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Arizona juries to consider victim injuries case by case

PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court said juries must decide on a
case-by-case basis whether a wounded crime victim’s disfigurement is substantial
enough to justify convicting the attacker of felony aggravated assault.

The high court issued a unanimous ruling Monday in an appeal in a Pima County
case in which a man cut a woman with a knife.

The ruling said juries needed to consider the injury’s seriousness, location,
duration and visibility to others.

The justices agreed that both a 3-inch cut on a victim’s hand and a
2-centimeter-wide puncture wound of her abdomen were substantial enough to be

The Court of Appeals had said the victim’s abdomen wound was small and not a
substantial disfigurement. The midlevel court would have reduced a felony
aggravated assault charge to misdemeanor assault.


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