Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    19 Jun '19 20:36
    @deepthought said
    Given that he is alleged to have decapitated her and dismembered the body, even with the decapitation post-mortem, there is likely to be plenty of her DNA at his appartment.
    https://news.wttw.com/2019/06/18/closing-arguments-expected-this-week-brendt-christensen-trial

    "Closing Arguments Expected This Week in Death-Penalty Trial of Brendt Christensen"

    "Also expected to take the witness stand for the prosecution this week is an FBI
    expert who will testify that Zhang’s DNA was found inside Christensen’s home,
    on his mattress and on a baseball bat he allegedly used to hit her in the head."
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
    Joined
    27 Oct '04
    Moves
    80542
    19 Jun '19 21:52
    @wajoma said
    Totally opposed on the grounds it is torture, what the human mind must go through the moment they're sentenced to death, then the count down, days, hours, minutes. The role of the state is to protect you from me, and me from you. It is not to torture and torment in the name of some kind of twisted revenge fantasy. People that have a record of not respecting the rights of ot ...[text shortened]... taken from them, they are removed from society where they are likely to cause harm and that is all.
    In the US it's normally years. Back when we had it it was six weeks. I tend to be against the death penalty more on the practical grounds that about 5% of convictions are of innocent people (this figure is one I saw in the Metro a few years ago) and that there is really no satisfactory way of carrying out the sentence. Most capital offences involve murder and the victim went through that process so I see no overarching reason why the murderer shouldn't.

    Thinking about my own likely response to a capital conviction, I imagine a feeling of disassociation on hearing a death sentence passed down. Anxiety, I think, would tend to be more of a problem in the last day or so, after the possibility of reprieve had passed.
  3. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    20 Jun '19 03:151 edit
    @duchess64 said
    https://news.wttw.com/2019/06/18/closing-arguments-expected-this-week-brendt-christensen-trial

    "Closing Arguments Expected This Week in Death-Penalty Trial of Brendt Christensen"

    "Also expected to take the witness stand for the prosecution this week is an FBI
    expert who will testify that Zhang’s DNA was found inside Christensen’s home,
    on his mattress and on a baseball bat he allegedly used to hit her in the head."
    https://news.wttw.com/2019/06/19/former-girlfriend-testifies-brendt-christensen-trial

    "Brendt Christensen Seemed ‘Excited’ and ‘Amused’ by FBI’s Interest, Former Girlfriend Testifies"

    "According to an FBI forensic examiner, the likelihood that DNA found in blood
    recovered from under a carpet in Christensen’s apartment came from anyone
    other than Zhang is 1 in 97 octillion – that’s 97 followed by 27 zeroes.

    Amanda Bakker, an FBI forensic examiner from the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia,
    also testified Wednesday afternoon about DNA testing done throughout Christensen’s apartment.
    She oversaw the tests after DNA recovered on a baseball bat, drywall, a mattress
    and carpeting were sent to her office in 2017."

    The defense has argued that the evidence of Brendt Christiansen often visiting websites
    about abduction and rape fantasies was a mere coincidence. So the defense could
    argue that the DNA was a mere coincidence too.
  4. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    24 Jun '19 21:441 edit
    @duchess64 said
    Most Europeans here seem to regard the death penalty as wrong under all circumstances.
    Most Americans here seem to approve of the death penalty.

    In June 2017, Zhang Yingying, a 26 year old Chinese woman who
    was a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois, disappeared.
    Brendt Christiansen (who had worked at the university) was arrested a few weeks later.
    It's a ...[text shortened]... on time, but less than a life sentence
    E) no prison time (de facto acquittal by jury nullification)
    Brendt Christiansen has been convicted.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48749420

    "Yingying Zhang: US man convicted of Chinese student's death"
    [Note: She was a visiting scholar.]

    "An Illinois jury has found a former PhD student guilty in the kidnap, rape and
    murder of a Chinese student after abducting her at a bus stop."

