As readers know, Terry Lenamon is a nationally known expert in mitigation trial work on death penalty cases. For those watching the media coverage of the Arias’ case, the work to which Terry has dedicated his life is exemplified in the stage that this trial entered when the jury verdict returned with a guilty verdict.
Here are some reference materials that those following the Jodi Arias’ trial as it enters the sentencing phase may find helpful.
For those following along with the media coverage next week:
The Arizona Legislature has passed legislation (A.R.S. § 13-751) that requires two things to be found by the jury before a person can be sentenced to death in that state:
1. proof beyond a reasonable doubt of at least one aggravating circumstance as set forth in Arizona law (A.R.S. § 13-751(F): read that law here) and
2. finding that there are "no mitigating circumstances sufficiently substantial to call for leniency.” Mitigation is defined as evidence relevant to “any aspect of the defendant’s character, propensities or record and any of the circumstances of the offense." (A.R.S. § 13-751(E): read that law here.).
The Arizona Supreme Court has published its Capital Sentencing Guide online and further information is provided there, including a discussion of case law pertaining to mitigating circumstances in death penalty sentencing trials.
Both the statute and the court opinions discussing and ruling upon mitigation will be applicable to the mitigation case presented by the defense team.