Monday, June 27, 2016


    At The Law Offices of Randall J. Craig PLLC we have tried some large cases here in Arizona, many of them capital cases.  These are very difficult cases in which a defendant’s life is at stake.  Contrary to non death felony cases, these cases present a trifurcated procedure in which there is a guilt phase, an aggravation phase and then the penalty phase. Recently the Court decided that a capital defendant’s pretrial offer to plead guilty in exchange for a natural life sentence is admissible at the penalty phase of trial to show in mitigation their acceptance of responsibility for the murder, a non statutory mitigating circumstance.  Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-751(g) and 752(g) as well as State v. Sansing, acceptance of responsibility by a defendant in a capital case is non statutory mitigating circumstance and a trial court is constitutionally required under the United States Supreme Court’s decisions in Lockett v. Ohio and Eddings v. Oklahoma to admit such proffered evidence. However, any evidence offered to show acceptance of responsibility must also be relevant. Busso-Estopellan v. Mroz and State of Arizona (RPI). If you have been accused of a crime please call our office at 480 767-0400. You may also reach us via the web at

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