of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, the same school Zhang was attending, would be the first person to be sentenced to death in a federal cou
rthouse in Illinois since 2006, if the jury reaches a unanimous verdict that he should be executed by lethal injection.上海后花园品茶微信
US District Court Judge James Shadid read instructions to the jury on Wednesd
上海后花园ay morning after the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments.
“The law leaves this decision exclusively to you, the jury,” Shadid said. “Whichever sentence you choose, death or life im上海后花园
prisonment without the possibility of release, the court is required to impose that sentence.”
上海后花园品茶微信Zhang’s mother, father, boyfriend and brother were in the main courtroom Wednesday m
orning, but after some deliberation in the judge’s chambers, her mother didn’t return.
The same 12 jurors took under 90 minutes on June 24 to unanimo上海后花园
usly find Christensen guilty of all three counts against him, namely kidnapping resulting in th
上海后花园e death of the 26-year-old Zhang, and two counts of making false statements to the FBI.
Christensen’s defense lawyers admitted to the court that in June 2017, he
raped Zhang and beat her to death with a bat. Christensen hasn’t said what he did with the bod上海后花园品茶微信
y. Investigators have not been able to find Zhang’s body, despite an intensive search.
In his closing argument, federal prosecutor James Nels上海后花园
on argued that “justice must be done” and asked, “Is this a minimum-sentence case?”
He acknowledged the grief of Christensen’s family would have if he were sen上海后花园品茶微信
tenced to death, but said the “source of that pain sits in that chair”, referring to Christensen.
He described the impact on Zhang’s family, as they placed great hope in her.
上海后花园”That’s why Yingying fought so hard. She had so much to live for,” Nelson said.
“Everyone in this room felt the weight of Yingying Zhang’s murder,” US Attorney Eug上海后花园品茶微信
ene Miller said. “There will be only one sentence in this case — the death penalty.”