May 13, 2011
Shame on state Sen. Edith Prague of Columbia for her ghoulish, disgusting suggestion about how to punish Joshua Komisarjevsky, the second man accused of murder in the 2007 Cheshire home invasion case that took the lives of three members of Dr. William Petit's family.
Mr. Komisarjevsky's trial is in the jury-selection phase in New Haven Superior Court. His alleged accomplice, Steven Hayes, was convicted of capital crimes and sentenced to death last year.
Mrs. Prague had this to say about Mr. Komisarjevsky to the online political site CT NewsJunkie: "They should bypass the trial and take that second animal and hang him by his penis from a tree out in the middle of Main Street."
That's called "lynching," senator.
Whether a lot of your constituents agree with you is beside the point.
Lawmakers who advocate such a grisly and illegal shortcut, even in the heat of the moment, coarsen society and diminish respect for the law — and, who knows, might even prejudice some jurors.
Mrs. Prague's injudicious comments were delivered in the context of her decision not to support repeal of the death penalty. She had been inclined to support repeal but changed her mind after a recent meeting with Dr. Petit, the sole survivor of the home invasion.
We respect Sen. Prague's right to change her mind on the merits of an important issue such as repealing the death penalty.
But as someone sworn to support the law, someone who is a maker of laws, and as a leader who is supposed to be a good example, her hare-brained advocacy of lynching — even if she wasn't serious — was way over the top.
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