Cheshire II: A Programming Note

Joshua Komisarjevsky will go down swinging. There’s little doubt he will be convicted of a dozen or so major felonies, including capital felonies, for his role in the 2007 Cheshire home invasion. And there is little doubt he will be sentenced to death. His trial is the second bite of a by now...

Why Ban Komisarjevsky To The Cheap Seats?

Among the many things a lawyer learns is where to sit in a courtroom. In Connecticut, there is an unwritten custom that parties with the burden of proof sit closest to the jury. Hence, plaintiffs and the State get the premiere seats at trial, the ones closest to the jury. This custom is supported...

A Victim As Person Of The Year?

At year's end news organizations like to mark time by doing such things as selecting, and commenting upon, the year's top stories. Some, like Time magazine, vote for a person of the year, as it did in selecting Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, as ther 2010 Person of the Year. The New Haven...

Entitlement, Death and Twitter

We missed a tremendous opportunity to conduct an experiment of great significance in our courts. That’s because we didn’t have a crystal ball. Who really would have thought that courtroom spectators would unwittingly try to transform the tranquil of a courtroom into the electronic...

Twittering Nabobs of Death

It will be many years before a record is fully assembled about what role the media played in creating a death-chamber in the New Haven courtroom that was home to the trial of State v. Steven Hayes. Reporters flocked from around the world to behold the trial. Each seat was packed; television ews...

Counseling The Killers

Can a good man be a good citizen? The debate is at least as old as Saint Augustine's City of God, written in the fifth century of the Common Era. For one North Haven, Connecticut, resident the debate has come home with a vengeance. Lenus Gibbs voted to kill Steven Hayes, even though he acknowledges...

Who Is Served By Gag Orders?

It is naive to think that a judicially imposed gag order does anything other than benefit the prosecution in a criminal case. So why do Connecticut criminal court judges swoon over them? First, Judge Roland D. Fasano imposed orders in the Cheshire home invasion cases. Now Judge Edward J. Mullarkey...

Darkness Before Noon

A rump jury of twelve Connecticut residents carefully screened to exclude any member who opposed the death penalty voted to kill Steven Hayes today. The state went a perfect six for six, winning each and every capital felony count. To those of us who oppose the death penalty, today was a sheer act...

118 Votes: A Tally Please?

There are 118 seats for spectators in the courtroom in which the case of State v. Hayes is being tried. Although court is not scheduled to open until 10 a.m. this morning, I am told there might already by a full house. On the fourth day of deliberations, a verdict is expected. Indeed, many folks...

Rushing To A Verdict

Why is the Hayes jury deliberating over the weekend? Because the case is one heart-beat away from disaster. It has nothing to do with not wanting the jury to feel hurried, as Judge Jon C. Blue told jurors. That is transparent nonsense. Capital and non-capital cases routinely shut down, as does the...

About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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