Oct 31, 2010

Another Juror dismissed in Hayes Trial

Good article in Crime and Consequences regarding Judge Blue's decision to dismiss this latest juror in the Hayes Sentencing Trial.

There seems to have been a deluge of Juror dismissals, and earlier in the proceedings, excusals, within this trial, ultimately discretionary decisions of Judge Blue that have had many law professionals shaking their heads, marveling at the Judges seeming willingness to let Jurors go much too easily. (considering that too few jurors could result in a mistrial - of one of Connecticut's highest profile murder cases.)

Update Nov 1st: Unbelievable. There was yet another incident today that appeared to threaten an alternate juror in the Hayes sentencing trial; This time however, Judge Blue decided that the juror, who apparently tried to send a love- note to one of the Marshal's in the Court, could stay, despite showing a terrible lack of judgement."

Joshua Komisarjevsky's Journal: More Self-Serving Manipulation

Komisarjevsky;s "Journal"

I read these writings in their entirety about a week ago and was so disgusted that I wasn't even going to address them on my blog. I didn't want to give any credence to what I knew was simply more self serving fodder for the masses c/o J. Komisarjevsky.

Although this time it was brought to our attention via Hayes attorneys' who were using it as " the other guy is the real sicko here defense" we've been down this road before.

I watched as the media got a hold of "the writings" and predictably used them as sensationalistially as was humanly possible. Last week, I actually heard a newscaster say " after this commercial, a sneak peek into the mind of a killer" Ugh. I wanted to throw my shoe at the T.V set - Disgusted, I settled for changing the channel.

I was wondering when the media was going to completely abandon the uncharacteristic restraint that they'd been showing until just about that point in the Trial's proceedings. I sincerely believe that at first many journalists and even media execs were genuinely traumatized by the facts of the case as the trial began and the horrors were unveiled. But as the shock has worn off, some of the media have begun to sink to their usual depths- for ratings, no matter how ugly it gets.

Almost worse than the sensationalism however, are the pundits/ journalists/bloggers who are actually taking this guys writings for face value "analyzing" them as if they were the genuine article. This is a man who has already proven himself to be a facile liar, utterly disingenuous and a master manipulator. Many of us within the state recall all too well another occasion involving Komisarjevsky and his "writings" and the pain and anger that they caused;

Two years after the crimes and in the middle of a gag order on the case, Komisrajevsky managed to dupe some writer into believing that his version of events regarding the assaults and murders of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit, were the complete and unquestionable truth.

The writer Brain Macdonald, even narrated portions of "the book" that Komisarjevsky had spoon-fed him re the night of the crimes, as if they were FACT. The "story" (and it was just that- a story) was not responsibly framed within a context such as "This is a man who is a career felon, has all of the earmarks of ant-social personality disorder, and awaits trial for rape of a child and capital murder. He CLAIMS that this is what happened on the night of the Petit family murders: Please take it with a grain of salt, as it has not been corroborated by any witnesses or facts from the case, forensic or otherwise." That would have been a bit more responsible

The book also happened to violate the aforementioned gag order that had been placed on the case by Judge Fasono, an order that brought the Hartford Courant to court in an attempt to fight it. The gag was supposed to apply to the lawyers, prosecutors as well as the two defendants.

At the time, survivor William Petit also believed that he as a witness was also bound by the order, but as it turned out he was not. In any event he adhered to it and refrained from discussing details of the case for two years.

Without exception, every key point in Komisarjvsky's version of the crimes within the book, especially as they related to his criminal culpability, has subsequently been proven false, either through forensic evidence and/or expert or witness testimony, all presented within the State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes..

A portion of the " Journal and "writings" found "hidden" in Komsiarjevskys cell, included drafts of letters to that same author presumably for the purposes of inclusion in the illegally procured book. Now I believe the writings serve multiple purposes. This guy, like his pal Hayes, is a slippery conniver, albeit substantially more intelligent despite the various misspellings scattered throughout the writings.

Even these mispellings should be taken with a grain of salt, for it could easily be that Komisarjevsky purposely threw in misspellings in an attempt to appear less intelligent, for as an illiterate he is less likely to be viewed as imposing or threatening, and he might garner some sympathy from the many naive folks who are simply not familiar with The Anti-Social personality disorder and the pervasive patterns of deceitfulness and manipulation that is the fabric of their very being.

The reason I mention the misspellings at all is because I once read two letters that Komisarjevsky had written two female friend one the mother of his child, during his last prison stint for a group of 22 House break-ins (home invasions by definition as most of them occurred at night while the homeowners were asleep in the house) Those letters reflected a very articulate and intelligent Komisarjevsky, and interestingly, they contained minimal spelling errors.

In any event to those of us really paying close attention, it was clear that Macdonalds "book" was nothing more than another self- serving tool for Komisarjevsky who merely using what was available, some writer who approached him about a book about the crimes, which he quickly saw as an opportunity to re-write the Petit family rapes and murders, naturally portraying Hayes as the really bad guy, and certainly the culpable party for all of the capital crimes.
What a surprise.

As well the book was to serve as explanation- in -advance for what Komisarjevsky knew would likely be very damning DNA evidence of his sexual assault of 11 year old Michaela Petit.
As soon as I read his version of his supposed sexual dealings with Michaela in an excerpt of that book, I said to myself ' this guy is trying to set up some alternate plausible scenario other than actual rape, for how his semen wound up in 11 year old Michala Petit's body.

Komisarjevsky's explanation for his semi-nude cellphone photos of a tied up 11 year old Michaela Petit only illustrated the ludicrous depths that he would go to within that excuse making;
In the book and the 'Journal" Komisarjevsky claimed that he took the cell phone photos for purposes of " later blackmailing Dr Petit with them"
This is where the writer might have said.. 'um... excuse me, WHAT!!!?"

As a writer, at that moment, everything that this guy had told me so far about the night of these crimes, would have been crumpled up and at the bottom of my garbage.
But MacDonald wasn't me, and not only did he present this spoon fed version of the crimes as fact but someone actually published this garbage despite the gag order on the case, and despite a groundswell of protest from all over the community and the state, and with the help of one misdirected and stubborn library director, the book actually found its way onto the shelves of The Cheshire Public library.

It was obvious that komisarjevsky spent some time desperately trying to wrangle up any possible excuse for the despicable photo's, other than the obvious truth which was that he was a pedophile predator, he sexually assaulted an 11 year old who he targeted specifically for this crime. He wanted to keep memories of the assault alive with photos, so that he might re-live it over and over again long after he'd killed her.

I instinctively knew that there was not a single piece of information that Komisarjevsky "shared" without a specific purpose. Even the fact that it appeared as if he were giving enough self-damning information to be telling the truth about everything, this too had its own clear ulterior motive. None of the so -called facts that Komisarjevsky shared hadn't already been discovered one way or another either directly through evidence, witnesses, or pieces of either man's statements to the Cheshire Police. I also noticed a distinct trend in that book of addressing key points that were particularly damning to him and or both men, which has made it to the media before the court's gag order had been imposed.

By the time Komisarjevsky has re-written them, without fail his culpability disappears, and it was always someone Else's fault, even blaming his own victim William Petit at various points, for not somehow recouping from the baseball bat blugeoning he gave him, in order to save his family!

Again, this is classic Sociopath behavior, they often blame their victims, even the victims who die. In a clear attempt to deflect guilt, komisrajevsky goes after the one victim who basically screwed everything up for him, by surviving to tell the tale and testify.

