|12-09-2011, 05:00 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Man who killed Connecticut mother and 2 daughters gets death penalty
A Connecticut jury condemned Joshua Komisarjevsky to death today during their fifth day of deliberations.
Komisarjevsky, 31, was found guilty on Oct. 13 of sexually assaulting and killing 11-year-old Michaela Petit and murdering 17-year-old Hayley Petit and Jennifer Hawke-Petit. In all, Komisarjevsky was convicted of six capital offenses.
His accomplice, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year. He is currently on Connecticut's death row.
Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the 2007 attack, was sitting in the courtroom's front row where he has been throughout the grisly trial. He displayed no emotion other than to put his arm around his sister as the killer of his wife and two daughters repeatedly heard the sentence of death for each of their murders.
For six weeks, in the penalty phase of his trial, Komisarjevsky's defense lawyers, Jeremiah Donovan, Water C. Bansley III and Todd Bussert argued that Komisarjevsky was "doomed from birth" and that his difficult childhood was marred by sexual abuse, addiction and a series of head injuries that created a "perfect storm" of psychological issues that caused Komisarjevsky to turn to a life of crime.
Connecticut State Police/AP Photo
Joshua Komisarjevsky is shown in this booking... View Full Size
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According to Donovan, Komisarjevsky was adopted and raised in a strict religious household with parents who were unwilling to seek professional psychiatric help for their increasingly troubled son.
A parade of witnesses including Komisarjevsky's sister and his parents Jude and Benedict Komisarjevsky took the stand in his defense. Jude Komisarjevsky told the jury that her son seemed to change "overnight" when he was 14 and became angry and unreachable. "He wasn't who he used to be," said Jude Komisarjevsky as she broke down on the stand. Komisarjevsky's sister testified that he molested her as a young girl.
In an unusual and controversial move, Komisarjevsky's 9-year-old daughter was also called by the defense to testify and after some legal manouevering eventually ended up answering a series of questions while being videotaped. The tape was later shown to the jury. It is unclear if that videotape played a role in the jury's decision.
The 12-member jury began their deliberations on Monday afternoon with a lengthy charge from Judge Jon C. Blue who has presided over both the Komisarjevsky and Hayes trials. Blue told the jury, "You must now decide whether he lives or dies. This simple statement is enough to suggest the solemnity of the occasion which brings us together."
Prosecutors argued that there were aggravating factors in the Komisarjevsky case that should require a sentence of death. "Each murder was committed in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner" and he "inflicted extreme physical or psychological pain, suffering, or torture" on his victims, prosecutors argued.
The emotional trial began on Sept. 19. Komisarjevsky's defense attorneys argued that their client was a man who was "confused" and easily led but who never meant to kill anyone. Komisarjevsky's attorneys blamed Hayes for the killings and said Hayes was the criminal mastermind July 23, 2007 when the two men broke into the Petit family home.
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|pro or against the death penalty and why?||Laura24||Life||37||09-12-2009 02:26 AM|