Though he's on death row after his conviction in the infamous 2007 Cheshire home invasion, it could be many years — even decades — before Steven Hayes is put to death.
The Hartford Courant reported Thursday that Hayes wrote them a letter saying he wants to waive his appeals, which might eventually allow him to follow Michael Ross' path to the death chamber. Ross, a convicted murderer who spent 18 years on death row, was executed in 2005.
In his letter to the Courant, Hayes complained of "cruel and unusual punishment" inflicted by the staff at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers.
"I was willing to live with the intense grief from my past actions, and I still am willing," Hayes wrote. "However, I cannot live with the intense tourcher (sic), torment, harassment, and the resulting psychological trauma dished out by the Dept. of Corr. staff here at Northern. I was sentenced to death, not sentenced to tourcher (sic) and punitive treatment until death."
Hayes claimed during his trial that he had tried numerous methods to commit suicide, including ingesting prescription drugs and trying to hang himself with clothing. His attorneys said after the trial that they were concerned about his treatment at the prison.
Three people died in the Cheshire home invasion after Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky broke into the Petit family home. They beat Dr. William Petit Jr. with a bat and left him for dead, though he managed to escape before Hayes and Komisarjevsky set the house on fire.
Hayes raped and strangled Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Petit's daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, died of smoke inhalation.
The state recently abolished capital punishment, but that law only applies to crimes committed after its passage. Should the state allow Hayes to waive his rights, putting him on a path to execution?
Take our poll and tell us in the comments.