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Victim's Family Members Endorse Plea Deal In Anthony Sowell Case

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Family members of eight of the 11 women Anthony Sowell is accused of slaying are asking prosecutors to end the legal proceedings against him and accept a previously proposed plea deal.

"We, the family members of the victims ... hereby petition to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office to accept the guilty pleas of Anthony Sowell with a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole," reads the signed petition.

In addition to the 11 charges of murder, Sowell, 51, faces several counts of rape and one count of attempted murder. The investigation into Sowell began in 2009 after the victims' bodies were found at his Cleveland home.

"We do not want to endure a trial," the petition continues. "We do not want to be witnesses to a media spectacle where our loved ones' lives and the details of the horrendous criminal acts inflicted upon them are spotlighted."

Jury selection in Sowell's trial began on Monday. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and faces the death penalty if convicted.

According to the petition, the signatories do not feel that the death penalty for Sowell is "necessary or even desirable" given the grief they say they would suffer as a result of the trial and the "uncertainties of the criminal justice system."

"We, therefore, request that Prosecutor Bill Mason reconsider his stance rejecting Anthony Sowell's plea offer in this case and respect our wishes as victims," the petition concludes.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately return calls for comment from The Huffington Post Tuesday.

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