It is clear that this guy fully intended this" journal" and other " writings" to be "found", and indeed he tailored each word for effect. He is the consummate Sociopath and as such, being highly manipulative and deceitful is as natural to him as breathing. These qualities reside within his very core, where most people possess a soul. This same soullessness is also due to a very distinct lack of human conscience. This is not to say that Sociopaths cannot feign a conscience, (ie his laments regarding killing Michaela Petit, which sound as if he is remorseful) they can, and often will, especially when doing so will garner them something that they want or need:

In this particular case, a less severe sentence would be Komisarjevsky's goal, He and his lawyers know exactly where this must start - in the court of public opinion which happens to also include Komisraejsvsky's jury pool.
Thus, the "book, and now "the journal and the writings."

This lack of conscience is why "normal people" cannot wrap their heads around crimes that this breed of criminal often commits. People struggle and struggle to find some reasonable scenario or explanation regarding how or why a terrible crime or set of crimes- were committed by someone especially if that someone doesn't look or sound like a monster.. And they can't because they are using a mindset that includes a healthy conscience and a regard for other human beings.

Sociopaths have no such "impairments", as they would see it. Komisarjevsky recognizes this need in others however and these writings are his way of exploiting this natural human trait. Very much the same way that he used Jennifer Petit's trusting nature to extract what he wanted from her, (money), knowing full well he would be extinguishing her family's lives no matter her compliance.

Komisarjevskys Jounral and Writings/BEWARE :HIGHLY MANIPULATIVE

For Some Jurors, Life Can Be A Trial When The Court Case Is Over

More heartbreaking details Re Petit murders Revealed by Psychiatrist who interviewed Hayes

Oct 29, 2010

Testimony Paints Ugly Picture Of Hayes’ Violent Side

Steven Hayes once threatened to kill a Corrections Officer, stating he had nothing to lose since he was already going to be on death row, a retired prison official testified on Monday.

Frederick Levesque testified earlier this week during the penalty phase for Hayes' trial. Hayes has already been found guilty on 16 separate counts, included capitol felony murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison without parole, or execution. Hayes' defense team is trying to portray him as a non-violent offender and “a likeable guy” who was addicted to drugs and couldn't seem to get out of his own way, while, at the same time, endeavoring to paint co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky as the one who escalated the violence during the 2007 home invasion in Cheshire that left three people dead. Levesque testified that Hayes pled guilty to threatening the officer's life and had privileges, such as visitors and recreation time, suspended for 20 days.

The prosecution brought up the incident as a way to show the jury Hayes could be violent and a threat to others, if incarcerated for the rest of his life. Additionally, Levesque theorized that if Hayes did receive life in prison, he would be separated from the rest of the inmates and could have access to certain privileges, such as television, air conditioning, and educational programs.
Hayes was convicted on Oct. 5 for the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. Dr. William Petit was beaten with a baseball bat but managed to escape the family's home as it erupted into flames. The same jury that found Hayes guilty on 16 of 17 counts now must decide if he lives or dies. The only two outcomes in this penalty phase is life in prison without parole or lethal injection.

Closing arguments are expected in the case Monday morning and the jury could begin weighing the latest testimony as soon as that afternoon.

Prosecutors also brought up an incident from Hayes' past incarcerations, this one from 1986, when he told a corrections official, "I'm going to rip your heart out." He was acquitted of those charges, but charged with creating a disturbance. Hayes has spent most of his adult life in and out of Connecticut prisons for various crimes.

A renowned clinical and forensic psychologist testified on Tuesday that Hayes would not be a risk if he was given a life sentence. Dr. Mark Cunningham said that, based on his prison history, age, and the fact that he received a GED, Hayes would not be violent behind bars. From 1989 to 1999, Hayes received 20 disciplinary tickets while in prison. From 2000 to 2008, he received five. In 1990, Hayes was involved in a fight and, in 1992, an inmate assault, Cunningham testified.

Hayes' defense team also asked Cunningham to complete a violence risk assessment for their client. Cunningham visited Hayes in prison in May for four hours and also reviewed relevant documents. It was his opinion that, if given a life sentence, Hayes wouldn't be violent or a risk to other inmates or prison officials and, just because he committed murder outside of prison, it didn't mean he would be violent inside.

Also testifying was another psychiatrist who interviewed Hayes and spoke about his reported suicide attempts. His testimony included comments that Hayes wanted to "look like a monster" and show no remorse so the jury would sentence him to death. The prosecution tried to cast a shadow of doubt over the suicide attempts, asking experts if they were genuine or an effort to gain leniency from the jury.

Officials say Connecticut's bail system in need of major reforms

"Bondsmen and state officials say the state's bail industry is not protecting the public. While dangerous felons walk free from prison, homeless drug addicts remain in their cells until their cases are disposed of."

Two Views of Steven Hayes

Even his own brother would not defend the Cheshire killer.

Steven J. Hayes has been convicted of killing three members of a Connecticut family.
“Steven’s pattern of conniving goes back to early childhood,” Matthew Hayes said in a letter read in court on Thursday for a jury that must decide whether to sentence his brother, Steven J. Hayes, to death for murdering three members of the Petit family in Cheshire, Conn., in July 2007.

The description in Matthew Hayes’s letter, written to the police shortly after the killings, fits the prosecution’s portrayal of the defendant, who was convicted this month of capital murder, as a con man so skillful at manipulation that the remorse he expressed could not be trusted.

The defense, on the other hand, presented testimony on Thursday describing Mr. Hayes as a shattered man, in prison and trying to make sense of his involvement in a home invasion and the three murders for which he stands convicted. “He can’t live with himself,” a psychiatrist hired by the defense testified.

The warring descriptions of Mr. Hayes, now 47, came on one of the final days of testimony. The jury that convicted him on Oct. 5 is expected to begin deliberations on his sentence next week.

The psychiatrist called by the defense, Dr. Eric Goldsmith, brought a maudlin quiet to the courtroom as he described in detail the bottomless feelings of guilt he said Mr. Hayes had revealed. He said Mr. Hayes was in a perpetual struggle to understand his acts: “I think about how it could have happened, I don’t have an answer,” he quoted Mr. Hayes as saying.

Dr. Goldsmith said that in long prison interviews, Mr. Hayes portrayed his codefendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, who is to be tried later, as lying to push him to kill and rape the mother of the family, Jennifer Hawke-Petit. In his interviews, Dr. Goldsmith said, Mr. Hayes told him that he had sexually assaulted Ms. Hawke-Petit after he had strangled her.

He read from a note Mr. Hayes wrote before a drug overdose in January that may have been a suicide attempt: “All I want to do is die.”

“Although I am not the monster that Josh is,” the note continued, “I am one nevertheless.”

In the defense portrait, Mr. Hayes would suffer through decades of remorse if sentenced to life in prison. But in the prosecution portrait, Mr. Hayes was staging an elaborate show to avoid a death sentence.

The prosecutors had the letter from Matthew Hayes read aloud.

Matthew Hayes, two years younger than Steven, wrote that his brother had always been violent. In listing childhood offenses, he included Steven’s pushing his hand into a flame and pressing a revolver to his head. Steven was good at passing the blame to others, the letter said, adding that even early on, Steven had a “masterful skill of manipulating emotion.” Those who believe him “are his victims,” the letter said.

Matthew Hayes wrote about years in which his brother was arrested and imprisoned, and he said he had little sympathy for explanations that psychological forces were at work.

Matthew Hayes noted that he had come from the same family, broken by divorce, but had chosen a different path.

