Nov 24, 2013

Michaela Petit's Eighteenth Birthday

Michaela Petit was only eleven years old when she was taken from this world on July 23rd 2007.
She would be eighteen today.

Living in Connecticut, I was/am geographically fairly close to where the Petit family lived.

The series of crimes against this particularly down to earth family devastated me;

 I found myself fixated upon what all of them went through beginning with the 3 am home invasion and attack upon William Petit  10 or so baseball bat blows to the slumbering head of household;
(The Perpetrators' could easily see thru the Petit home's sun porch windows on that warm July early morning.)

A gripping question that I kept asking was why these crimes, which the Petit family complied completely with, ended with mother and two daughters all murdered despite Police car units driving within 1/8 of a mile of the Petit home when the first 911 call came in to Police re The Petit family their address details of a robbery and hostage kidnapping in progress with obvious precious time factors.

Truthfully I began to become obsessed emotionally as I learned more, my heart literally broke I lay in bed at night, visions of the crimes, what these girls experienced, the attack on Bill Petit and his shock and pain. I spent a lot of time thinking about little Michaela who had been sleeping in her mom's bed when the two assailant's grabbed the young girl and took her immediately away from her mother into her own bedroom, tying the terrified girl  to her bed surrounded by her own stuffed animals.

Something about those stuffed animals - the juxtaposition of such innocence clashing with the evil of Joshua komisarjevsky a pedophile at only 28 it was Michaela he'd spoted at a supermarket that day and decided to follow the pretty blonde girl home his own girlfriend ten years younger at 15 had just been relocated to Arkansas by her minister father who viwed Joshua as a career criminal and a paedophile.

I replayed the crimes in  my head as tiny pieces of evidence made it to the public .

Tragically I found out that Mrs. Petit's trusting nature inadvertantly aided and abetted her captors in that she managed to get out of the house when the men demanded she go to an out of ton bank to withdraw money while the other man stood guard with her vulnerable family. Thus far Komisarjevsky was holding his pedophilic desires I check for he knew Mrs Petit's compliance was completely necessary if he were to get the big prize the 15000 she would withdraw for them.

Hayes made two small trips and each time he left the huse this is when Joshua molested poor little Michaela whom he even had change into school girl outfits which he cut off of her body with scissors.

Shrewd he made certain to put he back into her pajamas before allowing her mother to see her briefly before she left for the bank with hayes. After they left Komisarjevsky was completely without conscience and the cell hone photos he took a tie stamped showed a drastic escalation in his sexual assaults as well his pornographic cell photos which are said to be  horrific.

Every ounce of me, as a woman and a human being wanted to rewind the whole Petit family crime, including the Cheshire Police's less than stellar handling of an immediately reported hostage situation-  their cars were already within 5 minutes of the crime as it was unfolding into a murderous rape and well planned preparation to burn to death the two  girls alive - one who was raped repeatedly and Hayley we will ever really know as she was burnt much more severely and this made accurate  rape samples improbable.

It was quite a coup that Jen Petit while being extorted of 15,000 at the bank somehow conveyed to a teller that she needed this unusually high amount cash fast in order to pay two men that were holding her family hostage tied up in their Sorghum hill home.

As well Mrs Petit managed to keep her cool as Steven Hayes sat slumped in the drivers seat trying to avoid any camara detection once te house was burned down and investigations began. With a cap over his eyes he was just within jens sight, sizing up her interaction with the teller at the counter.

She had only one chance to get word to the outside world but not tip off her captor- as her daughters were just a cell phone call away from Hayes who would order the other kidnapper to kill them all and meet him somewhere else.......or so she believed.

I have always held a deep respect and empathy for this strong woman she grabbed that chance to try to send in the cavalry  without tipping her kidnapper off and causing her family harm or death.

I have ruminated a thousand times over what Jennifer Petit felt as she entered her home with the money and was immediately pounced on by both men who tied her legs and arms straight away, the former innocuous fa├žade and false politeness gone in a snap. The worst part was that a rope was found around her neck. This means that her murder was completely premeditated.

