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What are the stages of a death penalty case?

Posted at 8:42 AM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 08:42:23-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If the judge in the Mark Sievers case is correct and they do get back on track Tuesday, jury selection should wrap up Wednesday.

That's when we'll hear opening statements.

There's a lot that will go into this trial, especially with the death penalty on the table. Here's what you can expect from what will likely be a weeks-long process.

After jury selection, both sides will make their opening statements.

This is a very important part of the trial process. It will serve as a road map for the trial, giving the jury a preview of what they can expect as they move forward.

The prosecution will likely present their case first. It will be up to them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant -- in this case, Mark Sievers, is guilty.

During this time, they will present evidence and call their witnesses, who will be cross examined by Sievers' attorney. Among the people on the witness list are Teresa Sievers' mom and sister; and Curtis Wright, who is Mark's best friend, who's admitted to helping murder Teresa. He took a plea deal and is expected to serve 25 years in prison.

Wright's wife is also expected to testify.

And finally, the defense will present their case. It will be up to them to challenge the evidence presented by the other side, and convince the jury that Sievers is innocent. They will also call their own witnesses who will once again be cross examined by the prosecutor.

Once both sides present their case, they will get a chance to make closing arguments, which will sum up their case. This will also allow them to speak to the jury for a final time before deliberations, which could take anywhere from several hours to several days.

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