“Steven is not sick,” he said in the letter. “Steven is cunning and calculating.”

He made a point of noting that Mr. Hayes’s family had no need to get involved in the case against him. “There is enough to hang him without any family involvement,” he wrote.

But, he added in the letter, there was no way to avoid the pain of the case. “As the family of this monster,” he wrote, “we all have to live with the nightmares.”

Oct 24, 2010

Death Penalty Exhibit Raises Questions About Cheshire Home Invasion

The excerpt below taken from an article about a new Death Penalty exhibit in New London, speaks volumes about the emotional juxtaposition that many people, particularly within this state, have found themselves in concerning the Petit family murders.

The portion of the interview shown in italics below, is a perfect example of why I myself continue to ask people, who are against the death penalty or who unwittingly or otherwise lobby for lenience for violent criminal offenders , .What if this were your family who were victimized and murdered in this brutal, cruel and tortuous way?

A perfect example of this philosophical quandary can be found in within the comments section of a recent post of mine; I was having a bit of a tete a tete' with an anonymous commenter who took particular offense to my asking them the aforementioned question within some back and forth comments about the Hayes trial.

Well suffice to say that the question certainly got the readers attention; They took offense to my merely suggesting this hypothetical question - a legitimate question which truthfully was designed to hopefully illicit an empathetic reflex. And perhaps, through this simple, though monumental change in vantage point, pull them out of their comfortable armchair intellectualizing and contraryism, and balance this off with some genuine human empathy; put yourself in these victims shoes-literally!
Needless to say, it didn't have the effect I'd hoped for. After a counter comment that began with a litany of the equivalent of' ha ha and you're wrong about everything", came the real rub- something akin to: '" and don't you think its rather mean to ask me how I would feel if this were my family?!" they demanded, clearly disturbed and insulted by my daring to pose this question.

My answer was a resounding no. No, I don't think that it's "mean" at all. I feel now as I felt then, that this question, although uncomfortable, is not only pertinent and valid, but indeed it is mandatory, an integral part of the individual and en masse soul searching that should be required when considering such essential questions as what serves as justice for those who are proven guilty of our commmunity's most heinous and cruel murders.

I never answered them back after their last comment as I saw that it was clearly a futile pursuit with this particular reader, but I had I answered I would have explained that I asked the question in order to provoke a empathetic response from the reader; I wanted him/her to literally put themself in the shoes of the Petit family victims, and not for a nano second- Honestly and thouroughly contemplate it, imagine it, feel it, and then, then expouse your views. For only after doing this, can you truly come from a place that is valid.
This is what empathy is. It is not pity, it is not even compassion, but rather it is putting yourself in the sufferers place. And this is the only way that insight can happen.

Clearly from this article, the woman that runs this death penalty exhibit has done this,, she has put herself in Jennifer Hawke-Petit shoes, as well as sole survivor Bill Petit, and as you can read for yourselves below, despite having differnet views than I do she at least speaks from her heart as well as her head about some very mixed feelings she's had as a result of this journey.

New haven sunday Oct. 23 210 CT Now

Her opposition is clear,it is in the tone of the entire exhibit: And yet, as soon as she explains that, she concedes that the brutality for which Hayes was recently convicted and now faces death has challenged that belief.

"It violated everything that is dear to human life," she said of the 2007 crimes when I visited the center. "A wife, a mother, daughters, innocent young women."

We've been talking about that for months, haven't we? And by now, we've said this several times: The Cheshire home invasion and murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11, has changed a lot of minds about the death penalty.

As a recent poll showed, even people who are otherwise opposed to state-sanctioned killing wouldn't mind seeing Hayes dead. More than a few have volunteered to see to it themselves.

"Crime happens every day. We know that," Mijoba said. "But this has been something that is so totally unnatural, so random that it makes us think, 'Oh my god,' it could have been any of us, it could have been our families.

"And when we think like that, we own a piece of it and we almost can't help but react to it the way we have."

Standing there, in the middle of a center surrounded by the perspective of history and time, Mijoba admits it's easy to hold tight to convictions, to intellectualize and philosophize about the morality of the death penalty.

Distance has a way of making such certainty easy.

But, Mijoba wondered: Could anyone really know how they would react until they were confronted with kind of agonizing loss Dr. William Petit Jr., the lone survivor, has had to face?

It's been the undercurrent of this whole trial: Should a horror as unimaginable as the cold-hearted destruction of a family change your views on life and death itself?

As I've said repeatedly, I've long been against the death penalty as an unworkable solution. But when you sit in that New Haven courtroom day after day listening to one horrifying detail after another, it's nearly impossible not to question those beliefs.

"You can't help but think, what if it were my husband, my kids," Mijoba said. "What if someone walked into my home and destroyed life as I knew it. Would I be strong enough to hold onto my convictions?"

Death Penalty Exhibit Raises Questions About Cheshire Home Invasion

Oct 19, 2010

Search Results Poll * October 13, 2010 * Connecticut Voters Back Death - Quinnipiac University – Hamden, Connecticut

Quinnipiac's latest Poll regarding the death penalty makes it very clear what the people of Connecticut want - Remember this when voting for our new Governor; Tom Foley supports the death penalty and Dan Malloy does not.

Since the Ct. legislature saw fit to pass a bill to abolish the DP just last year, before Governor Rell proceeded to veto it, we can be assured that will re-introduce the bill next year. This means that once again the fate of the death penalty as a prosecutorial option, will lie in the hands of whichever Governor is elected into office this coming November.

Connecticut has managed to vote for Republican Governors for over 15 years, yet the majority of our lawmakers in the State senate and house have long tipped the scales heavy as Democrats. It is this balance that I believe has kept the legislature from running amuck in liberalism gone to the furthest extreme.

Dan Malloy, is a former prosecutor but don't be fooled, in many superior courts it means very little in this state, beyond being a plea deal maker, favor swapper )Malloy, mayor of Stamford for years, has stated that he will not veto an abolishment bill if the legislature takes anothere shot at the bill .

 Malloy is in fact against the death penalty in his own personal ideology, which of course will unwittingly become ours, if he becomes Connecticut's next Governor.

The men who kidnapped raped assaulted and ultimately murdered Jennifer Hayley and Michaela Petit will never get the death penalty if Malloy is voted in as Governor. He states,with his finger in the political winds, that although yes the death penalty might become abolished once he's Governor, that the two men, if given the death penalty, will still be subject to execution because the DP was in effect when they committed the crimes and at least Hayes was convicted while the DP was still capital punishment in this state.

(Komisarjevsky, the second defendant to be tried is not scheduled to be tried until next year and as such the Death penalty might be rescinded by then-IF Dan Malloy becomes Governor.

The next legislative session is in January, giving the mostly democratic legislature plenty of time to re-introduce the abolition bill and pass it, as it passed last year by fairly substantial margins, in the house and slightly less so in the Senate.

Komisarjevsky will not be tried by the next legislative session, which means that if the death penalty is voted out again and M alloy is Governor,Komisarjevsky in particular will never see an execution. Any decent lawyer could and would easily argue that the penalty wasn't in effect when he was convicted( and he will be convicted) therefore he cannot be put to death, but rather will receive life in prison without parole, which will be the NEW CAPITAL PUNISHMENT for our state, if Dan Malloy is elected Governor..

We can avoid all of this by simply voting for Tom Foley for Governor: he has made it very clear that he both supports the Death Penalty and WILL VETO any bill that is passed by the Connecticut legislature to abolish the death penalty, as they did just last year. I also find him to be a better all around candidate and considerably more likable and trustworthy.

