If you were somehow involved in the death of another person in Arizona, you could find yourself facing serious criminal charges, which could result in you facing life in prison or the death sentence. In some cases, however, certain circumstances may have contributed to your role in the death. Often referred to as mitigating circumstances, these factors may impact the potential penalties you could face if you are convicted of the offenses you are alleged to have committed.
According to the Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute, mitigating factors are circumstances or facts that lessen the severity of a criminal act. These factors may also lessen your culpability in the alleged crime. Under Arizona state law, the following may be considered mitigating circumstances when determining life imprisonment and death sentences:
- Your age
- Whether you were under substantial or unusual duress
- The extent of your participation
- Whether you could have known that your actions would cause, or could generate a significant risk of causing, death
Additionally, the court may take into account your capacity to realize the wrongfulness of your behavior. It may also consider whether your ability to act in accordance with the law was significantly impaired.
If there were mitigating factors involved in your case, and they can be proven, they may call for leniency. As such, the judge may sentence you to the minimum requirements, or may be permitted reduce your sentence further.
This post has given a general overview of mitigating circumstances in Arizona when deciding life imprisonment and death sentences. However, you should keep in mind that each situation and case is unique. Therefore, this should be taken only as general information, and not as legal advice.