Jenns Her screams awoke unconscious Bill Petit and thus certainly the girls just up the stairs, heard their mothers pleadings and struggling and the ensuing ominous silence. Jennifer's larynx was broken in two different places, the second break killing her. Komisarjevsky according to Hayes paced in and out of the room \\\\\\\\\\747\\44\  k

I was not alone this unshakable frustration anger and broken hearted feeling that would not leave me;   As bits of news trickled out - and the news was scant it became clearer and clearer that some members of the Cheshire Police Department who gave directives repeatedly to not approach the Petit's home despite a swarm of Police cars and armed officers Dogs body armor and automatic weaponry, instead of trying to make contact the Cheshire hostage negotiator was told NOT to come no attempt was made to call the home or speak via bullhorn.

Instead standard tire strips and car blockades were set up up the small street that the Petit home was perched upon as the girls were being splashed with gasoline and a path poured from Jen Petit's body up the stairs to each girls room and all over their beds.  It turned out despite rigorous efforts BY Mrs. Petit, that hostage negotiator was told he wasn't needed ( it took 5 plus years for this information to sneak its way to the media, where it was swiftly away with little fanfare; The fact that such essential information was hidden for so long speaks volumes and  it is disgraceful..

Michaela had been sexually assaulted she lay tied in ripped pajamas doused in gasoline with a pillowcase over her head having been forced to shower as the rapist attempted his first go around with getting rid of his DNA which  was found anyway as was testified to in court by the medical examiner.

Hayley who had just undergone a punctured lung less than a month before this despicable attack also lay tied to her bed having broken her binds once already and komisarjevsky admitted calling in the then 240 lb Hayes to wrestle poor Hayley back onto her bed where she was tied much more firmly and goodness knows what else she suffered at the hands of these rapists and pedophiles.

After hearing their mother screaming and struggling with both Hayes and komisarjevsky after returning to the house giving Hayes exactly what the men asked for and of course promised the children and Dr. Petit wouldn't be harmed as long as they got their money.

Komisarjevsky whose motivation  for the home invasion was the desire to take over a house filled with the pretty blonde 11 year old whom he climed to the reporting detective she sure didn't look 11 to me!!! As if it were his victims fault for having a summer growth  spurt that left her appearing perhaps 13 or 14 at the most. As most people know he had spotted Michaela that very day skipping up the produce aisle at an area stop and shop where he slyly followed Mrs Petit and her daughters back to their house and scanned it out for accessibility and weak points for breaking in ; his specialty along with stalking and breaking and entering while the homeowners were in their home.

 He bragged to Police that he wouldn't break in to empty houses this was too boring" as well he admitted to breaking into over 100 houses in the area and often took trinkets that belonged to the female members of the homes.

This was a glaring warning sign of a sexual predator highly experienced in getting into homes now his only lack was physical size as he was rail thin and if he ran into any man or woman of good size, he would undoubtedly wind up on the receiving end of harm from the homeowner.

And the likelihood of his being able to rape anyone was fairly slim although as in the case of Mr Petit caught asleep on a couch he toted a baseball bat and rendered poor Bill Petit semi conscious sighting him asleep with a book on his chest through a sun porch window on the night of the home invasion.

His extremely frail build and cowardly sociopathic nature is why he procured the help of his accomplice Steven Hayes. Of course he immediately distanced himself from Hayes pointing the finger at him citing Hayes obsession with DNA despite the fact that until the very end of the morning only komisarjevsky had left his DNA anywhere when he was assaulting Michaela and taking cellphone photos of the acts which grew more violent when Mrs Petit left the house with Hayes.

Classic sneaky Sociopath he had been reeling Jennifer Petit in succeeding in winning her over with his guy next door face soft spoken voice and earnest promises. He would only molest Michaela prior to her protective mother finally leaving their home. Mrs Petit even asked if she could please see her daughters prior to leaving for the bank with Hayes as Komisarjevsky watched over" the girls.

Mrs. Petit was blindfolded and purposely kept from the area where her husband had been awoken with baseball bat blows to his skull He was quickly dragged out of sight and tied hand and foot to a pole in the cellar. If Mrs. Petit had been privy to the violence that Komisarjevsky was capable of --- she undoubtedly would have tried to escape at the bank or another juncture.

I was very torn about writing this article; I have read some of the family and friends wishes to not dwell on their loved ones murders, but rather to focus on their giving loving spirits.

I  feel the incredible spirit of this family, as well survivor Bill Petit Jr who has raised millions for victims of violence and many other great causes through the Petit Family Foundation which he has helped become successful and nearly self sustaining.

