- Showing 1 posts filed under: Policy [–], Correspondent:Dan Van Ness [–] published between Aug 01, 2009 and Aug 31, 2009 [Show all]
Restorative justice, survivors and the death penalty
by Dan Van Ness
Two interesting items appeared on my desktop today, both about the death penalty. One, titled Conn. Home Invasion Survivor Faces Long Court Case, begins this way:
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – At 52, Dr. William Petit faces years — perhaps decades — of emotionally draining court hearings before the two men charged with murdering his family in a 2007 home invasion may be convicted and executed.
He’ll have to listen repeatedly to the horrific details of the crimes against his wife, who was strangled, and two daughters, who were tied to their beds. All three died of smoke inhalation from a fire police say the intruders set as they fled Petit’s house after holding the family hostage for hours. Petit, a prominent physician who was beaten during the ordeal, will sit feet away from the defendants as they assert their rights and file appeal after appeal.
As lawmakers weigh the future of the death penalty in some states, officials are giving greater weight to the effect of prolonged death penalty cases on victims’ families. Petit realizes that the case might drag on for years, but he remains committed to seeing defendants Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky put to death.