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Jurors can hearing about murder defendant's

Posted at 8:47 AM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-01 10:47:56-05

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court says a judge was wrong to rule that jurors cannot hear about a murder defendant's offer to plead guilty, be sentenced to natural life in prison and express remorse to the victims' families.
    
Jesus Busso-Estopellan awaits trial in the 2011 Mesa killings of 18-year-old Tyler Webster and 19-year-old Wladyszewski.
    
Prosecutors rejected the offer but Busto-Estopellan then asked that jurors hear about his offer during a possible penalty phase if he is convicted.
    
The judge said the offer wasn't relevant because it only indicated a desire to avoid a possible death sentence, not remorse.
    
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Busso-Estopellan is entitled to present evidence that may warrant sentencing leniency. The justices also said jurors can decide how much weight to give to that evidence.