I too do not appear to remember these angels for the way that they died that appears sensationalistic - ever!

That said as a survivor, I know the importance of keeping the truth alive. The truth of what ended these three  lives are the very embodiment of this crime.

Some of the details of their murders, including the predation of a family simply shopping for  a nights meal, hold the answers to preventing crimes akin to these

Predation The ways of the Sociopath; they may vary  but fortunately they also all have similar traits - traits that we can learn about and soon we will be extremely  familiar with them.

And this knowledge transcends the intellectual; as does th eventual innate evading and escaping the stalk or grip of a predator - be it a full blown serial rapist murderer or a man who abuses women and or children.

Let us learn from the loss of Michaela; Research, Learn, Get involved.

Happy Birthday Angel, THANKS TO YOU We are doing our best to "Be The Change"


Nov 18, 2013

The Death Penalty: An Issue with No Season

The italicized text below was procured from an article written by Dudley Sharpe in Ethika Politika

Sharpe is a well known writer and activist relentless proponent for A Justice system that actually deters violent  crime.  insisting our courts rid themselves of  the murky self perpetuating bureaucracy that so often aids and abets dangerous repeat violent offenders.  

Sharpe, like the majority of Connecticut residents  (multiple Quinnipiac polls proved repeatedly)  strongly believes in maintaining/reinstating the Death penalty as our capital punishment for those particularly brutal murders that fit a strict criteria.

Connecticut's legislature abolished the death penalty two years ago, passing the bill by a narrow margin, despite the well known wishes of the state's citizens to keep the death penalty as an option for prosecutors, as it had been for many, many years.

Initially we were told by our state's judiciary Committee that  abolishment of the death penalty bill came about as a way to save the state money at the precipice of a budget deficits the recession.

Ironically the expense that they referred to was the result of their own self defeating appeals process ; one which has virtually no limits making endless obligatory appeals by public defenders a built in neutering process. This rendered Connecticut's DP toothless insofar as the actual cessation of a thus sentenced inmates life, though many an offer to plead guilty in order to avoid the mere chance of being sentenced to death row " had been made over the years including Joshua komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes , convicted murderers of the Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit.

Those offers will never be made now as taking a murder case to trial the worst that could happen is life without parole but the lawyer will always encourage a client they have nothing to lose" and may be given " life with the chance of parole" in a jury trial.

Jury trials especially with Conecticut's voire dire process are extremely expensive. The state pays for the prosecution and more often than not, the would be murderer's lawyer as well/ ie Public Defender.
Not to mention the Jury the Judge and the logistics of the mere process itself.

This is the part where the judiciary committee's foresight or at least their lame official reasoning of saving money by ridding the state of the death penalty is utter nonsense. And this doesn't begin to address the cost in human life as murder multiple murder sexual assault and child abduction and rape no longer carry the deterrence of even sitting alone on Death Row, technically awaiting being put to sleep by injection.  

Clearly the fact that the Death penalty just looming over the murderous inmate was not something even the worst rapist and murderers wanted to be subjected to, yet the State of Connecticut has removed our paltry as it was "big gun" in the sentencing realm. 

For the last two years, debate about the relevance of the Kermit Gosnell case to wider political concerns has focused on the abortion issue. But with Gosnell now found guilty of murder, the possibility of his execution (now removed as the result of a deal struck with prosecutors) has pitted pro-lifers against one another in a debate over the death penalty.

First, Professor Robert George issued a plea for mercy. Ashley McGuire seconded this, arguing that pro-lifers “must stay focused on saving babies, not on killing their killers.” Calling for Gosnell’s execution, McGuire argued, simply perpetuates the culture of death. John Zmirak then disagreed with both George and McGuire, arguing that sparing a murderer the death penalty “shows profound disrespect to his victims.”
Given that all participants in the debate seem to be Catholic, it might be instructive to look at what the Catechism says about capital punishment:
Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
I’d like to ruminate a little on what precisely the Catechism means when it says that authorities should limit themselves to non-lethal forms of punishment if these “are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety.”

Pro-life Catholics who oppose the death penalty generally take an extremely narrow view of what this means. Professor George, for example, has argued that “the state does not have the right to inflict capital punishment—no matter how grave the offense and no matter how clear the guilt of the accused—unless effective incarceration is impossible and execution is the only way to prevent this particular murderer from killing again.”

