Girl, 9, Testifies in Bid to Save Her Dad, Home Invasion Killer Joshua Komisarjevsky, From Death Row


Komisarjevsky also told the judge, "It should also be considered how her memorialized words will affect her emotionally and psychologically in the future if she believes she's party to assisting the efforts to put me to death.

"For me, this isn't just some detached intellectualized argument on my part. Of all parties involved, I have the most at stake. My life is quite literally on the line," he said.

The convicted killer ended his statement by saying, "In closing, I will not beg for my life. I will humbly request in earnest that your honor please uphold a thoughtfully weighed decision of the defendant over the wish of the defense team."

Despite Komisarjevsky's request, Judge Jon C. Blue ruled that the videotape could be shown to the jury.

The media and the public were prevented from seeing the girl's face as the videotape was played.

On the stand, Blurry testified that the 9-year-old was doing quite well considering the upheaval in her young life but maintained that could change.

The girl was born in 2002 while Joshua Komisarjevsky sat in jail serving time for a string of burglaries.

Komisarjevsky and the girl's mother shared custody until he filed for sole custody in 2007, claiming his ex-girlfriend was abusing drugs. Komisarjevsky gained sole custody and his daughter moved into the home of his parents, Jude and Benedict Komisarjevsky.

Although it is becoming more common for children to testify in court, it is almost unheard of for a child to testify in a death penalty sentencing hearing.

In 2001, in Los Angeles, a prosecutor called four children to testify against their father, Marco Barrera, who had been convicted of killing several of his other children. The situation caused outrage among child advocates.

"These children are going to have to deal with the ramifications of this testimony for the rest of their lives," attorney Val Valle told the Los Angeles Times in 2001.

Komisarjevsky's defense attorneys have spent the past two weeks bringing a parade of witnesses into court to testify to the mitigating factors of a difficult upbringing that would justify a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole instead of a death sentence.

Witnesses have testified that Komisarjevsky was sexually abused as a very young child by a foster brother and that he had several severe head injuries when he was a child. Komisarjevsky's parents also took the stand to explain that they sought help for their son through the church because they did not believe in psychological counseling.

The prosecution is arguing that the aggravating factors of the murders justify the death penalty in this case.

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