Death penalty controversy

FILE - This file photo provided by the Macon County Sheriff's Office in Decatur, Ill., shows Brendt Christensen. Andrea Christensen, the sister of former University of Illinois student Brendt Christensen who is convicted of killing a Chinese scholar, told a jury, Monday, July 15, 2019, deciding whether he should be executed that he was a "very gentle person" who never raised his voice. (Macon County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
July 17, 2019 - 9:40 pm
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Jurors began deliberating but didn't reach a decision Wednesday on whether a former University of Illinois doctoral student should be put to death for the brutal slaying of a scholar from China he abducted at a bus stop. Brent Christensen's attorney, Elisabeth Pollock, teared up...
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FILE - In this July 3, 2014 file photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan speaks at his home in Kankakee, Ill. The trial of an ex-University of Illinois grad charged with killing a Chinese scholar is the first federal death-penalty trial in Illinois since it abolished the death penalty and some activists aren't happy about it. Former Gov. George Ryan, who took the first step toward abolishing the state's death penalty by placing a moratorium on executions in Illinois in 2000, a year after the state's last execution, said the federal decision to hold a death penalty trial there subverted the will of the majority of the residents. The trial in which openings are set for Wednesday, June 12, highlights the rarity of such cases. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
June 10, 2019 - 5:30 pm
CHICAGO (AP) — A perplexed prospective juror at the trial of a former graduate student charged with kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China said during jury selection last week that she didn't understand how a conviction could carry the death penalty in Illinois when the...
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