But it is not clear that this is the only possible way of framing the question. The decision of whether to impose the death penalty is not simply at the discretion of a trial judge who is dealing with the case of “this particular murderer.” Legislators will have already specified the offenses that may merit capital punishment, and will usually provide judges with further guidance such as identifying “aggravating factors” (for example, multiple killings) that invite a capital sentence. Whether the death penalty is imposed is conditioned to a large extent by the legislature. The role of the judge is simply to apply the law in a particular case. Even the Supreme Court’s decision in Gregg v. Georgia (1976) that ruled mandatory capital punishment as unconstitutional does not leave sentencing simply for judges to decide. The Court upheld sentencing guidelines for capital punishment in Georgia that were wholly pre-determined by the state legislature. It goes without saying that strict guidance from legislators is necessary to avoid arbitrary sentencing by judges; this guidance largely determines how the death penalty operates.

Lawmakers cannot deal with the question of whether to execute this murderer, but only of whether to execute murderers in general. In making a judgment as to whether the death penalty is necessary for the protection of public safety, legislators have to consider more than merely the question of whether “effective incarceration” is theoretically possible. The fact that it is possible not to execute killers doesn’t establish that that it is morally obligatory to do so, particularly when there are arguments to suggest that the overall result of abolishing capital punishment (rather than the result of merely commuting sentence in a particular case) would be to place public safety in jeopardy.
When Demetry Smirnov killed his ex-girlfriend in Illinois in 2011, prosecutors discovered that he had researched the law on the internet to discover if the state had the death penalty before going ahead with the killing. It is reasonable to assume that if Illinois had not just abolished it, she might be alive today.

It has also been pointed out that, where the death penalty is abolished and life sentences remain for rape, rapists may be more likely to kill their victims in order to prevent them testifying, since the sentence in either case will be identical. The only way to prevent the incentivization of murder is, therefore, to lower the sentences required for a range of other crimes. But these lower sentences simply make those lesser crimes more likely to be committed, and so on. Abolition has a cascade effect down through the criminal justice system that potentially places public welfare at risk. One only needs to look across the Atlantic at Britain, which, within a few decades of abolishing capital punishment, has gone from having one of the most rigorous sentencing systems in the West to one of the most lenient, leading to frequent and widely-supported calls among the general public for the reintroduction of hanging.

Even when abolition is accompanied with mandatory life sentencing for killers, there is no guarantee that future legislators, judges, state governors, and prison officials will honor this. In 1966 Kenneth McDuff was sentenced to death for the killing of two teenage boys and the brutal rape and murder of their female companion. When the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia (1972), his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

 Under pressure of serious overcrowding in Texas prisons, he was released in 1989. Within three days he had killed again, and over the next three years would go on to kill at least five more women before finally being apprehended. Countless other examples can be cited of killers who have been released or escaped and have gone on to kill again, or who have killed again in prison. Whether or not the death penalty is required as a matter of strict retributive justice, it is morally repugnant for the state to privilege the safety of a violent criminal over the safety of an entire population.

It often happens that those who spend their lives fighting for a particular cause can—particularly when it is as crucial as the pro-life cause—become blinded to other values which are of equal or greater importance. Fighting to ensure due respect for the sanctity of life should not lead us to canonize human life as the ultimate moral value, as if the final destiny of the human person was simply to go on existing without reference to any further end or purpose. Even when considered in purely this-worldly terms, social order is clearly a higher good than human life. Without social order a genuinely human life is impossible, since humans are by nature social animals.

Whether the death penalty is required to maintain social order in a particular country, at a particular time in history, is a prudential judgment upon which reasonable people will disagree. I am not arguing that criminals must be executed as a matter of retributive justice. Nor am I necessarily calling for the death penalty to be reintroduced in places where it has been abolished. Neither am I calling for Kermit Gosnell to be executed (the deal struck in his case seems perfectly reasonable). But, given that it is not inherently unjust to execute a murderer, legislators and judges should err on the side of protecting public safety, a task that is infinitely more complex than asking the simple question of whether we have enough prison places. To fail to execute offenders where it would genuinely protect the commonwealth would be a dereliction of duty on the part of the state. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “the refusal to impose just punishment is not mercy but cowardice.”

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