Dan Malloy reeks of arrogance, the same kind of arrogance that allowed our criminal justice system to set loose two inmates with over 50 felony convictions between them, on early release parole, so that they could stalk, rob, rape and murder three members of the Petit family, who we all recognize could have been any of us.

And it doesn't matter if you' re a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, this issue transcends partisan politics, as anyone who looks closely at the Quinnipiac poll results can see.

Please look at the linked poll results, research the history of this issue, research both candidates stated stance, and do not believe Mallouy's assertion that the Petit family murderers if sentenced to the death penalty, will still have that penalty imposed, as would any convicted capital murderer on death row prior to an repeal - if one takes place.

 http://ronaldwinter.blogspot.com/2010/10/foley-has-one-word-for-malloy-jealous.html )

Oct 18, 2010

Sentencing Phase for Murderer Steven Hayes Began today

Defense attorneys trying to spare convicted murderer Steven Hayes the death penalty for his role in the murders of a Connecticut mother and her two daughters plan to employ character witnesses and his history of drug abuse as part of their strategy.

"At this point, you must have an open mind as a question of punishment," public defender Patrick Culligan told the jury today, the first day of the sentencing trial, which is expected to last about two weeks.

"You will learn that he has a long criminal history of being a burglar and a thief and a person who has for a long period of time in his life [had] a serious drug abuse addiction," he continued. "You will also learn he could be a good worker ... he could be a likable person."

But whether or not being a sometimes "likable person" is enough to spare Hayes life is debatable for the jury who sat through weeks of gruesome evidence before finding Hayes, 47, guilty on 16 of 17 felony counts for the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.

Hawke-Petit and Michaela were also raped before being killed.

The defense's first witness, former investigator D'Arcy Lovetere, said she got to know Hayes during her time with the public defender's office in his hometown and described him as a "gentleman" and "motivated to work," who was always remorseful for his crimes.

"He wasn't the best criminal in the world for sure," Lovetere testified. "His addiction overtook him , but he just wasn't all that good as a criminal, I guess. He was a klutz."

"He was definitely a follower," she said.

And when she found out that Hayes, who once had a crush on her then-teenage daughter, Lovetere testified, "It knocked the wind out of me."

Petit Murders Spark Death Penalty DebateConn. Home Invasion Killer Guilty on 16 CountsDad Testifies in Murder of Wife, Kids"I couldn't believe it," she said. "I just was shocked."

The defense also called witness Christiane Gehami , who owns the West Hartford restaurant Arugula where Hayes worked as a pantry chef in 2006, while he was living in a halfway house.

Hayes would often get rides homes from Gehami who said she found Hayes to be "funny" and added that he "got along" with the other employees.

"Nobody lasts in there if you don't get along," added Gehami.

Gehami told the court about a time when Hayes broke up an argument between her co-chef and another man.

"Basically what Steve was doing was protecting me from this guy," she said.

When she first heard about the Petit murders and Hayes' involvement, Gehami said her first reaction was "No way, this is a mistake."

Gehami also provided of preview of the pending trial of Hayes' co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky. She said that Komisarjevsky sometimes came to the restaurant to "help with projects" and that she recalls thinking she was "looking at the devil" and denied his offer to work for her.

Komisarjevsky had "dead eyes," added Gehami.

The prosecution rested its case before noon, calling just one witness --- criminal court clerk John Dziekan -- to present Hayes prior convictions.

"Ninety-nine percent of the evidence we rely on has already been put before you," State's Attorney Michael Dearington said today during his opening statement.

Evidence in the sentencing phase, the bulk of it from the defense, is scheduled to be heard early this week and into next week, with closing statements expected by Oct. 29.

Culligan told the jury today that he had as many as eight witnesses who knew Hayes before the 2007 home invasion for "insight as to who Steven Hayes was before he committed the crimes."

Hayes, dressed in a white collared shirt with black stripes, made little movement during the morning's events, much as he did during his trial.

Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of his family's massacre, was in the audience. Petit announced earlier this month that he will not give a victim impact statement during the penalty phase.

In a statement, Petit cited what he considers to be a lack of clarity in Connecticut law regarding the reading of victim impact statements, saying it is not well-defined whether such a statement should be read by the victim himself or by the prosecutor and whether or not such a statement should be presented prior to or after the sentencing.
Petit said he feared that "this lack of clarity" could be used by an appellate court to rule that a victim impact statement improperly influenced sentencing.

Steven Hayes, in a July 2007 Connecticut State Police photo.
(Connecticut State Police/AP Photo)"I do not presently intend to seek to offer a victim impact statement in this case precisely because of my concerns that it could be used (wrongly) as a basis for appeal and possibly even a new sentencing trial," Petit said.

Hayes' attorneys tried unsuccessfully to argue the financial costs of a death sentence as a possible deterrant. Last week, the judge ruled that cost could not be a factor for the jury, that the sentence should be based on evidence and the law, not economics.

An overwhelming majority of Connecticut residents favor the death penalty for the man convicted in the Petit murders, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week.

The university reported that 76 percent of respondents were in favor of a death penalty for this specific crime and 18 were against, compared to a 65 to 23 percent split in favor of the death penalty in general.

Hayes' co-defendant, Komisarjevsky, 30, is scheduled to go to trial next year.

Closing Arguments in Gruesome Petit TrialPetit Judge Falls Ill, Delays TrialPetit Trial Testimony: Hayes Admitted to MurderTogether, prosecutors say, they ambushed the Petit family on a summer night after Komisarjevsky followed Hawke-Petit and Michaela home from a grocery store and targeted the family as wealthy.

The two intended to rob the family, but after finding little cash in the house they held the family captive for hours before driving Hawke-Petit to the bank to withdraw $15,000. Hawke-Petit was seen on the bank's surveillance system pleading with the teller to help her family.

Prosecutors alleged that Komisarjevsky raped Michaela, later forcing her to take a shower before tying her to her bed. During Hayes' trial, prosecutors argued that he raped Hawke-Petit before strangling her. As the two girls lay tied to their beds with Hawke-Petit dead on the lower floor of the house, Hayes and Komisarjevsky set fire to the house, prosecutors said, pouring gasoline on and around the girls' bed before fleeing.

The medical examiner ruled that the two girls died of smoke inhalation.

The trial included graphic testimony related to the sexual assaults and the deaths of all three women. Jurors were shown crime scene photos of their bodies and testimony was given as to graphic photos Komisarjevsky allegedly took of Michaela.

The response of the Cheshire Police Department has been questioned in the years since the home invasion. Though critics have charged that they did not react swiftly enough even after Hawke-Petit's appearance at the bank, the police department has stood by its officers, saying they reacted appropriately to what was then an unknown situation.

Oct 15, 2010

Judge Blues Rules No to Ullmann's Death Penalty Cost Argument

Judge Blue has officially ruled regarding Steven Haye's Defense team's request to argue on the grounds that the cost of a death penalty sentence would be cooperatively far too expensive for the Jury to impose upon his client - compared to a life sentence which would be substantially cheaper according to Thomas Ullmann who had predictably, done all the math and included it within his proposition to the court.

His argument was in fact a preemptive attempt at setting up a very questionable "mitigating factor" several of which are traditionally offered by the defense as grounds for the jury to consider not imposing the death penalty for any defendant convicted of capital crimes within a trial where the Death Penalty was ion the table.

