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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Correct Verdict: Hayes receives Death

Dr. William Petit: Class Act

Once in a while the world surprises you.  Monday was one of those days.

Like many of my colleagues, I watched the news reports and read the tweets from the Steven Hayes penalty phase over the past several weeks.   I read and dissected each statement, if not each word tweeted from Room 6A.  At times my blood boiled visualizing the acts of arrogance and terror committed by Hayes and his counterpart Komisarjevsky.   And I was outraged by the ridiculous marathon testimony by the defense's hired gun, professional testifier Dr. Eric Goldsmith.

Based on the testimony provided, I was convinced that Steven Hayes made a conscious and independent decision to do what he did - commit heinous acts of rape, torture, and murder.  That being the clear case, without hesitation I believed that Hayes absolutely deserved the death penalty.

But would this jury actually have the courage hand down a verdict of Death? 

Honestly, I had my doubts.  Everyone knows that Connecticut is a notoriously liberal State full of so-called intellectual thinkers who are often so philosophical that they lose sight of the plot.  It probably also didn't help that just days before deliberations began, Connecticut residents elected a new anti-death penalty Democrat to the Governorship who's made public commitments to sign a bill to do away with capital punishment.

Then came the knocks at the door.  And the chicken-scratch notes, including one which appeared to illustrate a hung jury, followed by the question - what are the next steps? My heart sank.  And not just for me, but for Dr. William Petit and his family.

Then on Monday afternoon, we got word that the jury had come to a verdict.  I stared at my computer monitor - banging the refresh key over and over and over again - praying, hoping, and waiting.  And then... one by one, on all six counts, Hayes was given Death.   I felt both joy and relief.  And in strange way - happiness for the Petit-Hawke family.

Typical disappointment from the Courant

It didn't take long for the Hartford Courant editorial board to take its usual left wing position on the Hayes verdict.  In their November 9th editorial "Death penalty serves no purpose", they attempted - rather poorly -  to rationalize their anti-death penalty position.

First, they start from the interesting premise that "it is wrong to take a life except in self-defense."  A curious position to take since this trial is about three innocent women who's lives were certainly not taken by an act of self-defense, but out of lust for murder, and in attempt to dispose of the witnesses to their crimes. 

Second, this whole argument about whether it is right for the State (or Government) to take a life is faulty from the start.  All Governments make policy decisions which both directly and indirectly result in the act of taking lives, this is most evident with acts of war. Only a fool with both eyes closed wouldn't recognize that utilizing armed forces and military machines in either a defensive or offensive action results in death by the hundreds - and its all state authorized, if not outright mandated by Congress and President.

Moreover, the Government extends permission to the armed forces to interrogate, try, and execute active military combatants for certain crimes.  Just because the executions are carried out by men in a military uniform doesn't remove the accountability of the civilian leaders and legislators who provide the oversight and funding to carry out justice.

The idea that the State has no right to authorize murder is so broad a statement that its impossible to realistically defend.  Would the editors at the Courant believe American actions in World War I, and in World War II were unnecessary, illegal, and immoral?  Certainly not all actions taken by the Allies were defensive in either of the World Wars.  But they may have been necessary to end the conflict, and save American lives.

Third, how ironic is it to see liberals bring up the argument that its too expensive to seek and carry-out the death penalty?  This is one of the few scenarios, given progressives usual nature to find a million reasons to spend like thieves, where they champion the desire to "save the taxpayer" money.   If the system is too expensive, then perhaps they can find ways to reduce their own fees around the process and procedures that they've created.

Forth, let's remember that it was the State that pushed to seek the death penalty under the provisions established under Connecticut Statutes.  And, it was the State that urged and convinced Dr. Petit to agree with the decision to seek the death penalty.  A decision not taken lightly.  We seem to forget that he death penalty is within the extent of the law.  It exists not out of barbarity, or as some deem it - the natural human desire for revenge and bloodlust, but as a long established punishment under the law for vile acts of murder.

In their final analysis the Courant argues "if he is crazy... than he'd be unfairly executed."  Well, we already know from the testimony that he was quite aware of his action and in complete control of himself.  Even if he did feel betrayed by Jennifer Petit because she told the bank teller that she and her family were being held prisoner and robbed, and he killed her out of rage, that doesn't justify insanity - nor should it save him from lethal injection.

The editors at the Courant don't want to see the rationale for holding Hayes accountable and putting him to death.  They can't bring themselves to understand the pain caused to the Petit-Hawke family, and the community at large.  It's so much easier for liberals to not have to make the tough decision and  just send him away to a life of television, air conditioning, three square meals a day, and recreational activities like taking classes to pass the time - none of which seems like much of a punishment to me. After a while, he'd become accustomed to his living situation and adapt to the reality. 

The death penalty is the ultimate punishment for heinous crimes like the one's Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky committed.  If the editors at the Courant really want to make sure "he is never heard from again", then rest-assured, after a period of appeal as mandated by Connecticut law, he'll have a period to reflect on his crimes in a lonely cell on death row.  And then he'll lose the gift of live that he took from innocents, and squandered himself.

The Courant is right about one thing - killing Hayes won't bring full closure.  As Dr. Petit said in his post-penalty phase press conference, "[The idea of closure is was created by imbeciles... there will always be a hole in my heart and in my soul"].  Well said, and all of us will sleep a little better knowing that Steven Hayes is no longer with us, and facing the music - where ever that may be.

In closing, may God Bless the Petit-Hawke family, and all those who have stood by them in support of Jennifer, Haley and Michela.  We will never let their memory fade.

1 comment:

Nancy Jones, MD said...

Well said Sir. Thank you. We are created to use our minds and our hearts to uphold the highest standards that humanity is capable of. We have done that in this case. Since the Hartford Courant is incapable of apologizing for poor behavior, may I do it for them.."I am sorry that amongst us, there are still fellow Americans who are not capable of standing for an innocent family murdered in the middle of the night by humans so deviant as to not recognize the atrocity of their own choices which ultimately leave the choices for those consequences to those who have conscience." We do not tolerate evil, and must continue to fight its very existence.