    "The jury reached their verdict after less than two hours of deliberation."

    https://twitter.com/ByMattMasterson/status/1143243514085629954

    "We have missed Yingying tremendously in the past two years.
    As of today, we still could not imagine how we will live the rest of our lives without her.
    There is no language that can describe our pain and suffering."
    --English translation of Zhang Yingying's father, speaking on behalf of her family

    Brent Christiansen has refused to reveal where he disposed of Zhang Yingying's remains.
  5. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    36002
    25 Jun '19 02:26
    @duchess64 said
    Brendt Christiansen has been convicted.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48749420

    "Yingying Zhang: US man convicted of Chinese student's death"
    [Note: She was a visiting scholar.]

    "An Illinois jury has found a former PhD student guilty in the kidnap, rape and
    murder of a Chinese student after abducting her at a bus stop."

    "The jury reached their verdi ...[text shortened]... er family

    Brent Christiansen has refused to reveal where he disposed of Zhang Yingying's remains.
    So when is his sentencing date?
  6. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    25 Jun '19 02:31
    @suzianne said
    So when is his sentencing date?
    8 July 2019
  7. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    36002
    25 Jun '19 10:49
    @duchess64 said
    8 July 2019
    Will there be sentencing hearings, where the victim's family can speak out?

    Probably the week before, since the 8th is a Monday.
  8. Joined
    23 Nov '11
    Moves
    23545
    25 Jun '19 12:48
    @mchill it's far cheaper to keep someone in prison for life with no parole than to execute them. does this change your opinion?
    https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/which-is-cheaper-execution-or-life-in-prison-without-parole-31614
  9. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    25 Jun '19 17:582 edits
    @suzianne said
    Will there be sentencing hearings, where the victim's family can speak out?

    Probably the week before, since the 8th is a Monday.
    I don't know if the Zhang family will be allowed to make a victim impact statement.
    The defense presumably would object.

    Zhang Yingying was an only child, and her parents lost their future.
    They are sincere in saying they don't know how they will go on.

    Her family wants to bring her remains home to China. The murderer
    has shown no remorse and refused to reveal where he hid her remains.

    The victim's family would prefer the death penalty. But it is rare in
    the USA for any white person to be
    executed for killing only non-white people,
    no matter what the circumstances.

    By the way, Brendt Christiansen reportedly approached a young white
    woman shortly before he abducted and raped Zhang Yingying.
    If she had been his.victim instead, perhaps a death sentence would be more likely.

    So far, I have not noticed any significant mitigating evidence.
    The defense claims that the murderer had troubles in his marriage
    and felt anxious.or depressed.
    So abduction, rape, torture, and murder was supposed to make him feel better.

    In the midst of all the concern here about how much the murderer
    will suffer if he is sentenced to death,
    Westerners seem to overlook how much the victim and her family have suffered.
  10. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    25 Jun '19 19:22
    @phranny said
    @mchill it's far cheaper to keep someone in prison for life with no parole than to execute them. does this change your opinion?
    https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/which-is-cheaper-execution-or-life-in-prison-without-parole-31614
    I would like to distinguish between philosophical and other objections to the death penalty.
    The cost of the legal appeals process in the USA is not a philosophical objection.
  11. Joined
    23 Nov '11
    Moves
    23545
    25 Jun '19 20:18
    @duchess64 said
    I would like to distinguish between philosophical and other objections to the death penalty.
    The cost of the legal appeals process in the USA is not a philosophical objection.
    I am morally opposed to the death penalty under any circumstances. Solitary confinement is also an issue in the U.S. While I understand there may be justifiable reasons to briefly place someone in solitary confinement, in the U.S. there are cases where people have been in isolation for years. This is torture. I am not a psychiatrist and so cannot give a reasonable length of time someone might be safely placed in isolation. It certainly should not be weeks, months and years.
  12. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    25 Jun '19 20:311 edit
    @phranny said
    I am morally opposed to the death penalty under any circumstances. Solitary confinement is also an issue in the U.S. While I understand there may be justifiable reasons to briefly place someone in solitary confinement, in the U.S. there are cases where people have been in isolation for years. This is torture. I am not a psychiatrist and so cannot give a reasonable length of ...[text shortened]... ime someone might be safely placed in isolation. It certainly should not be weeks, months and years.
    Does Phranny condemn Israel's execution of Adolf Eichmann?

