Sentencing phase begins for serial killer

Aug. 1, 2011 at 7:16 AM   |   0 comments

CLEVELAND, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A jury in Cleveland decides this week if convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell gets the death penalty.

Jurors return to the Cuyahoga County Justice Center courtroom Monday to determine Sowell's sentence for killing 11 women whose remains were found in and around his home in 2009, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported.

Sowell was convicted July 22 of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and attempted murder.

During the sentencing portion, or mitigation phase, of the trial, defense attorneys are expected to call an array of witnesses as they argue against the death penalty. Cuyahoga Judge Dick Ambrose ruled last week Sowell could offer an informal statement in a question-and-answer format with his attorneys.

The Plain Dealer said the sentencing portion could last a week.

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