Jury presents two additional questions as deliberations continue in Christensen trial

Yingying Zhang's family stands outside the Peoria courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. The jury started deliberating whether or not Brendt Christensen, Zhang's kidnapper and killer, should be sentenced to life in prison or death.

Samantha Boyle

Yingying Zhang's family stands outside the Peoria courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. The jury started deliberating whether or not Brendt Christensen, Zhang's kidnapper and killer, should be sentenced to life in prison or death.

By Samantha Boyle, News editor

As the jury continues deliberations, two questions have already come up.

The jury started deliberating Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and sent the first question around 9:45 a.m. asking about what the information about the number of jurors who agree each mitigating factor will be used for.

Judge James Shadid wrote back to review certain pages and sections of the instructions; however, this did not completely answer the jurors question.

As a follow up question, the jury asked what these results of the mitigating factors can be used for. For example, they wonder how they will be used in the appeal process.

The jury was instructed to only consider everything presented in this trial and nothing else, such as the appeal process. They were also told they have been asked but aren’t required to report the number of jurors who agree with the establishment of each mitigating factor.

Jurors are continuing to deliberate throughout the day and must reach a unanimous decision if imposing the death penalty.

The jury must weigh each mitigating factor and aggravating factor and must decide if one outweighs the other.

Check back with The Daily Illini for more updates.

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