Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Human f***king cockroaches ... 
...And I'm not just talking about the perps.

CHESHIRE, Conn., Aug. 6 — Dr. William A. Petit Jr., his head bloodied and legs bound, stumbled out of a rear basement door of his two-story home here into a pouring rain, calling the name of a neighbor for help.

The neighbor heard the shouting, but so did the two men inside the house, who peeked outside from an upstairs window. They were both serial burglars with drug habits, having racked up numerous convictions for stealing car keys and pocketbooks.

This time, they took something far more precious.

The men, the authorities say, had already strangled Dr. Petit’s wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and in short order would also kill the couple’s two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. The elder suspect, Steven J. Hayes, 44, had poured gasoline on the girls and their mother, according to a lawyer and a law enforcement official involved in the case, in hopes of concealing DNA evidence of sexual assault. He had raped Ms. Hawke-Petit, and his partner, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, had sexually assaulted Michaela.

Moments after Dr. Petit escaped, as the house was being surrounded by police officers, the men lighted the gasoline. The girls were tied to their beds but alive when the gas Mr. Hayes had spread around the house was set aflame.

It was about 9:50 a.m. on July 23 when Dr. Petit, 50, burst into his backyard on what is normally a quiet street in a quiet town of 29,000 in central Connecticut. On this stormy summer morning it was the site of one of the most savage crimes in the state in decades. By 10:01, Mr. Hayes and Mr. Komisarjevsky had been captured. On Tuesday morning they are expected to be presented in New Haven County Court for their first appearance in the venue where they will be tried; they have been formally charged in State Superior Court in Meriden with capital felonies, which could bring the death penalty.

Interviews with law enforcement officials and lawyers for the men, and friends, co-workers and relatives of all involved, along with a study of court records, paint a picture of what happened that morning and show that there were missed opportunities on both sides of the law leading up to the deaths.

The criminal justice system failed to treat Mr. Hayes and Mr. Komisarjevsky as serious offenders despite long histories of recidivism, repeatedly setting them free on parole. The suspects never capitalized on those chances to turn their lives around, instead apparently forming a new criminal alliance after meeting at a drug treatment center in Hartford.

I think we would have fewer problems like this if members of the parole board would have to serve a set portion of a convict's sentence if he committed a crime while on parole.

Yes, these two apparently had not been violent before THAT WE KNOW OF. But you cannot assume that home invaders are not violent. The forcible entry into someone's dwelling is itself an act of violence - so much so that in most localities, killing a home invader carries with it the presumption of self defense.

Most rational people recognize this.

Even home invaders who do not go in with the purpose of harming the occupants frequently seize the opportunity to do so.

Particularly with young women.

And with horrific results here.

I believe all parole board members should be required to have children of their own.

I guess these assholes couldn't learn their lesson from Willie Horton.

I have some questions for the Times: How many times were these two released on parole? Why would any reporter be satisfied with the term "repeatedly." Why in God's name was it more than once?

Interestingly, the New York Times doesn't bother to get to the bottom of the story in the follow-up, preferring instead to run a statement from the perps defense lawyer.

Still more interestingly, the defense lawyer doesn't take the opportunity to claim or argue their innocence or even mitigating factors. All he does is promise to represent them zealously.

Well, not TOO zealously, apparently.

Splash, out,


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