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Why do death penalty trials take so long?

Posted at 12:04 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 12:04:13-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Let's take a closer look at what would happen if Jimmy Rodgers is convicted and given the death penalty in the murder of Teresa Sievers in Bonita Springs.

Defense Attorney Spencer Cordell talked to Fox 4 on Monday morning about the challenges of taking a death penalty case to trial.

He says the first challenge is to find "death qualified" jurors to sit on the case. Those are jurors that are willing to consider the death penalty as a possible punishment, and it takes a lot of scrutiny in the jury selection process to find these qualified jurors.

Then, if the suspect is found to be guilty, then the jurors must return for the sentencing phase of the trial, which can take some time as well.

He says that while the jury selection in the Jimmy Rodgers trial is taking a long time, it is not taking longer than expected. However, this trial could exceeded the expected 5-weeks allotted for the trial.