Degorski has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a trial date.

For juror Stephen Koch, 26, there was never any doubt about Luna's guilt or whether he deserved the death penalty. "The defense never even put a doubt in my mind. All roads led to Juan Luna," said Koch, standing on the front steps of his Schaumburg home.

Koch said the majority of the jury wasn't disappointed in not getting the death penalty. "We wanted to lock him away from the general public, from his family, from having any kind of real life," he said.

The most convincing piece of evidence for Koch was Luna's palm print found on a napkin in the restaurant. The defense had no way to discredit this evidence, Koch said. But DNA evidence on a discarded chicken bone and a videotaped confession Luna made after his 2002 arrest were unquestionable as well, Koch said.

Koch said the holdout juror had strong feelings against imposing the death penalty, primarily because Luna had a 10- year-old son.

Beltran, the youngest member of the jury, said he was initially skeptical of two key prosecution witnesses, Eileen Bakalla and Anne Lockett, who testified that Luna and Degorski told them they had committed the crimes. Bakalla had known Luna and Degorski since high school, and Lockett had been Degorski's girlfriend. The two women testified that they kept mum about the murders for nine years because Luna and Degorski had threatened them.

But Beltran said other evidence helped lend credibility to their claims. "When their testimony is in sync with his confession, you have to give it some credit," Beltran said.

Before the jurors weighed their decision, they heard final pleas from lawyers for the prosecution and the defense.

As he asked jurors to spare his client, Burch said the man's family will have to "live with the shame on the name of Luna."

'Lean toward life'

"I'm asking you to lean toward life, lean toward life because justice has been served," Burch said. "Death is not the answer, taking life for a life. ... Temper justice with mercy. I'm pleading with you to express mercy."

During the prosecution's rebuttal, Cassidy displayed the pictures of the seven victims on a screen. He told jurors to leave sympathy for the victims as well as for Luna out of their decision.

"You know as you sit here today that this man, Juan Luna, slaughtered seven people. He did it. You know he did it. Now he's asking for mercy," Cassidy said.