Thomas Ullmann, lead defense attorney for Hayes, has been attempting to set up the defenses arguments for the penalty phase of Hayes trial which is set to begin next week, after a two week hiatus following the Hayes convictions of 16 felony charges including 6 capital murder charges, only one of which is required in order to qualify fora death penalty verdict from the Jury.

of Connecticut and that a life sentence would be far for cost effctive than a death penalty sentence for Steven Hayes. Ullmanns latest motion was supposed to qualify as a mitigating factor based upon the notion that the death penalty is too expensive in the State of Connecticut to be given to his client for the murders and sexual assaults of Jennifer Hayley and Michaela Petit.

Ironically, the reason that our death penalty system has become so costly is due to an unwieldy appeals process that has become misused and abused by attorneys like Mr Ullmann, who use it as a perpetual stalling tactic, ensuring that their client/ murderer never actually gets put to death in this state.

In fact, the last person to be put to death in the last 25 years was serial killer Michael Ross: he actually had to sue the state in order to receive his death sentence, a sentence that believe it or not, he wanted, as he continuously explained to the court, his lawyers and several judges. Ross wished to take accountability for his crimes which were indeed heinous - the rapes and murders of over 13 women and children.

However, it seems that the concept of taking responsibility for one's criminal actions was something that our bent and broken system couldn't seem to get its head around. That system fought Ross tooth and nail at every turn, until finally, 10 years later he got his way via the Connecticut Supreme court and lethal injection, a decidedly kinder exit from this world than Ross gave any of his victims.

The Bottom-line is that the death penalty system in Connecticut is indeed ridiculously and needlessly expensive. This does not equate to simply scrapping it as many members of our legislature voted to do last year. Addressing the financial issues alone, in the long run it will be considerably more expensive to abolish the death penalty and replace it with life without parole, as some members of our state Government propose.

If this were to happen,
our courts would become clogged with criminals who with nothing to lose and everything to gain by opting to now go to trial, hoping a jury might award a sentence of life with the chance of parole rather than plain old life without parole. Understand that these same defendants are now willing to plead guilty in order to avoid the possibility of receiving a death sentence by chancing a trial by Jury. You'll recall that both of the Petit murderer's offered to plead guilty early on in the process for this very reason. Every single rapist/ killer/child predator will proceed to trial with their lawyers blessing, with hopes set upon a possible life with parole sentence, and absolutely nothing to lose.

And when considering Connecticut's ridiculously time consumptive and expensive voire-dire, even ten extra trials a year will cost the State millions in manpower and resources. The moral issues aside, as one can see abolition should not continue to be cited as a money-saving option for the State.

The death Penalty system needs to be made workable, less wasteful, and obviously much less time consumptive, thereby enforceable. However, using the mess that the death penalty system has become here in Connecticut,thanks largely in part to defense attorneys,who have in effect hijacked it , is the very definition of irony. Predictably,Judge Blue was having none of it.

Note to new readers; For those of you who interested in researching the effects
of the long standing debate about the death penal within the State of Connecticut, feel free to peruse the archived Posts on this issue, via the blog search engine located at the left side of the blog header. Enter the words death penalty and all related Posts from late 3007 to the present should appear.

Oct 13, 2010

A Question Of Contempt And Consequences

The op-ed piece below is so spot on that I wish I had written it. I found it in the Connecticut Law Tribune, a magazine that has become one of my favorite online reads, mostly due to the quality of its writers, with the exception of one Norm Pattis, local lawyer/blogger who
I just discovered is a regular at the Tribune, very nearly causing me to re-consider my membership.

Ironically, Pattis it turns out, is pointedly referenced in the article posted below, and wouldn't you know it-- in a decidedly unflattering manner He also has an Op-ed piece in the very same issue which naturally takes the contrarian viewpoint. It appears to be something akin to a point/counterpoint type of deal, whether it was impromptu or planned remains to be seen.

In any event, kudos to Jeffrey Meyer for making a cogent case for Jeremiah Donovan to be found in contempt of court and also putting Pattis in his well-deserved place.

Of Contempt And Consequences

It is thankfully rare when a criminal lawyer turns criminal defendant. Yet later this month a lawyer for accused triple-murderer Joshua Komisarjevsky faces a well-deserved criminal contempt hearing before a judge in New Haven.

Defying a court-imposed “gag” order, attorney Jeremiah Donovan convened a press conference on the courthouse steps during a lunch break in the trial of co-defendant Steven Hayes. For Donovan, it was a chance to bask in the glow of cameras and prime billing on the six o’ clock news. But for our judicial system, the ensuing contempt case is a significant test of how to respond to a lawyer who openly exceeds the legitimate bounds of advocacy and at the expense of his client’s victims.

When Donovan sidled up to the cameras, he described in terms that don’t dignify repetition here the sexually graphic details of his client’s assault upon young Michaela Petit. He minimized what his client did and claimed it squared with the Hayes trial evidence and the confession his client gave the police. His client’s police confession was not part of the trial evidence in the Hayes case. Indeed, a prime reason why Komisarjevsky and Hayes insisted on burdening the State and the Petit family with separate trials was to prevent the use of their police confessions against one another.

Donovan’s justifications for staging a press conference were absurd. He said it was to offer some “small solace” to the Petit family. He said he couldn’t talk with the Petit family except through the media. He said it didn’t violate the gag order for him to speak if he didn’t answer follow-up questions. He later claimed (wrongly) that incurring a contempt citation was “the only way we could appeal” the gag order.

It is fair to ask if Donovan was emboldened by Komisarjevsky’s mockery of the gag order last year when he shared his story with the author of a sensationalist book. The book’s author told the Hartford Courant that defense attorneys were aware of what he was doing. Komisarjevsky faced no consequences and, so far as the public record suggests, no one has investigated whether Komisarjevsky’s defense team was privy to this publicity ploy.

How will Donovan defend his press conference now? Maybe he’ll claim privilege under an ethics rule that allows a criminal defense lawyer to “make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client.” See Conn. Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(b). But, as the rule’s commentary makes clear, it is subordinate to any supervening court order such as the gag order here.

Donovan could have asked the court’s permission had he thought it vital to protect his client with a lunchtime keynote to the worldwide media.

Donovan might also don the cloak of the First Amendment. But the Supreme Court has declined to protect statements for which a reasonable lawyer would know there is a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing a trial. See Gentile v. State Bar of Nevada, 501 U.S. 1030 (1991). That standard is likely met here given the mid-trial timing of Donovan’s statements and his allusion to inadmissible evidence.

No matter the outcome, the Donovan contempt fiasco could derail the prosecution of Komisarjevsky – and maybe that was the point all along. If Komisarjevsky goes to trial while the contempt charges or any appeal are still pending against Donovan, he could later challenge any conviction on the ground that Donovan, as a target himself of current criminal prosecution, had a conflict of interest. See, e.g., Armienti v. United States, 234 F.3d 820, 824-25 (2d Cir. 2000).

To make matters worse, Walter C. Bansley III, who is Donovan’s co-counsel, has myopically decided to represent Donovan in the contempt case. This could open the door for Komisarjevsky to claim that Bansley had divided loyalties between his real client (Komisarjevsky) and his co-counsel-cum-contempt-client (Donovan). If all this messiness provokes the court to act now to oust Donovan and Bansley, then expect another year or more for the trial of Komisarjevsky as new counsel would have to prepare the case.

