For Short Paper #4, you will review the hypothetical scenario and compose a 2-page paper in response. You will use this scenario to complete your Assignments in Units 3, 4, 6, and 8.
The following scenario is based upon real events that happened to a family in Cheshire, Connecticut on July 23, 2007. You will use this scenario as the basis of your papers for Units 3, 4, 6, and 8.
Swartz-Turfle, H. A Connecticut Nightmare. Retrieved from http://truecrimecases.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-connecticut-nightmare.html.
Dr. William Petit, a well-respected endocrinologist, lived with his wife and two daughters in an upscale community in Cheshire, Connecticut. Dr. Petit met his wife Jennifer, who worked as a nurse, at the Children’s Hospital. They were married for 22 years. Their older daughter, 18-year-old Hayley, loved to play basketball with her father in their driveway and had been accepted to Dartmouth to study medicine in the fall. Their younger daughter, 11-year-old Michaela, who still wore braces, spent time learning to cook with her mother.
Komisarjevsky was a trouble teen, committing his first crime at the age of 12 when he stole a car. His criminal escapades, including countless burglaries, escalated and he even looked for dangerous situations where he might get caught. While other criminals would try to steal during the day when people were at work, Komisarjevsky preferred to do so at night while the occupants were home because he enjoyed the thrill and rush he got. He lived two miles away from the Petit home and came armed with latex gloves, a gun, zip ties, and night vision goggles.
Steven Hayes met Komisarjevsky in a halfway house after they had been released from prison. Hayes was a drug addict and was nervous, loud, and awkward. He had no experience as a burglar but had been arrested 26 times for various offenses and had lived much of his life since 1980 in and out of prison. Most, if not all, of his crimes involved his addiction to drugs and did not involve stealth or reconnaissance. He was supposed to remain in prison until 2008 but, ironically, had been released early for good behavior. Hayes and Komisarjevsky were an odd pair together, but were later described as clicking “like a pair of handcuffs.”
On Saturday, July 22, 2007, Komisarjevsky listened to Guns N’ Roses in the parking lot of a supermarket when he noticed the Petit minivan next to his car with three female occupants. Mrs. Petit and Michaela went into the supermarket while Haley stayed in the car. Komisarjevsky phoned Hayes while waiting in the supermarket parking lot. Hayes was destitute and close to losing his parole. Komisarjevsky’s ankle bracelet had just been removed and his urge for a thrill was overwhelming.
When mother and daughter returned with groceries, Komisarjevsky followed their van several car lengths behind them until he saw where they lived. Komisarjevsky broke into another house just miles away from the Petit home on July 22, 2007 while five people slept upstairs. However, their activities were halted when they heard a car pull into the driveway. But their night was not over. The pair broke into another house and then called it a night, but they started making plans for a more lucrative and serious invasion. Although Hayes was inexperienced as a burglar, he needed money fast. They targeted the Petits for Sunday night.
At 3 am on the morning of the tragedy, after a night of drinking and drug use, Komisarjevsky and Hayes arrived on foot at the Petit house. The pair broke into the house and beat Dr. Petit with a baseball bat before dragging him to the basement, putting a garbage bag over his head, and tying him up to restrain him. The men then went upstairs and tied up Mrs. Petit and her daughters. They then began stealing items from the house, texting each other in the process. They took jewelry, cash, and even a jar of change that Michaela collected for multiple sclerosis research.
Hayes then took four canisters and filled them with gasoline before sunrise. During this time, Komisarjevsky sexually assaulted Michaela and forced her to the bathroom to shower, taking photos as a memento. Haley put up a valiant fight and tried to reach authorities but was beaten when she fought back. When Hayes returned with the gasoline, he forced Mrs. Petit to drive to her bank and withdraw $10,000. Mrs. Petit took out more money than requested to appease Hayes and passed a note to a teller, who called 911. When Mrs. Petit and Hayes returned, Hayes raped and strangled her. The men then poured gasoline on the women and lit a match even though the daughters were still alive. With his house on fire, Dr. Petit emerged from the basement, badly beaten and legs bound, just as authorities were arriving. However, it was too late to save his family. Komisarjevsky and Hayes ran from the burning house. Witnesses could see Hayes wearing one of the girl’s hats and laughing as he ran. They tried to flee in the family’s minivan but were soon caught by the police.
It can always be a challenge to think about how to fashion a defense for someone who seems guilty of the crimes s/he has been accused of. However, it is critical that defense attorneys put aside personal opinions and provide the best defense possible. In this assignment, you will be challenged to apply critical thinking skills to formulate possible defenses for either defendant. In drafting your paper, be sure to define and analyze the problem, examine potential defenses and design possible solutions, and select the best two solutions/defenses.
Based on the readings and activities in this unit, what defenses can the perpetrators raise for the crimes you previously identified? Be sure to locate the Connecticut Statutes for defenses like insanity at https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_951.htm and look at federal law for the constitutional defenses outlined in your reading. Remember to explain which defenses apply to each of the crimes.
Write a 2-page paper analyzing and discussing the issues presented above. Although there is no required format for this Assignment, please write complete sentences in paragraph form. You should cite to your source(s), such as the textbook, case law, statutes, etc.
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