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Jury to decide if Mark Sievers gets life in prison or death penalty for wife’s murder

In a matter of days, Mark Sievers will learn his fate after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder for planning his wife’s brutal killing — Dr. Teresa Sievers. A jury will determine if he will spend life in prison or be subjected to the death penalty.

We looked at what will be different about court proceedings during the penalty phase compared to the how the trial phase was conducted.

First, there will be similarities between the trial and this next phase. It will be the same attorneys and the same jurors back in the courtroom. But this round will likely focus more on the people involved in the crime.

Mark Sievers was found guilty of plotting his wife’s murder by a jury after four hours of testimony deliberation. The next phase decides his punishment.

“Most of it is about emotion,” said Erica Baer, a former jury consultant who now works at FGCU.

Baer said the next phase could see fewer detailed pieces of evidence, since it’s no longer about whether or not Mark is guilty. Instead, it’s about whether he should be put to death for having his wife murdered.

“The state’s going to focus on the victim and how her death has impacted so many other people in the community, her family, really trying to pull the heartstrings of the jury,” Baer said. “And the defense is going to do the same thing. Except, they’ll talk about Mark Sievers. He’s a father; he has family; he has ties to the community as well.”

The penalty phase for Mark Sievers is scheduled in Lee County court next Tuesday.

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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