Lawyers for Steven Hayes, the man who was found guilty earlier this week in relation to the brutal 2007 home invasion and murder of a Connecticut doctor's family, laid out the unusual argument they plan to use to save their client from the death penalty in court papers filed yesterday: it's too expensive.

The trial will move into the death-penalty phase on Oct. 18, and Hayes' lawyers think they can convince the jury to not sentence their client to death: "The cost of imposing and carrying out a death sentence far exceeds the cost of a sentence of life without the possibility of release," they wrote. They plan to call an expert criminologist to the stand to make the prison-is-cheaper claim. Prosecutors are opposing the testimony, arguing cost is irrelevant.

William Petit, the only member of the Petit family to survive the attack which claimed the lives of his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and two daughters Michaela and Hayley, has already said that he will not ask to speak during the death-penalty phase. "I do not presently intend to seek to offer a victim impact statement in this case precisely because of my concerns that it could be used (wrongly) as a basis for appeal and possibly even a new sentencing trial," he said in a statement yesterday.