SCRANTON, Pa. — Jurors have begun hearing arguments on whether a man they convicted in the murder of a guard at a federal prison in Pennsylvania should be executed or be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Jessie Con-ui, 40, was convicted this month of first-degree murder and murder of a correction officer in the February 2013 stabbing death of corrections officer Eric Williams, 34, at the Canaan federal prison in Waymart.

Prosecutors said Williams was stabbed more than 200 times because Con-ui was angry about a search of his cell. They said Con-ui stopped the attack in a prison housing unit to walk over to a shower, clean a cut on his hand and wrap it before continuing, and later paused to chew a piece of gum he took from the dying guard’s pocket. Officers who followed a bloody trail to Con-ui’s cell asked if he killed Williams, and they said he responded, “Yes, disrespect issue.”

Justice Department attorney Robert Feitel cited the brutality of the murder as seen in surveillance video, saying if a picture is worth 1,000 words, “then that video is worth a million.” He also said execution is warranted by the defendant’s extensive criminal history, The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice reported.

Defense attorney David Ruhnke earlier acknowledged the guilt of his client, currently serving 25 years to life for a 2002 gang initiation murder in Arizona, and said the murder was committed without excuse or justification. But on Monday, he showed photos of a younger Con-ui surrounded by family members and argued that sentencing him to death would punish the “good and decent people” who loved him.

“I can do it to him. But can I do it to them?” Runhke told jurors. “This is not a life to throw away. People care.”

The defense cited 57 mitigating factors, saying Con-ui had a difficult childhood, including growing up in a slum in the Philippines, and the death of a young brother. His life took a “downward turn” with drug use starting at 15, his attorney said.

Runhke argued his client is in solitary confinement at a super-maximum security prison in Colorado, restricted to a cell 23 hours of the day, and following his conviction in Williams’ murder will never leave prison.

“This is not a free crime,” Runhke said. “He has no hope of release.”