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Is the Death Penalty Legal in Arizona?

With Washington declaring a moratorium on the death penalty, Arizonans may be wondering if death penalty is legal in their state.

Famous cases where the death penalty is a possibility, like with Jodi Arias, bring Arizona capital punishment to center stage.

Here's a brief legal history of the death penalty in Arizona.

Jodi Arias was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder, and jurors will start hearing evidence in the aggravation phase of the trial starting Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

This phase of the trial marks the beginning of the jury's determination of whether Arias should receive the death penalty. However, there are still at least three potential ways in which she could avoid capital punishment.

Here's an overview of how that could happen:

Defining Homicide: The Felony Murder Rule

Homicide laws make it illegal to kill another human being in almost every circumstance, whether it's intentional, reckless, or even unintended. The crimes associated with that are murder, manslaughter, and felony murder respectively.

While the first two categories are much more well known, felony murder is the weird cousin that everyone forgets about. But in Arizona it's still against the law.

Originally an uncodified part of common law (i.e., enforced by courts, not via legislation), Arizona law now classifies felony murder as a form of first-degree murder. But what is it exactly?

First Degree? Second Degree? What Do Degrees of Murder Mean?

The common denominator in all murder cases is that someone ends up dead, but the law makes distinctions between first degree and second degree.

Actually, the law makes a lot of distinctions between different types of homicide. In Arizona, that includes murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. To cover the wide range of murder cases, the state divides it into two categories.

Like with most crimes, the difference rests on the intent of the person who committed the crime. It’s not just about the killing; it’s also about the violation of social norms.

On Sunday night, Phoenix police officer Paul Bennett noticed something off about a man riding a bicycle on the 2100 block of West Georgia Avenue. The neighborhood had recently been hit with a string of burglaries, so police were keeping a close eye on any suspicious activity.

Bennett decided to stop the man. After a brief chase, the suspect shot Bennett six times, Fox 10 News reports. Fortunately, a bullet proof vest saved the officer's life.

The suspect, who hasn't been named, is facing charges for attempted murder.

Just moments after breaking up a fight at a Phoenix party Saturday morning, 18-year-old Lorena Sandra Uzueta was stabbed to death, AZfamily.com reports.

While rushing the girl to the hospital, Uzueta's friends were involved in a wreck that closed Interstate 17. Her alleged killer, a 17-year-old girl, is now facing a first-degree murder charge. Several other teens are facing charges as well for their alleged roles in the killing.

Hollywood often depicts the men who don Santa Claus costumes during the holiday season in a less-than-flattering light.

But some (alleged) criminals have gone one step further than Hollywood to drag St. Nick's image right through the mud. Below, we've included a list of some real-life "Bad Santas" from Christmases past and present.

Jodi Arias didn't want her boyfriend Travis Alexander to leave her, so she killed him, prosecutors say.

Alexander's roommates found his body at their Mesa home on June 9, 2008. According to authorities, Arias had shot Alexander in the face, stabbed him 27 times, and slit his throat. Jury selection in Arias' murder trial began Monday, AZfamily.com reports.

Richard Dale Stokley was executed Wednesday after being convicted of murdering two 13-year-old girls in rural Cochise County, The Associated Press reports.

In 1991, Stokley and Randy Brazeal reportedly lured Mandy Meyers and Mary Snyder into the desert where they raped and murdered the teens, according to prosecutors.

While Brazeal entered into a plea agreement and was spared the death penalty, Stokley was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

On Sunday afternoon, 50-year-old Linda Pirelli-Brown was shot dead in her San Tan Valley home.

While authorities haven't taken anyone into custody yet, they believe the killer was an acquaintance of Pirelli-Brown's 25-year-old daughter. According to Fox 10 News, the shooting may have been over an alleged drug debt.