Why Steven Hayes Should Testify

The penalty phase of the prosecution of Steven Hayes has been nothing short of bizarre. The best defense thus far seems to be a twisted variant of "the devil made me do it." When the defense introduced the prison diaries of co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky as mitigating evidence, jaws dropped: Just how does Komisarjevsky's confession make Hayes look good? There is a danger that jurors will attribute the same sense of twisted glory Komisarjevsky boasted about to Hayes. There's only one way to set the record straight now about who Hayes is and why he engaged in the slaughter at the Petit home...
October 23, 2010

Malik Jones's Rotten Luck

There was a short, but significant, drama in a Hartford, Connecticut, courtroom earlier this week. It lasted all of 25 minutes. It was a trial in which a federal jury heard evidence about the value of Malik Jones's life. The jury heard from one witness, his daughter, now sixteen. She was three years old when the East Haven police gunned her daddy down. The jury decided Mr. Jones's life was worth $900,000. How did it do that?
Don't ask the lawyer who defended the city of East Haven and the man who killed Mr. Jones, Hugh Keefe. He's still sizzling after being struck by lightning. This is...
October 21, 2010

A Fair Cross Section Of Killers

Death, we like to say in the law, is different. Hence, the evolution of differing standards for capital cases. But the application of these standards is steeped in the same hypocrisy affecting non-capital criminal cases. The criminal justice system remains what it has always been: a farce with sometimes lethal consequences. We’re in the kill zone just now in New Haven, where a jury will soon decide whether to execute Steven Hayes for his role in a 2007 Cheshire home invasion. The case has become fodder for the political class, and has worked its way so deeply into the minds of state...
October 21, 2010

Thus Spake Komisarjevsky?

"The testimony in this case reveals a crime of singular atrocity. It is, in a sense, inexplicable; but it is not thereby rendered less inhuman or repulsive. It was deliberately planned and prepared for during a considerable period of time. It was executed with every feature of callousness and cruelty." These are words spoken not in reference to the crimes committed by Steven Hayes, the man convicted for his role in the invasion of the Petit home in 2007; the words are now nearly a century old and were uttered by Judge John R. Caverly in Chicago in 1923. This is the judge who sentenced Nathan...
October 20, 2010

A Venal Kind Of Job?

October 18, 2010
The Biblical story of Job can be read on several levels. On the one hand, Job is the faithful servant of a powerful God, never failing in his faith,...

A Killing Kind of Jury?

October 17, 2010
Evidence begins tomorrow in the penalty phase of State v. Hayes in Connecticut. The state seeks the death penalty. Mr. Hayes has already been...

Would Samuel Clemens Blog?

October 17, 2010
The first volume of Mark Twain's much-anticipated autobiography arrived the other day. At 700-plus pages, there is a telephone directory-like feel to...

Qualified Immunity And The Police State

October 16, 2010
I get many calls each week from people who believe they have been abused by the police. That is because for many years I was at the forefront of...

Tweeting In The Courtroom? No Thanks

October 14, 2010
Twitter, for those of you who do not yet know this, is a social networking device that permits folks to send and receive brief, instantaneous...

Trust Is Hard To Come By

October 12, 2010
I stormed out of a federal settlement conference the other day uttering intemperate words. The government has seized the life savings of a hard...

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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.

© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
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