Having committed a string of brazen nighttime burglaries by the age of 22, Joshua Komisarjevsky was sentenced to 9 years in prison in 2002. Now, says the New York Times, he could face the death penalty for a home invasion that left three people dead. He and his lawyer attributed the 2002 crime spree in part to personal troubles, including learning disabilities, childhood sexual abuse, and the revelation at age 14 that he had been adopted as a baby.
In a move state officials now acknowledge was not made according to proper procedures, Komisarjevsky was paroled in April. He and another career criminal he met in a Hartford halfway house are accused of murdering a woman and her two daughters, severely beating the father, and setting their house on fire. Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell has ordered a “top to bottom” review of the criminal justice system to see where it failed. Equally perplexing is the transformation of Komisarjevsky. The grandson of a famous Russian theatrical director and a pioneering modern dancer, he was home-schooled along with his sister.