As if the real issue weren’t an attorney who flouts a court order rather than lawfully challenging it, Law Tribune columnist Norm Pattis has recently urged in these pages that the gag order should be extended to the whole Petit family. Yes, that’s right, gag all the victims. But we don’t live in a society where criminals may murder and judges may silence their survivors from speaking about the horrors done to them (or even where judges may silence non-party lawyers like Pattis from insulting the Petit family). Don’t blame the victims for Donovan’s misdeed.

It’s a truism that attorneys are “officers of the court” who should strive to abide by court orders, not to treat them as stationary objects for circumvention. That’s true even for death penalty cases, as almost all defense lawyers know. As a former federal prosecutor, Donovan may once have respected the rights of crime victims who are drawn into our

far-from-perfect criminal justice system through no fault or choice of their own. He may once have known that basic decency does not license a lawyer to soliloquize on the courthouse steps about his client’s attack on an 11-year-old girl. Contempt should have its consequences.•

Jeffrey A. Meyer is an adviser to Dr. William A. Petit Jr., and a Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University School of Law and Visiting Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

Oct 10, 2010

Foley, Malloy and the future of the Death Penalty

This article from is a must read. As usual, the Independent does an excellent job, in this case capturing the essence of the two gubernatorial candidates for the State of Connecticut, both as men as well as politicians.

Reading the article only solidified my existing base instincts about the two men running for Governor, adding even more impetus to cross my party's lines and vote for Foley in the upcoming race in November. I should mention that the largely democratic state legislature has in recent years been the object of my frustration ire and outright disbelief due to thier mishandling of so many matters surrounding crime and our flawed judicial system. From their refusal to enact a three strikes law to thier reluctance to spend money on revamping our Court and Parole systems and the final insult - while people in the state were still reeling, and traumatzed, by a series of murders and home invasions which began with the Petit family, crimes, the Judiciary committee, chose that moment to write up a bill to kill the Death Penalty.

The timing was beyond outrageous, it was obscene. The bill,which passed the general assembly and the Senate, did not become law thanks to Gov Rell who vetoed it. but a core of determined and arrogant legislators promised that as soon once democrat in the Governors mansion-" it was an inevitability"that Connecticut would get rid of the Death Penalty. Ironically, these are the same people trying to get Malloy to back off his pronouncemnt that as Governor he would not veto the very same bill, if and when it was passed again.

Therefore a vote for Malloy is basically sealing the deal for the abolition of the death Penalty in Connecticut. As Explained in prior posts, beyond the obvious issuesof Justice and restitution,
there are other practical reasons that abolition would be dangerous and costly for the state of Connecticut.

The word is that due to the timing of the Petit murder trial with the November elections, many
democratic leaders the scene, are trying to convince Malloy to quietly back-track on this key issue - at least with disingenuous lip service not in a genuine ideological way - Once in office he'll do what he wants

Foe his part, Malloy has refused to relent, only going as far as to throw a bone by assuring us
that the men that are accused of murdering the Petit family members, if found guilty and given the death penalty, will still receive the death penalty, because it was the law at the time that the crimes were committed and adjudicated.. This bone that Malloy is throwing is completely untrue, and Foley explains why:

Once the Death Penalty is abolished in the state-and that would be likely within 6-12 months of Malloy taking office) both Hayes and Komisarjevsky would have excellent grounds for an appeal
for those sentences assuming they technically get the death sentence which I belive they will.

Malloy, a former prosecutor, knows this is the case: in classic politician fashion is clearly trying to placate the rumbling masses, who are rightfully worked up over the recent Trial for Steven Hayes, where brutal details of the Petit girls suffering at the hands of the two paroled repeat offendrs has finally come to light three plus years after the women actually lost their lives to the worst violent crimes this state has seen.

If Malloy were to become Governor,these two murdering rapists would wind up with in effect a" get a out of jail free card " dodging their well- deserved death penalty sentence.
The state has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars insuring that both defendants are given a fair trial, with Connecticut picking up the tab for the prosecution as well as both men's defense ( both have public defenders paid for by the state-one of them Thomas Ullmann is lead public defender
and notorious anti-death penalty advocate.

Then there is the huge expense of 24 hour prison guards/surveillance and extremely heightened security measures for both prisoners en route to and from their court appearances. The latter due to a fear of vigilantism.

Oddly, as of the last three months or so, anti-death penalty spouting legislators have become mum on the whole subject, due to the inconvenient timing of the November elections colliding with the well publicized Hayes trial,.

With Governor Jodi Rell retiring, the question begs, who can we count on to ensure that the Death Penalty remains the only appropriate sentence for Connecticut's most brutal, violent crimes? The answer is clearly Foley.

Besides being pro-death penalty, Foley lacks the Signature arrogance that seems to define our General assembly and to some degree our judiciary committee - Interestingly, many lawyers comprise both entities, and Dan Malloy is himself an ex-prosecutor and defense attorney.

Oct 5, 2010

Hayes convicted in Petit trial!

Steven Hayes was just convicted on 16 of the 17 felony counts against him, including the murders of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit.

He was acquitted of a single arson charge, thus explaining the Jury's earlier questions regarding Hayes pouring of gas at the murder scene.

They wanted to know if this action alone, which Hayes admitted to doing, equated with
" setting a fire." To this query, Judge Blue answered a rather unequivocal "No", at which point the Jury went back to their deliberations, and everyone else in the waiting gallery went back to holding their collective breath. As it turned out, they didnt have much longer to wait.

At approximately 12:35 p.m the Jury sent out a note that they had reached a verdict.
And the charges were read as follows
Here are the counts against Hayes, followed by verdicts returned so far. Each capital felony count is punishable by death, although that would be decided in the penalty phase of the trial.


COUNT 1 Murder (Jennifer Hawke-Petit): Guilty

COUNT 2 Murder (Hayley Petit): Guilty

COUNT 3 Murder (Michaela Petit): Guilty

COUNT 4 Capital Felony (murders of two or more victims): Guilty

COUNT 5 Capital Felony (Michaela Petit's death, murder of child under 16): Guilty

COUNT 6 First-Degree Kidnapping (Dr. Petit): Guilty

COUNT 7 First-Degree Kidnapping (Jennifer Hawke-Petit): Guilty

COUNT 8 First-Degree Kidnapping (Hayley Petit): Guilty

COUNT 9 First-Degree Kidnapping (Michaela Petit): Guilty

COUNT 10 Capital Felony (the murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit during the course of a kidnapping): Guilty

COUNT 11 Capital Felony (the murder of Hayley Petit in the course of a kidnapping): Guilty

COUNT 12 Capital Felony (the murder of Michaela Petit in the course of a kidnapping): Guilty

COUNT 13 First-degree sexual assault (Jennifer Hawke-Petit): Guilty

COUNT 14 Capital Felony (murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit during the course of a first-degree sexual assault): Guilty

COUNT 15 Third-degree burglary: Guilty

COUNT 16 First-degree arson: NOT Guilty

COUNT 17 Second-degree assault (Dr. Petit): Guilty

A mixture of relief and a yet a cloying grief still pervades not only the Petit and Hawke families but all of us who have had a heart-felt interest in these crimes, and the Judicial outcome.

And while of course a guilty verdict on nearly every count is what everyone
had hoped for, as Dr Petit said, when he was asked if he felt relieved now, "there is of course a sense of relief, but.. at the same time, it doesn't bring my family back" "it doesn't bring our home back"

His father, William Petit Sr. put his hand comfortingly on his son's shoulder throughout the entire post verdict interview.This gesture was really quite dear and spoke volumes. He was flanked by his stalwart sister Joanne Petit Chapman,looking drained but relieved, his brother and a gaggle of other family members.

