Arizona Rule Criminal Procedure 19.1(B)
In State v. Patterson, 230 Ariz. 270, 283 P.3d 1 (2012), the Arizona Supreme Court clarified the procedure outlined in Arizona Rule Criminal Procedure Rule 19.1(b).
The court explained:
When the State alleges a non-capital sentencing aggravator such as dangerousness, the aggravator should not be mentioned in jury instructions or otherwise during the guilt phase of the trial.
The non-capital sentencing aggravator should be tried only if a guilty verdict is returned unless the defendant has admitted the allegation. Patterson, 230 Ariz. 270,29, 283 P.3d at 8.
Under the facts of that capital case, the court said it was error to submit the dangerousness allegation to the jury during the guilt phase of trial but the error was harmless because the defendant did not dispute killing the victim with a butcher knife, "which any reasonable jury would find to be a dangerous instrument." Id.30-31.
The court noted the evidence of dangerousness was the same as that for the underlying murder and the jury was instructed to consider dangerousness only if it first found the defendant guilty of murder. Id.31.
Under those circumstances, the court concluded the "dangerousness finding was implicit in the guilty verdict." Id.