Day 2 of deliberations on death penalty in scholar’s slaying

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) —  Jurors have resumed deliberations on whether an ex-University of Illinois doctoral student should be put to death for slaying a 26-year-old scholar from China.

Thursday, July 18 is the second day of deliberations in the penalty stage of the federal case against Brendt Christensen.

Jurors went home after three hours Wednesday without a decision on whether he should die or spend the rest of his life behind bars for abducting Yingying Zhang, raping her and beating her to death with a bat.

The same jurors took less than 90 minutes to convict Christensen at his trial in June.

Their task in the penalty stage is harder. They must answer questions such as whether Christensen displayed unique cruelty in killing Zhang and whether he exhibited redeeming qualities in his life.


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