    So far, I have noticed people asserting that they oppose or support the death penalty.
    I have not noticed many people explaining why much beyond a vague generality like 'moral reasons'.

    I have yet to be completely convinced by any of these common arguments against
    or for the death penalty. These arguments seem based upon inaccurate factual
    claims or subjective value judgments (with which I don't necessarily agree).

    Here are some common arguments against the death penalty:
    1) All human life is sacred. (Subjective value judgment.)
    2) An innocent person could be executed. (Not applicable in this case.)
    3) Execution is too cruel or inhumane. (Subjective value judgment.)
    4) The death penalty is too costly (legal appeals) to enforce. (Should justice be based on money?)
    5) The death penalty is unfairly applied to due to biases of class, race, or gender.
    (A rich white woman is much less likely than a poor black man to be executed.)
    This is true, but it's a societal problem rather than a basic philosophical one.

    Here are some common arguments for the death penalty:
    1) 'An eye for any eye' justice is a moral precept. (Subjective value judgment.)
    2) The death penalty deters the worst crimes. (Statistically dubious or false.)
    3) Some crimes are so horrible that the criminals deserve to be executed. (Subjective value judgment.)
    4) People should not have to pay taxes to keep the worst criminals alive. (Should justice be based on money?)
  13. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    29 Jun '19 00:08
    https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2019/6/26/18760423/brendt-christensen-yingying-zhang-murder-death-penalty-life-sentence

    "Lawyers for convicted murderer said client offered to locate Chinese scholar’s body"

    "Legal observers had expected Christensen to use the whereabouts of Zhang’s
    remains as a bargaining chip to get federal prosecutors to abandon any push for
    the death penalty. But there was no word he tried that until now."

    Zhang Yingying's family has said that they respect the prosecutors' decisions.
    Given that Brendt Christiansen has blatantly lied so often, the family said that it
    was wary that he would not be truthful about disclosing the victim's remains.

    "She’s never going to be found. She’s gone forever."
    --Brendt Christiansen (boasting to his girlfriend about how he disposed of his victim's remains)

    "The family statement says “nothing has ever stopped the Defendant from
    pleading guilty” and sparing the family the anguish of a trial."

    In my view, Brendt Christiansen's only concern is saving himself from execution.
    He cares nothing about the suffering of Zhang Yingying's family.
  14. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    29 Jun '19 22:16
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/eric-zorn/ct-column-brendt-christensen-yingying-zhang-death-penalty-extortion-20190628-6p3wftd3qvfqlfbmgxsvqmkvwe-story.html

    "Don’t reward Yingying Zhang’s killer for hiding her body"
    --Eric Zorn

    "Christensen, 29, admitted through his lawyers that he abducted 26-year-old Yingying Zhang,
    then raped and savagely murdered her in his apartment in Urbana in 2017.
    Her body has not been found, and Christensen appears intent on using its
    location as a chit to bargain for a lesser sentence.

    And yes, extortion of this sort pales in gravity to the heinous crime he committed,
    but it is an additional, aggravating offense nevertheless, one that causes additional,
    gratuitous pain to his victim’s family.

    Assuming that prosecutors don’t take Christensen up on this vile offer and that his sentencing
    hearing begins on schedule July 8, Christensen’s attorneys don’t want it mentioned."

    "It does seem, though, that the jury ought to be reminded somehow that Christensen
    is willing to continue inflicting pain on others in an effort to save his own life."

    How many Americans can really empathize with the victim's family?
  15. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    06 Jul '19 02:38
    @suzianne said
    Will there be sentencing hearings, where the victim's family can speak out?

    Probably the week before, since the 8th is a Monday.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3017510/trial-chinese-scholar-zhang-yingyings-killer-brendt-christensen-moves

    "Will Chinese scholar Zhang Yingying’s killer Brendt Christensen get the death penalty?
    Here’s how jury will decide"

    "Zhang’s parents, for instance, are expected to testify about how their daughter’s
    death has devastated their lives. … Both parents have said they want death for Christensen.
    But jurors are not supposed to vote for a death sentence out of sympathy for or
    to give comfort to the family."

    Even if Brendt Christiansen is sentenced to death, then it's most likely that he
    would not be executed until decades from now, if ever.
Back to Top