Zhang Yingyings boyfriend attended the court hearing: She was the best girl I ever met (Source:)
On July 8, local time, the sentencing trial of Zhang Yingying, a Chinese visitor to the United States, officially began. The prosecution cited eight reasons for calling for the death penalty of the suspect Christensen, while the defense tried to persuade 12 jurors by offering 54 light sentences.
On the morning of the first day of sentencing, Judge Shadide presided over the hearings of lawyers from both sides on the latest motion and made some decisions, including rejecting the defense lawyers motion to exclude Zhang Yingyings classmates, friends and teachers from video testimony. Lawyer Wang Zhidong, Zhangjias legal adviser, said the judge also allowed Zhang Yingyings mother to testify via video because she was often emotionally unstable.
In the afternoon of the formal trial, the prosecution made the opening remarks first. Lawyer Nielsen quoted Zhang Yingyings diary and wrote down the last sentence, Life is too short to be ordinary as the opening remark. Then, he listed eight facts of re-conviction, including the suspects deliberate crime, cruel crime, Zhang Yingyings poor English, more willing to believe that the police, her petite body is the ideal victim, and so on. He said the suspects crime deserves special punishment and asked the jury to sentence him to death.
After that, the prosecution also needs to prove a series of aggravating factors, the most important of which is that Zhang Yingyings death caused great pain to her family.
Defense lawyer Bryan said at the beginning of his opening remarks: Whatever the jurys decision, the suspect will die in prison, whether by natural death or by execution. He will be severely punished, as determined by your previous guilty verdict. Brian then introduced the witnesses, evidence and testimony to be issued by the defence, as well as 54 mitigation facts or reasons for exemption from the death penalty, including his alcoholic mother, no criminal record, and no reasonable treatment at the University of Illinois Consulting Center.
Subsequently, witnesses testified in court. The first three witnesses of the prosecution were FBI language experts, who had been responsible for verifying whether the testimony provided by Zhang Yingyings family and friends was accurately translated. Court information shows that they were both born in China, have received professional language training in both China and the United States, and are currently full-time employees of the FBI.
Zhang Yingyings boyfriend, Hou Xiaolin, was emotional when he testified. He said Zhang Yingying was the best girl he had ever seen. He said the couple had planned to get married in 2017.
Then, the court broadcast interviews recorded by four of Zhang Yingyings classmates and good friends, who described her as spiritual freedom and warm-hearted. One of the friends said that she was very excited about a womans pregnancy and talked about becoming a mother one day and other testimonies. The picture of Zhang Yingying singing Avrils famous song Complicated, which was played at the prayer meeting before, was reappeared. Zhang Father looked closely at her daughters face, and Zhang Yingyings brother left halfway due to excessive sadness.
Judge Shaddid said he would tell the jurors in his guidance to try to reach an agreement (whether death penalty or life imprisonment) and he would later decide on the final jury guidance. Zhang Yingyings father and brother will testify in court on Tuesday, and the suspects father will testify this week.
Zhang Yingyings singing video was shown in court: her father rushed forward to watch the murderers expressionless face
At the sentencing court hearing on July 8, the prosecution broadcast a video of Zhang Yingying singing in the activities of Peking University. Her father immediately rushed to the screen and watched it carefully. Her brother came out of court to calm down, and many people wept in the audience. But Christensen was expressionless. Zhang Yingyings boyfriend said that she had been volunteering for two years. Her dream is also my dream.