Notorious Killer Denied Injunction Over Kosher Food On Death Row

1415900687791_wps_28_steven_hayes_2014_photo_jYou may recall the case seven years ago of the horrific rape, murder, and arson case out of Connecticut involving Steven Hayes. He and a friend raped and murdered a mother and two daughters in a savage home invasion. He is now on death row but Hayes is not happy with his meals. He is an Orthodox Jew and insisted that his kosher meals were not being prepared with sufficient attention to religious rules and thereby forcing him to “choose between following God and starving or choosing sin to survive.” A court has rejected the motion for preliminary injunctive relief.

1411922440738_wps_33_Steven_Hayes_was_convicte1411922450237_wps_35_Joshua_Komisarjevsky_was_Hayes (left) and Joshua Komisarjevsky (right) were convicted of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, at the family’s home in Cheshire. They tied up the victims and sexually assaulted two of them. They then set the house on fire. Hawke-Petit’s husband, Dr. William Petit, was severely beaten, but survived. Here is a picture of the family before they met Hayes:


It is not clear when Hayes became Orthodox because he says that he has been eating kosher since May 2013. He has challenged the preparation practices for kosher meals in the kitchen of his high-security prison under Jewish dietary laws. However,
U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Thompson ruled that the meals do meet such standards. He noted that the state Department of Corrections has two rabbis who periodically monitor the preparation of kosher foods in the prison system. The judge said both rabbis certified that the food and the food preparation process comply with dietary laws. Hayes was raising a highly technical objection: the “lack of a reliable orthodox certificate or an onsite Jewish overseer.” However, Thompson ruled that there was no evidence suggesting that the absence of the certificate leads to a finding that the meals are not kosher.”

If it is any solace to Hayes, I expect that the Almighty is likely to be more peeved about his brutal assault, arson, rapes and murders as examples of “choosing sin” than his eating Kosher food without a posted certificate.

Notably, the lawsuit will continue. This was just a rejection of the motion for a preliminary injunction. Hayes has previously filed lawsuits over his mental health care, harassment from prison staff and the temperature in his cell.

Source: NH Register

49 thoughts on “Notorious Killer Denied Injunction Over Kosher Food On Death Row”

  1. Here is a first, I agree with Haz. The prison is a tool of the state, therefore not necessary to prepare special diets. If I try to hit an attacker with my car, it’s because I’m scared to death and too busy trying to control my car to waste time looking!

    Also, why are we giving people we are planning to kill insulin?

  2. On this one I side with the prisoner. While he’s on death row, part of prison and the justification for incarceration remains redemption/rehabilitation (no matter how bad the crime) and religion can be a part of that for some. His religion Judaism, is not so rare that accomodating kosher meals should come into conflict with the state’s legitimate penological interests.

  3. No that would be racing.

    Seriously. Don’t get out of your car. Keep the doors locked and go go go. The meat obstacles will just have to take care of themselves since they put themselves in between you and safety.

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