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Komisarjevsky Retrial Motion To Be Considered Tomorrow, As Activists Use MLK Day To Call For Repeal Of Death Penalty

January 17, 2012 by John Rook

A hearing will be held tomorrow at New Haven Superior Court to decide whether convicted killer Joshua Komisarjevsky will receive a new trial.
Lawyers for Komisarjevsky made the motion last week, citing several reasons why they believe a new trial is in order. In recent days, the fact that a change in venue was not granted at the outset of Komisarjevsky's trial has been cited as cause for new proceedings.
Komisarjevsky's defense team is asking that a judge grant their client a completely new trial but, if denied that, they are requesting that a new penalty phase of the trial be granted.
Komisarjevsky was convicted late last year on 17 counts, including seven capital counts, for his part in a 2007 Cheshire home invasion that resulted in the murder of three women. The same jury that found him guilty ultimately recommended he receive the death penalty for his crimes. Komisarjevsky's accomplice, Steven Hayes, was tried and convicted of similar crimes in 2010 and was also sentenced to death.
As the court readies to hear the motion for a new trial, activists were busy Monday calling for an end to the death penalty all together. Using Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as the backdrop, clergy, government officials, and Connecticut residents met in Hamden to call for the state to do away with its capital punishment laws. The group cited many reasons, including finances and the fallibility of the legal system, as reasons why the death penalty should be abolished.
In regards to Komisarjevsky and Hayes, local officials were quoted during the meeting as recognizing that any measure taken to abolish the punishment would most likely only affect future criminals, not those already on death row. However, most officials admitted that, if capital punishment were no longer viable in Connecticut, lawyers for clients currently serving on death row, would immediately look to have the sentence overturned.

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