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Jul 27,2007
Conn. lawmaker: court reforms needed
by UPI

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A Connecticut state lawmaker said the criminal histories of two homicide suspects show the need for reforms in the court system.

State Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said paroled burglars Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes could have spent "a hundred years" in prison if they had been prosecuted under existing persistent offender laws, the New Haven (Conn.) Register reported Thursday.

Komisarjevsky, who served five years and one month of a nine-year sentence for third-degree burglary, and Hayes, who served four years of a five-year sentence for the same charge, are accused of a break-in and arson that resulted in the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her two daughters, Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11.

Both men had long rap sheets at the time of their burglary convictions.

"Either one of these guys could easily have gotten 100 years if that's what people wanted to do," Lawlor said. "Why wouldn't that happen? Why didn't that happen? That's what we're talking about."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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