Conn. man whose family was killed in home invasion faces long battle in death penalty case

Conn. home-invasion survivor faces long court case

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Dr. William Petit of Connecticut faces years and perhaps decades of emotionally draining court hearings before the two men charged with killing his wife and two daughters in 2007 may be convicted and executed.

Petit supports the death penalty for defendants Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sahr-JEV’-skee), who have offered to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences in prison. A trial is expected to start in January.

Lawmakers are weighing the future of the death penalty in some states, and they are giving greater weight to the effect of prolonged death penalty cases on victims’ families.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky are accused of beating Petit, strangling his wife and leaving his daughters tied on their beds to die in a fire prosecutors say the men set as they fled.

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