NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A juror on the panel that condemned a Connecticut man to death for a home invasion triple slaying said Tuesday they kept a picture of the victims in plain view during the deliberations.
Jurors also said they had an emotional meeting in the courthouse
basement with the husband and father of the victims after
announcing their verdict.
On Monday, the panel unanimously condemned Steven Hayes to death
for a night of terror in 2007 inside a suburban home where a woman
was strangled and her two daughters were tied to their beds and
left to die in a gasoline-fueled fire.
Juror Diane Keim told ABC's "Good Morning America" the picture
of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and
17-year-old Hayley, functioned as a reminder for the panel.
"We were looking at the law, we had to make decisions within
the law but the family was in front of us, reminding us what we
were doing and why we were there," Keim said.
Juror Paula Calzetta told CBS's "The Early Show" the jury came
to feel like they knew the girls during the course of the trial.
Juror Herbert Gram told ABC that he had a difficult time holding
back tears during Monday's meeting with Dr. William Petit, who was
beaten but survived the home invasion, and Petit's mother. He says
Petit shook jurors' hands and thanked them.
The jury asked the judge if it could meet with Petit after
deciding to condemn Hayes to death, he said.
"Probably that was one of the most touching moments, to
actually shake his hand, and feel with him a feeling of having come
to a conclusion, or come to a sensible end to this horrible thing
that he went through," Gram said.
"There's no question the man has strength," he said. "If any
one of us could follow this man's strength you would have walked a
Another defendant charged in the killings, Joshua Komisarjevsky,
is set to go on trial before a different jury next year. He also
faces the possibility of the death penalty.
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