In his usual gracious fashion, he thanked everyone in the state pf Connecticut and beyond, who has been so very supportive of him and his family throughout the three long years since these horrible crimes happened. Here is the video of Bill Petits post verdict press interview in its entirety.

The next step in the process is the penalty phase of the trial which Judge Blue stated will begin on October 18th, giving the Petit and Hawke family's a short break to rest and recharge a bit. This is when the Judge and the Jury will hear from the Defense and the prosecution regarding why the defendant should receive the Death Penalty or life in prison, and each side gives reasons to back up those requests.

Technically speaking, a defendant need only be convicted of one capital felony in order for a Jury to give the Death Penalty - Steven Hayes has been convicted of a total of seven. However,
Connecticut is a notoriously cautious state insofar as the mere pursuit of the death penalty, let alone the actual awarding of it.. Yet there have been many articles written and several polls taken and the public sentiment is a resounding " if ever there was a set of crimes that deserve the death penalty, the Petit family murders are the one."

Note; The photo above was taken during last years festival of lights in Cheshire Connecticut, an annual charity event that was originally started to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis but after the crimes became more of a celebartion of the thre Petit " Girls" lives.

Steven Hayes Jury Begins Day 2 Of Deliberations

And here we are on day two of Jury deliberations at the Steven Hayes trial. Yesterday was not a full day of deliberations by any means, as a good portion of the day was used up by the Judge giving the Jury instructions or " Charges" This took up several hours of time.

I am surprised (and annoyed ) that the state of Connecticut did not have a transcript of Steven Hayes' confession to The Cheshire Police. Although at the same time, I have to say that it's completely in keeping with what I know about the state of Connecticut's Judicial system. In a word - inept. And bear in mind that this case is an extremely well publicized case, where many, many eyes are trained upon the process-and they are still ill prepared and lacodaisical in their approach to case preparation!

In any event, it sounds as if the Jury is really taking their charges very seriously. The questions and requests that they have been sending out seem to be focusing on whether or not Hayes is responsible for the murders of the Petit children. An aside ; I also cannot believe that forensics were not done on both men's gloved hands right after the crimes, to see if it could at least be determined who likely lit the fire. I am pretty certain that that could be determined via smoke burn patterns on the gloves and clothing of the men. We have a state lab and the FBI was involved so I do not understand why more wasn't done along this wein. My only guess is that they figured it was an open- shut case for both men, this as they were both caught fleeing the murder scene.

The good news is that Hayes need only be found guilty of one capital felony charge out of the 17 to be sentenced to death.
And a death sentence is clearly called for here. And that is what we need for the families, for the people of the State and to send a message to the criminally minded predators and predators in the making. We need to say never again.

Dan Malloy And The Death Penalty

You've gotta love Don Pesci. He tells it like it is.

But light hearted stuff aside, this article brings up a very important discussion about Connecticut's current candidates for Governor and their respective stances regarding the Death Penalty (or in certain cases the abolition thereof.) Considering the timing, with the entire state anxiously waiting for the penalty phase of Steven Hayes trial to begin.

I am a registered Democrat and have been for most of my life, but I have been crossing party lines more than once again voting for candidates who support tougher crime measures, (and who have the voting history within the legislation to prove it. )

I have voted Republican whenever an existing Democratic legislator has proven themselves to be a Lawlor-esque robot having voted against tougher measures for crime, and for monies to be spent on criminal re-integration programs in its stead.

In the case of a new would-be Lawmaker running, I research their "official stance" regarding things such as the Death Penalty, a three strikes/repeat offender law, and their general take on Crime and Public Safety. If these things are not found on an official website, I will call the candidates headquarters and ask why not and what is their position on such matters? It is a bad sign if a candidate for the General Assembly does not make clear their views on life and death issues surrounding crime and public safety. There really is nothing more important that any legislator will do in their service to the State, albeit within their respective districts.

The voting records of every single legislator in the house and the senate, can be found at the State House of Representatives Website: I suggest that for those not acquainted with the system and its players, begin the process of familiarizing themselves now.

It is the most important issue to face the people and lawmakers of this state - crime and public safety. Our judicial system allowed the Petit family murders to happen. The men that committed these crimes were both on early release parole, neither of them should have been candidates, nor certainly Paroled at the junctures that they were. There were missteps and screw-ups all along the way. If our lawmakers and Judicial system cannot learn from these horrific crimes, than they have failed us as a government and as individual human beings.

Last Year, in the middle of a ridiculously long wait for either of the two men who committed the Petit family slayings to be scheduled for Trial, our Connecticut Judiciary Committee led by Mike Lawlor Democrat East Haven quietly ushered in a vote to introduce a bill that would abolish the death penalty. If the implications weren't so serious, I would say that the timing was ludicrous and laughable.

Mike Lawlor has been a thorn the side of any citizen that wishes to see Connecticut become a safer place, a state where would- be criminals think twice before taking a life, lest they find themselves swiftly delivered to their own fate via lethal injection. A fate that incidentally is much more pleasant a way to exit this world than any of the crimes that would render such a fate to a murderer.

In any event, Lawlor did his homework well, he obviously managed to massage the members of the house of Representatives for months prior to the official presentation of the bill ( not difficult considering the average IQ of some of our selectmen and women, not to mention lLawlor's Svengali like influence over a goodly portion of this particular State entity.

The Senate, well that's another story.

Fortunately, the Senate has historically had more common sense and brains then the General Assembly: And although the bill actually passed in the Senate, (a big surprise to me and a lot of other people) it did pass by a considerably less substantial margin than its General Assembly counterpart, thereby nullifying any chance of its actual passage. ie Governor Rell had strongly inferred that she would exercise a rarely -used Veto, if the Death Penalty abolishment bill passed.

A 75 % For ratio is needed in both houses for any bill to be Veto-proof. The Governor thankfully cared what the people of the Connecticut wanted and had she not had the intelligence and the courage to veto this bill, the state of Connecticut would currently have life without the chance of parole as its capital punishment.

This would swarm our courts with murderers led by their state- paid attorneys (with our Tax dollars) who would now have nothing to lose by taking their cases to trial. The worst that could happen if they proceed to a trial is the jury would give them life, and thus they can roll the dice with a trial and possibly wind up with life with the chance of parole.

Currently 96% of our States violent crime cases are plea bargained, meaning they never make it to trial because their attorneys are offered a deal" that always involves the lowering of original charges - and subsequent corresponding prison sentences. In the case of capital murder, there will be no leverage for our prosecutors working within the court system. They will now be at a distinct disadvantage dealing with our states most dangerous offenders.

Instead of saving the state money, which was reportedly one of the main reasons for the Bill's introduction, according to its authors, the state would now have no leverage at all within our court system. It would be a veritable free for all, causing our busiest court dockets to fill to the brim with scheduled trials. This would cost the state million of dollars a year.

And this doesn't begin to address the notion of determent. There would be absolutely none, without the threat of a death sentence or at least a life waiting on death row, our states child predators, murderers and rapists would have little to lose. Statistically, those that kill have been in prison before. They are familiar and indeed often-times comfortable in prison. Therefore a life sentence as the worst possible punishment for murder, is not enough. This would mean an automatic rise in violent crime and an overall shift in criminals and would be criminals mindsets, that imperceptible shift will mean more brutality sexual assault and loss of life.

