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Arizona: death row for murderers convicted of human smuggling

Arizona's House of Representatives has approved a bill that considers undocumented immigrants' trafficking as a crime eligible for the capital penalty.

The House passed the bill HB 2313 on Tuesday night by a majority of 35 votes to four.

The bill expands the criteria of the aggravating circumstances used to determine whether the death penalty should be imposed in Arizona.

The initiative widens the definition of "aggravated felony" to include "participating in or helping an organization of human smuggling."

This would allow undocumented traffickers prosecuted for murder as eligible for the death penalty.

Under curent Arizona law, a person can only be sentenced to the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder and if the jury finds at least one of 14 aggravating circumstances associated with the crime.

Until now, human trafficking wasn't considered a serious offense under that state's statute.