As of now the jury in the penalty phase in CT v Komisarjevsky has been deliberating for about 11 hours. Trial watchers are getting itchy, from the sidelines it seems like an easy decision. If the state intended the death penalty for anyone it sure seems like it must be this guy. What are they doing?
Well, to me they should take their time and be deliberate. Be sure. I want this jury to follow the law and carefully consider each count carefully. If you read a single article about this case the knee-jerk reaction is FRY HIM. Believe me, I feel the same way. However, we don’t want juries to be emotional and feel their way to a decision. They are required to be deliberate. They should be carefully considering all the facts, all the testimony. They now hold a human being’s life in their hands.
Today we have an idea of how deliberate they are in that New Haven jury room. My twitter time line looks like this:
@LauriePerez 1st: “Regarding the 4th count, are the conditions of the second statuary mitigating factor met if the defendant is found to have played a relatively minor role in only one of the three deaths?” #Komis
@LauriePerez 2nd: “Regarding the 10th count, and whether the defendant played a relatively minor role in comparison to Steven Hayes in Jennifer Hawke Petit’s death, should we only take into account the actual strangulation or also include the event and actions leading up to her death?” #Komis
@kvels Reporters are given copies of #komis juror ?s. Both revolve around whether #Komis played a relatively minor role in Hawke-Petit’s death
This happens to be the mitigating factor that gives me a moments pause. What does minor role mean if the burden of proof was met to convict on the death penalty count? How can someone’s role be minor and be guilty of the capital offense? If the guy was himself unconscious throughout and just there, that would be a minor role. I suppose. Komisarjevsky wasn’t just there he was a participant. Some believe the leader.
The capital offense was for the murder of all 3 (Count 4). Hayes actually strangled Jennifer Hawke-Petit and the question seems to be how that applies to the statutory factor of minor role. In my view, the home invasion and kidnapping directly led to the death of all three women. That was the basis of the capital charge and the defense has not proved otherwise. This mitigating factor did not exist.
Judge Blue instructed the jury to take into account Komisarjevsky’s role in the course of the kidnapping. I hope the jury found the instructions from the judge helpful and can continue their deliberations. I believe they will find his role was a major role in the entire course of the kidnapping that led to the death of Mrs. Hawke-Petit.
I believe in the jury system and I am very glad to see this jury is deliberative.
Other hightlights from Twitter…
@rachelguerra Highlight of my day covering #komis was chatting w/ Dr.Petit and his dad-in-law as they showed me old family photos during happier times.
From the web Komisarjevsky Jurors Ask Two Questions
Follow #komis @LauriePerez @AlaineGriffin