Now, lets look at the candidates for Governor : Malloy is against the Death Penalty and has stated that he will not veto any bill that the Ct Legislation passes to abolish it. This is more than a likely happenstance after the next governor is voted in. Foley a Republican has openly stated that he believes in the Death Penalty and he would veto any bill to abolish that the Connecticut legislature might pass.

The Ct judiciary has been chomping at the bit, with it's spokesmen stating that its " just a matter of time before Connecticut abolishes the DP, and "as soon as we have a democrat in the Governors mansion, Connecticut will join all of the other "progressive New England states, and ban this archaic and expensive form of capital punishment" (This a reference to New Jersey and more recently New Hampshire, both who recently abolished the DP, despite the clear wishes of their citizens via state polling; And in fact that is two states out of all of New England pal..

It is inevitable" we have heard time and again from lawmakers like Mike Lawlor Co-Chairmen of the Judicary committee who is the very worst defintion of a "professional politician"- We must hope or see to it that a decent candidate for Lalwors long held East haven seat in the General Assembly materializes, with enough time to end Lawlors reign over the Connecticut General Assembly. His influence has been malignant in all matter concerning public safety and yet he touts himself as "tough on crime" whenever he's running for re-election.

Below is a link to all of the current candidates for various government slots across the State of Connecticut, as well as links to all of the Party's and their forerunners. Check it out. //www.uselections.com/ct/ct.htm

Oct 4, 2010

Jury begins deliberation in Hayes Trial

Just over three hours ago, the Jury began deliberations after being "charged" or instructed on every one of the 17 counts that Steven Hayes has been charged with, in connection with the Petit family kidnappings, assaults and murders which occurred in the morning hours of July 23rd 2007..

Godspeed to the members of this Jury, they have an awesome responsibility, but also a rare opportunity to ensure that Justice is rightfully served for Jennifer, Hayley, Michaela and William Petit. While the evidence seems straightforward to you and I, it is their duty to painstakingly examine each charge against Hayes, and then determine if the State of Connecticut has proven that he is guilty of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. There was a lot of evidenciery findings and I am certain this will slow down the othwue

Let us continue to encircle the Petit and Hawke family's with our support, our care and our love as they wait for this verdict.

Oct 2, 2010

Final Days: Cheshire Murder Trial Wraps Up, Heads To Jury

Very well done commentary piece covering the entire Hayes trial by Thomas Scheffey of the Connecticut Law Tribune. As I mentioned in an earlier Post, I had the good fortune of sitting next to Mr. Scheffey one day of the trial, on the day that William Petit was giving his testimony.

When I saw Scheffey's old school pad of paper and pen, and him diligently jotting down testimony and notes, ( while just about every other reporter was pecking and tweeting at laptops, Netbooks and the like) that he would be a writer of some reckoning. Indeed he is.
He is great at capturing nuance within the courtroom and also letting his own humnaity peek out through his almost prose-like words.

Komisarjevsky lawyer gets contempt hearing postponed in Petit murder case - The Middletown Press : Serving Middletown, CT

Which is it Attorney Donovan, you made the statement to assuage the Petit family, give them " solace" lest they think, between now and Komisarjevsky trial that 11 year old Michaela Petit
was raped in the fashion that the forensic evidence proves she was, or, you made the statement to the press because it was your "only means of petitioning the Gag order on the case", via a intentional solicitation of a contempt charge!?

Me thinks that Attorney Donovan is as slippery of an eel as is his client Joshua Komisarjevsky. Just a day or two ago, this guy was acting all bewildered that his impromptu press conferenence designed to give aolace to the Petit families, illicited the opposite reaction -(completely understandable from the Petit./hawke families point of view,I might add). I have decided that this guy is as morally corrupt as is his sociopath client.

First, he fought against the prosecutions request for either a joint trial or two simultaenous trials for the two men accused of assaulting and murdering the Petit family, crimes that were clearly spearheaded by his client Joshua Komsiarjevsky, who admitted as much in confessions to Police.

Then once the prosecution gave up on this issue due to fear of a mistrial becuase of the attorneys loud loud complaining, we were treated to a lecture from Ulmann that the fact that this was even being considered made him quote "sick, as it was obvious as victims who were no longer with us the petit women were being given special treatment due to the color of thier skin!!"

There seems to be no end to the morally despicable behavior of both of these defense attornys, and frankly I feel that both should be officially reprimanded in some fashion for conduct unbecoming a professional member of the Connecticut Bar.

Understanding Serial Killers and Sociopaths

A very short tutorial I found on the web regarding sociopaths and predators, (and the two are often interchangeable. ) While not every sociopath ( person with anti-social personality disorder), winds up a killer - much less a serial killer, they will often wreak havoc upon many peoples lives in the course of their life-times.

What this clip doesn't mention is that the sociopath who is higher functioning, has a family a career, etc. may appear socially integrated to the rest of the world, but will often reign terror upon those closest to him-and by closest, I mean in proximity, as true intimacy with another human being, is impossible for the sociopath - They do not have the desire nor ability to relate to other human beings in an emotionally healthful manner. Specifically, their lack of conscience, and their lack of regard for the rights of others, will always equate to a life that is rife and littered with the damaged lives of their victims, who will often unknowingly make the crucial mistake of allowing themselves to become connected in some way with the sociopath.

A highly manipulative nature combined with the higher intelligence enables sociopaths to fool many otherwise intelligent people with the lure of an articulate and at times quite charming

personality. They will often look for "weak spots" in people, qualities such as trusting, kind natures, and especially people pleasers" or anyone with a submissive nature will be a favorite of the sociopath as they instantly recognize the likelihood of that persons malleability-This equates to a great victim for the sociopaths often -parasitic existence.

The thing that many ordinary people do not realize is that there are a lot more sociopaths lurking among us than one could ever imagine. You would never have expected someone who looked and spoke like Ted Bundy to be a sociopath, let alone a mass murderer of women.

By the same token there are a lot of undiagnosed sociopaths who may not be murderers-just yet, but they may very well be physically and emotionally abusing a great number of people and are often undeterred by authorities when caught or reported for breaking various crimes, due to their talent for lying, deciet and expert manipulation.

Oct 1, 2010

Both Sides Rest In Hayes Trial; Deliberation To Begin Monday

The above link gives a fair good summation of the basic tenets of today's closing arguments. Check back for an elaborate break-down Commentary the days closing arguments for both sides,
but suffice to say, it is my humble opinion that the State was not nearly as comprehensive, nor emphatic as it could have been. Many key points were left virtually untouched leaving essential attributes of the crimes insofar as motive, not as neatly tied together as they could have been for this Jury.

The defense's closing was a pretty much a foregone conclusion : "the other guy did it" or "made me do it" and was,as expected, rather succinct, as was the entire Defense's case, beleaguered as it was by by mountains of incriminating evidence, the defendant being caught fleeing the murder scene and a waiver of rights and confession to Police

But many of us were looking to the prosecution to not only piece together the evidenciary findings more adeptly, but to express the unusually far reaching effects that these crimes have rendered upon a community a state: fear, grief and public outrage, mostly went untouched by dearington.

But this seems to be part and parcel of Michael Dearingtons professional persona, with even Thomas Ullmann remarking that Dearington wasn't an in your face type of prosecutor prone towards melodramatic theatrics designed to illicit anger and pity from a jury. Although Ullmann went on to say that he found Dearingtons methodical pace more dangerous than the aforementioned tactics, I'm not certain I agree.
We'll see if he offers more during the penalty phase.