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

But Jodi Arias does not want to be sentenced to death.

ByABC News
February 20, 2013, 11:32 AM

PHOENIX, Ariz. Feb. 22, 2013— -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias believes she should be punished, but hopes she will not be sentenced to death, two of her closest friends told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

Ann Campbell and Donavan Bering have been a constant presence for Arias wth at least one of them sitting in the Phoenix, Ariz., courtroom along with Arias' family for almost every day of her murder trial. They befriended Arias after she first arrived in jail and believe in her innocence.

Arias admits killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander and lying for nearly two years about it, but insists she killed Alexander in self defense. She could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.

Nevertheless, she is aware of the seriousness of her lies and deceitful behavior.

The women told ABC News that they understand that Arias needs to be punished and Arias understands that too.

"She does know that, you know, she does need to pay for the crime," Campbell said. "But I don't want her to die, and I know that she has so much to give back."

Catching Up on the Trial? Check Out ABC News' Jodi Arias Trial Coverage

The lies that Arias admits she told to police and her family have been devastating to her, Bering said.

""She said to me, 'I wish I didn't have to have lied. That destroyed me,'" Donovan said earlier this week. "Because now when it's so important for her to be believed, she has that doubt. But as she told me on the phone yesterday, she goes, 'I have nothing to lose.' So all she can do is go out there and tell the truth."

During Arias' nine days on the stand she has described in detail the oral, anal and phone sex that she and Alexander allegedly engaged in, despite being Mormons and trying to practice chastity. She also spelled out in excruciating detail what she claimed was Alexander's growing demands for sex, loyalty and subservience along with an increasingly violent temper.

Besides her two friends, Arias' mother and sometimes her father have been sitting in the front row of the courtroom during the testimony. It's been humiliating, Bering said.

"She's horrified. There's not one ounce of her life that's not out there, that's not open to the public. She's ashamed," she said.