Yesterday, in a court in Illinois, the prosecutor quoted Zhang Yingying's diary in his opening statement: "Life is too short to be content with the ordinary."
Illinois, U.S., July 8, local time, Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying The kidnapping to death case entered the sentencing court stage, the sentencing courtThe review cycle is expected to last about two weeks.
The trial began at 13:30 local time. Zhang Yingying's family attended the trial.
The prosecutor quoted Zhang Yingying’s diary in his opening statement: "Life is too short to be content with the ordinary."
The prosecution called on the jury to sentence the defendant to death, saying that the defendant was cold-blooded and cruel, and carefully planned for several months to commit the crime.
Videos recorded by Zhang Yingying's friends and mother were also played in the court. The prosecution’s list of evidence also includes recordings of Christensen’s phone calls in prison, his account records on multiple online dating platforms, and photos of his confiscated items in prison.
Christensen’s defense lawyer hopes that the jury can sentence the defendant to life imprisonment without parole. Before the judgment stage, the defense lawyer submitted a list of 66 exhibits, including Christensen’s family video, family history, medical records, prisoner files, education and financial records.
The lawyer listed 54 factors that should be mitigated, saying that the defendant Christensen was suffering from mental health problems.
On the 24th of last month, the Zhang Yingying case was pronounced after a two-week trial. The 12 jurors of the jury made a unanimous verdict of guilt in less than 90 minutes and were convicted of murder. Defendant Christensen convicted of three counts. Including one crime of kidnapping leading to death and two crimes of false statement.
For the defendant Christensen’s penalty, there are only two possibilities: life imprisonment or death penalty. At the sentencing trial stage, the lawyers of the prosecution and defense will once again cross-examine evidence.
Zhang Yingying’s family hopes that Christensen will pay for his life and seek a death sentence. Christensen is cruel and innocent.
However, there are still several difficulties in Illinois to achieve his sentence of death:
First, Illinois was abolished in 2011 death penalty.
Secondly, to sentence him to death, 12 jury members need to reach agreement again before it can be established. If one person disagrees, Christensen will not be sentenced to death .
Third, in theory, the judge can disagree with the jury’s opinion, but in relatively few federal death penalty cases in the United States, the judge will generally agree with the jury’s decision.
Why can the death penalty still be imposed in Illinois?
IllinoisThe death penalty was abolished in 2011, but because this case is a federal case, it is not subject to this restriction. US law allows the federal government to seek the death penalty for special crimes. In states where the death penalty has been abolished, it is extremely rare for the Federation to seek death sentences. Christensen’s death sentence is the first case in Illinois in which the state seeks a death sentence since the death penalty was abolished in 2011.
If the jury members unanimously rule on the death penalty, Christensen will eventually be sentenced to death. He will become the third person in the history of Illinois to be sentenced to justice by the Federal Court, and the last person to be executed. The state death row inmates goes back to July 14, 1938, 81 years ago. Now, there is only one death row prisoner in custody in the state: Ronald Mikos was sentenced in 2005.
On June 9, 2017, the 26-year-old Zhang Yingying lost contact while renting out her house. The prosecutorThe evidence showed that the defendant Christensen took Zhang Yingying to the residence, raped her, beat her with a baseball bat, and brutally chopped off her head and killed her.
Christensen has not yet explained Zhang YingyingThe whereabouts of Zhang Yingying's remains, the police have not found Zhang Yingying's remains.
And Zhang Yingying’s relatives have also endured long-term mental torture. This moment was sentenced for the murderer. , They waited for two years, the demon Christensen was finally executed? Or sit in prison without parole for life? We accompany Zhang Yingying's family to wait and see.
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