Home invasion survivor critical of dealth penalty repeal bill

Hartford - Dr. William Petit, Jr., the sole survivor of the 2007 Cheshire home invasion and triple-slaying, said in a public statement today that the capital punishment “prospective” repeal bill now before the state legislature would likely void the death sentences of his family's two killers.

The legislation was written to end the death penalty for future crimes, but not for the 11 inmates, including Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, who are now on Connecticut's death row.

Yet many legal experts, including Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane, anticipate future court challenges to any prospective law that would spare those convicts from execution.

"If our lawmakers truly want to abolish the death penalty even though it is not what the majority of the citizens of Connecticut want, they need to at least be honest about it and change the language of the bill,” Petit said in a joint statement with his sister, Johanna Petit Chapman.

“There is no such thing as a prospective repeal. Passage of this bill essentially voids the death sentences of those currently on death row.”

Petit said he was unable to attend today’s public hearing on the bill before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

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