“Justice” Sought for Petit Family

Family of murder victims plead with lawmakers not to repeal death penalty

The death penalty was the hot topic Wednesday in front of the Judiciary Committee as lawmakers heard both sides of the issue. Opponents say the punishment is morally wrong and costing the state too much money.  Supporters, like Dr. William Petit, say it's a just punishment.

"If you allow murderers to live, you are giving them more regard, more value, than many people who have been murdered in society, including these three women who never hurt a soul," said Petit, whose wife and daughters were killed in 2007 by home intruders.

Petit fought back tears as he shared his pain and urged the committee not to pass legislation that would repeal the death penalty, a possible punishment for the two men who allegedly murdered his family.

Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky are awaiting trial in the July 2007 murders of Petit's wife, Jennifer, and their daughters, Hayley and Michaela. 

While some believe capitol felony cases should be punished by life in prison without the possibility of parole, Dr. Petit and his sister, Johanna Chapman, say it's just for killers to lose their lives in return.

"The death penalty is not about revenge. The death penalty is about justice," said Chapman.

"Life is invaluable and people who betray that trust and take someone else's life, I believe they forfeit they're rights to be here," added Dr. Petit.

But no matter what the outcome of the proposed legislation, and whether the death penalty stays or not, Dr. Petit says he'll never heal.

"I don't think there is ever closure. That's why I kept trying to make the point that I'm living my life without a daughter I knew for 17 years, a daughter I knew for 11 years, and a wife that I knew for 26 years," he said.

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