Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Why Some People Need To Die
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A paroled burglar was convicted Tuesday of killing a mother and her two daughters in a 2007 home invasion in an affluent Connecticut town and faces the possibility of being sentenced to death.
Steven Hayes, 47, was convicted of capital felony, murder, sexual assault and other counts by a jury that heard eight days of gruesome testimony about the July 2007 attacks on Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.
The sole survivor, Dr. William Petit, appeared to hold back tears as the verdict was read. His head down, he sucked in his bottom lip.
The verdict triggers a second phase of the trial, beginning Oct. 18, in which the same jurors will decide if Hayes should be executed or face life in prison.
Hayes' defense admitted his involvement in the fatal home invasion but blamed his co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, for being the aggressor. Komisarjevsky faces trial next year and also could be sentenced to death.
Komisarjevsky spotted the mother and her two daughters at a supermarket, followed them to their Cheshire home, then returned later with Hayes, authorities say.
The men broke into the Petit house in the New Haven suburb of Cheshire, beat William Petit with a baseball bat and forced Hawke-Petit to withdraw money from a bank before raping and strangling her, according to testimony. The men, both paroled burglars who met at a halfway house, tied the girls to their beds, put pillow cases over their heads and poured gas on or around them before setting the house on fire, authorities say.
The girls died of smoke inhalation. Authorities say the men were caught fleeing the scene.
How can you read about a heinous crime like this and not be in favor of the death penalty? Below are a few of the arguments I collected from those who oppose it:
1) A government's act to execute is a violation of human rights, especially if there remains a possibility that the individual is innocent.
2) The high reversal rate in death penalty cases illustrates the fallibility of the criminal justice process. Therefore the risk of executing an innocent person is too great to justify executing anyone.
3) The death penalty doesn’t make sense for economic reasons as the costs of trial and appeals for a capital case are far greater than would be the case if the death penalty were not sought.
4) The United States is out of step with other industrialized countries in its practice of the death penalty. The only other OECD country which permits the death penalty is Japan, and executions there are infrequent.
My response to each of these arguments? Complete bullshit.
1) I couldn’t care less about a murdering rapist’s human rights. I give them the same regard that the murdering rapists gave to their victims.
2) With modern DNA technology it’s almost impossible to convict an innocent person. The only cases being overturned are those from the past when DNA technology was in its infancy.
3) I don’t care how much it costs to fry a monster. Can you put a price on the lives they destroyed with their deplorable acts?
4) Since the days of the Declaration of Independence the United States has never been a country of followers. Why start now?
In other words you’d have to be a complete fucking moron to oppose the death penalty across the board. Certainly there are exceptions to the rule (crimes committed by the mentally retarded perhaps) but if you ask me the death penalty isn’t over used, it isn’t used enough. Think about all the stories you hear on the news about paroled sex offenders who strike again once released from prison (the Chelsea King case in San Diego comes to mind). Do you know why you hear these stories so often? Because rehabilitation doesn’t work, that’s why. Sick fucks like Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky don’t need to be fixed. They couldn’t be fixed even if they wanted to be. The evil gene is so deeply entrenched in their DNA that there’s simply no getting it out. How else could you explain their disgustingly abhorrent behavior? They can’t be fixed so they need to be killed. I don’t see how it could be any clearer.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. William Petit. No one should ever have to go through what you’ve gone through. The restraint and patience you’ve demonstrated since the rape and murder of your wife and children is astonishing. You are clearly a stronger man than I.