Will woman convicted of murder join Arizona's death row women?

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Sammantha Lucille Rebecca Allen was previously convicted on first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the 2011 death of Ame Deal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sammantha Lucille Rebecca Allen was previously convicted on first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the 2011 death of Ame Deal. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Sammantha Lucille Rebecca Allen. left, was convicted of killing her little cousin, Ame Deal, in 2011. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) Sammantha Lucille Rebecca Allen. left, was convicted of killing her little cousin, Ame Deal, in 2011. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
Death Row inmate Shawna Forde Death Row inmate Shawna Forde
Death Row inmate Wendi Andriano Death Row inmate Wendi Andriano
Debra Milke in March 2015 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) Debra Milke in March 2015 (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Monday morning lawyers began their arguments over whether convicted killer Sammantha Allen should be sentenced to death or receive life in prison for her role in the death of her 10-year-old cousin, Ame Deal.

Deal died of suffocation in 2011 after being padlocked inside a plastic storage box for six hours as punishment for stealing and eating a popsicle.

Allen was convicted on first-degree murder and child abuse charges. Her husband will stand trial in October.

[RELATED: Penalty phase begins in death of Phoenix girl locked in a box]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Child locked in box trial]

Currently, only two women sit on death row in Arizona, compared to the 116 men.

WENDI ANDRIANO

Wendi Andriano was sentenced to death in December 2004 for murdering her terminally ill husband in their Ahwatukee apartment.

She was convicted of poisoning Joe Andriano, stabbing him multiple times, and beating him with a bar stool.

SHAWNA FORDE

Shawna Forde is also on death row. Forde was an "extreme anti-illegal immigration activist" with the Minuteman American Defense, a self-proclaimed border protection group.

In 2009, Forde and two others murdered 29-year old Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia during a home invasion in the town of Arivaca.

She had planned to rob drug smugglers to fund her vigilante group, and chose the Flores' home as their target.

[RELATED: Jury convicts activist Shawna Forde in deadly AZ home invasion (Feb. 14, 2011)]

Flores' wife was also shot in the home invasion but survived.

There were no drugs and no money found in the home.

DEBRA MILKE (Released)

Debra Milke spent 22 years on death row in her son's killing before her conviction was overturned says she suffered two tragedies when the 4-year-old was fatally shot.

[RELATED: Woman who spent 22 years on death row in Arizona speaks out (March 24, 2015)]

"I live with an abiding sense of loss and a chunk of my heart is gone, but Christopher's spirit is with me always, which is a comfort to the remaining pieces of my heart," Milke said in March 2015. "Being convicted of a crime you didn't commit is also a devastating tragedy."

Milke had maintained her innocence and denied that she confessed to the murder to the case's lead detective, Armando Saldate.

"Debra did not stand a chance without a recorder or a witness," said Lori Voepel, one of Milke's attorneys.

An appeals court overturned Milke's conviction after ruling that prosecutors failed to disclose a history of misconduct by the lead detective on the case.

EXECUTED WOMEN

Since 1910, the state of Arizona has executed 137 people, only one was a woman. Eva Dugan, a convicted of murder, was killed by hanging in February of 1930

More women have been eligible for the death penalty but were rather given life in prison, including Jodi Arias, who was sentenced in April 2015 to life without parole for the 2008 murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander.

The full list of current Arizona death row inmates can be found here.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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