Hayes Attorneys Intend to Argue Against Cost of Death Penalty


Steven Hayes will soon be sentenced and his attorneys plan to argue that it’s much more expensive to sentence him to death row than to sentence him to life without the possibility of release.

Hayes was convicted on Tuesday of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, while invading their Cheshire home in 2007.

He was found guilty on 16 of 17 charges. Six of the charges are capital offenses, which makes it possible that he could get the death penalty.

On Friday, the defense filed a "notice of intent to produce expert testimony in penalty phase."

They want to call Dr. James Austin to testify about the costs of the death penalty and to call Dr. Mark Cunningham to "counter the popular assumption that imprisonment for a violent crime leads to violence during the term of imprisonment."

The state filed a "motion in limine," which calls to exclude "evidence pertaining to the costs of execution in the penalty phase" of the Hayes trial.

The state also filed a "notice of aggravating factors" listing the factors it plans to use during penalty phase.

They include:

  • The fact that Hayes was convicted of third-degree burglary eight times before the Petit home invasion.
  • He committed the offenses knowingly, creating grave risk of death to another person.
  • The offense was especially heinous, cruel or depraved 

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