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Arizona Judicial Branch

LIFE SENTENCE AVAILABLE

LIFE SENTENCE AVAILABLE

[This category contains cases where the defendant argued that the availability of a life sentence should be mitigating. All of these cases find that the availability of a life sentence is a sentencing option, not a mitigating circumstance.]

State v. Soto-Fong, 187 Ariz. 186, 928 P.2d 610 (1996)
The defendant argued that because he committed other crimes that if sentenced consecutively would constitute a "real life" sentence, that the availability of those sentences should be considered mitigating. The Court determined that this is not a mitigator, although it may be appropriate to consider as an alternate sentence in the proper case.

State v. Mann, 188 Ariz. 220, 934 P.2d 784 (1997)
The Court noted that the possibility of a life sentence is a sentencing option, not a mitigating circumstance.

State v. Schackart, 190 Ariz. 238, 947 P.2d 315 (1997)
At the time of this murder, A.R.S. §13-751(A) did not provide for a natural life sentence. The defendant asked the Court to consider the natural life option as a mitigating factor. The availability of a "real life" sentence was not appropriate mitigation.

*State v. Trostle, 191 Ariz. 4, 951 P.2d 869 (1997)
Trostle argued that the trial court failed to consider sentencing him to life imprisonment without possibility of parole, but the Court found no evidence to support that assertion. Further, the Court declined the "defendant's request to treat the natural-life option as a mitigating circumstance."

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