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Jurors in House of Horrors Trial Sickened by Evidence in the Case

Juvenile DelinquencyJustice SystemTrials and ArbitrationWilliam Petit

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A juror on the panel that condemned aConnecticut man to death for a home invasion triple slaying saidTuesday they kept a picture of the victims in plain view during thedeliberations.

Jurors also said they had an emotional meeting in the courthousebasement with the husband and father of the victims afterannouncing their verdict.

On Monday, the panel unanimously condemned Steven Hayes to deathfor a night of terror in 2007 inside a suburban home where a womanwas strangled and her two daughters were tied to their beds andleft to die in a gasoline-fueled fire.

Juror Diane Keim told ABC's "Good Morning America" the pictureof Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and17-year-old Hayley, functioned as a reminder for the panel.

"We were looking at the law, we had to make decisions withinthe law but the family was in front of us, reminding us what wewere doing and why we were there," Keim said.

Juror Paula Calzetta told CBS's "The Early Show" the jury cameto feel like they knew the girls during the course of the trial.

Juror Herbert Gram told ABC that he had a difficult time holdingback tears during Monday's meeting with Dr. William Petit, who wasbeaten but survived the home invasion, and Petit's mother. He saysPetit shook jurors' hands and thanked them.

The jury asked the judge if it could meet with Petit afterdeciding to condemn Hayes to death, he said.

"Probably that was one of the most touching moments, toactually shake his hand, and feel with him a feeling of having cometo a conclusion, or come to a sensible end to this horrible thingthat he went through," Gram said.

"There's no question the man has strength," he said. "If anyone of us could follow this man's strength you would have walked agood road."

Another defendant charged in the killings, Joshua Komisarjevsky,is set to go on trial before a different jury next year. He alsofaces the possibility of the death penalty.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Juvenile DelinquencyJustice SystemTrials and ArbitrationWilliam Petit
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