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 - 10:40 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 Sept. 29, 2009 file photo Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, center, sits for a group photograph at the Supreme Court in Washington. Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court's leading liberal, died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
July 17, 2019 - 8:59 am
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Paul Stevens moved left as the Supreme Court shifted to the right during his nearly 35 years as a justice. That's how the bow-tie wearing Republican from the Midwest emerged as the leader of the high court's liberal wing and a strong proponent of abortion rights, consumer...
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FILE - In this April 30, 2014 file photo, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens prepares to testify on the ever-increasing amount of money spent on elections as he appears before the Senate Rules Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court's leading liberal, died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99. (AP Photo, File)
July 16, 2019 - 11:39 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court's leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99. During nearly 35 years on the court, Stevens...
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Lifeng Ye, the mother of slain University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang, cries out in grief as her husband Ronggao Zhang, far left, addresses the media after a jury found Brendt Christensen guilty of her murder Monday, June 24, 2019 outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Peoria, Ill. Consoling her is her son Zhengyang Zhang, far right, and family friend Dr. Kim Tee. (Matt Dayhoff/Journal Star via AP)
July 05, 2019 - 10:23 am
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal jury that convicted a former University of Illinois doctoral student of kidnapping, torturing and killing a young scholar from China now must decide if Brendt Christensen should be put to death. While the state of Illinois, where she was killed, does not have the death...
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FILE - In this April 17, 2018 file image from video provided by KTHV-TV, a death penalty protester outside the Arkansas governor's mansion in Little Rock prepares to tie rope around Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen who is laying on a cot in protest of executions. Griffen on Monday, June 24, 2019 petitioned the high court, which disqualified him from hearing capital punishment cases, to allow him to handle execution-related cases again. (KTHV/TEGNA Inc. via AP, File)
June 25, 2019 - 12:00 pm
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the governor's mansion two years ago has asked the state Supreme Court to allow him to handle execution-related cases again. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Monday petitioned...
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FILE - This undated file photo provided by The Georgia Department of Corrections shows Marion Wilson Jr. Wilson, convicted of killing an off-duty prison guard in Georgia more than two decades earlier. The state parole board has delayed making a decision in a clemency hearing for Wilson, who is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday, June 20, 2019. (Georgia Department of Corrections via AP, File)
June 20, 2019 - 10:59 pm
JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia inmate convicted of the 1996 shotgun slaying of a man who had agreed to give him and another man a ride outside a Walmart store maintained his innocence before being put to death Thursday. Warden Benjamin Ford pronounced Marion Wilson Jr. dead at 9:52 p.m. at the state...
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FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, South Korean protesters and North Korean defectors hold portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a rally urging the United States to discuss North Korean human rights issues in the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea. The Seoul-based human rights group Transitional Justice Working Group said Tuesday, June 11, 2019, it has carried out research to identify hundreds of sites where witnesses claim North Korea has carried out public executions as it continues to aggressively use the death penalty to intimidate its citizens. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)
June 11, 2019 - 4:49 am
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A human rights group said Tuesday it has identified hundreds of spots where witnesses claim North Korea carried out public executions and extrajudicial state killings as part of an arbitrary and aggressive use of the death penalty that is meant to intimidate its citizens...
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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 - 4:58 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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This undated photo provided by the University of Illinois Police Department shows Yingying Zhang. The parents of the visiting University of Illinois scholar who disappeared two years ago have arrived in Illinois from China for the murder trial of the man accused of abducting and killing her. Former Illinois student Brendt Christensen is charged with Zheng, whose body hasn't been found. He pleaded not guilty and his trial is set to begin Monday, June 3, 2019. (Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP)
June 03, 2019 - 6:45 pm
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge began vetting would-be jurors Monday in the death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois physics student charged with kidnapping, torturing and killing a visiting Chinese scholar. Brendt Christensen, 29, looked on in a dress shirt from a defense table as the...
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Protestors gather outside the Senate Chamber prior to a vote on the death penalty at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday, May 30, 2019. New Hampshire, which hasn't executed anyone in 80 years and has only one inmate on death row, on Thursday became the latest state to abolish the death penalty when the state Senate voted to override the governor's veto. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
May 30, 2019 - 4:14 pm
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire, which hasn't executed anyone in 80 years and has only one inmate on death row, on Thursday became the latest state to abolish the death penalty when the state Senate voted to override the governor's veto. The Senate vote came a week after the 400-member House...
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