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Arizona juries can consider lesser charges court says

A new court ruling says Arizona judges can tell trial juries to consider lesser charges against a defendant even if the defense and prosecution object.

The unanimous state Supreme Court ruling Thursday upholds a man’s conviction for manslaughter though he was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of another man after an argument.

The defendant’s lawyers argued in the man’s appeal that he was entitled to an “all or nothing defense.”

They also said the judge had no power to allow the jury to consider a lesser charge over objections from prosecutors and the defense.

The Supreme Court said judges should consider objections, but there’s nothing to bar having the jury consider a lesser charge supported by evidence in the case.

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