "We hit it off right away. She's very nice and funny. And really articulate."

Their growing friendship continued after Bering was released from jail. Now, they say, they speak to Arias by phone daily and visit often. Bering has been in court nearly every day.

They told ABC News that they were initially reluctant to speak out, but felt it was important for people to hear about the Jodi Arias they have come to know and love – a woman, they say, who is not the murderous monster she's been portrayed as over the last two months.

"I find it really hard to believe what happened, knowing her," Bering said. "Never, ever have I seen her raise her voice, seen her yell, seen her do anything. So when I'm sitting there in court, it blows me away because I'm sitting there knowing the person that I know, seeing her and talking to her and see how much compassion she has."

Campbell says she believes Arias' story of self-defense and that, "It had to be something terrible for her to snap because in the four and a half years that I visited her, I've never seen her get angry, lose her temper."

While the Jodi Arias they know is typically "bubbly" and "funny," Campbell said Arias is remorseful about what she has done.

"She's just hurt by what's gone on and how this has affected her family, I mean, very much. And she hurts for her mother and her family," Campbell said.

The friends say Arias feels especially horrible being an aunt in jail because she has new nieces that she has never been able to touch.

The women said they are also heartbroken for Alexander's family.

"They have to relive this every day. They hear their brother's voice, they see their brother's handwriting. They see pictures of him. I've always said nobody deserves to die that way, you know, because it was horrible," Bering said. "So I think about them a lot. And I know that it's very hard for them because they see us over there and we're supporting the person that took their brother's life. But I wish that I could tell them, you know, that I really feel for them."

The women said it's been a tragedy for both families.

"She's been incarcerated five years before she even got to trial. She's had her life destroyed," Bering said. "To me, I look at it as two people's lives have been lost. There was the tragic death of Travis. And then there's Jodi who will never have her life again."

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