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 of barbarism. The state, which cannot give life, has now received permission to take what it cannot give. This is not justice. This is the savagery.
In the end, there was but one hero in this case: The lawyer for Mr. Hayes, Tommy Ullmann. When an angry state lined up and volunteered to kill...
November 8, 2010

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 think a verdict is long overdue.
I have been following the press coverage of this case closely, including the accounts of those who have been sending instant messges via Twitter. My sense is that there are very few disapassionate and undecided folks watching these proceedings. Lacking from the...
November 8, 2010

Foley's Gamble: The Senate In 2012?

I bring a unique perspective to the gubernatorial race in Connecticut as I voted neither for the declared winner, Dan Malloy, the Democrat, nor for the loser, Tom Foley, the Republican. Frankly, all the chatter back and forth among members of the two parties almost kept me from voting at all. When it came to the governor's race, all I could bring myself to do was to cast a write-in vote for former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, an Independent. (I voted for Clarence Darrow, now long deceased, for Congress, figuring Rosa DeLauro wouldn't miss my vote.) I cast a reluctant vote for Richard Blumenthal...
November 8, 2010

Hope In New Haven

After three full days of deliberations in New Haven, the jury is still out: There is no verdict on whether Steven Hayes shall live or be killed for his role in the 2007 home invasion in Cheshire that left a mother and her two children dead. Most observers thought the decision to kill would be easy. Even death penalty opponents were heard to mutter that if there is to be a death penalty, it should be reserved for cases such as this. Can it be this jury will not sentence Steven Hayes to death?
A decision not to refrain from killing in this case would speak as loudly as Clarence Darrow's...
November 7, 2010

Rushing To A Verdict

November 6, 2010
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...

Hope For Hayes?

November 5, 2010
I am persuaded that a significant percentage of trials are won or lost based on how well lawyers manage jury notes. It is a difficult business,...

Twelve New Killers?

November 4, 2010
Closing arguments in the case of State v. Hayes will be anticlimactic . The moral drama has been driven from the room. It was never disputed that Mr....

The Great Writ Trivialized

November 4, 2010
Habeas corpus is sort of like magna carta: it’s the smattering of Latin that all lawyers know. Recite these words in public, and...

On The Fence With Spartacus

November 2, 2010
My wife keeps calling today to inquire whether I have voted. "No," I answer. I don't think I am going to this year. All of the candidates look like a...

A Jinxed Jury?

November 1, 2010
While most jurors stared dumbstruck at the evidence in the case of State v. Hayes, at least one could not take her eyes off one of the hunks keeping...

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Taking Back the Courts
Norm Pattis Taking Back the Courts

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorites movies as a kid. Little did I know judges were so much like the wizard, hiding behind empty trappings of power. This book tells you things you need to know about what really goes on in court. Read it, weep, and then demand that the courts do better.

In the Trenches
Norm Pattis In the Trenches

Plenty of lawyers write about the law, but few who write try cases. Judge for yourself whether I talk the talk and walk the walk in this collection of occasional essays about life in the law's trenches.

Juries and Justice
Norm Pattis Juries and Justice

How prepared are you to take seriously the notion that 'we the people' are, in fact, sovereign? Discover the secret, and unused, power of jurors. 'Ask why; then nullify.'

Norm Pattis

About Norm

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 150 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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