Attorneys made their final arguments yesterday in the death-penalty phase of the trial of Steven Hayes, who was convicted earlier this month for the brutal 2007 home invasion and murder of a Connecticut family. Hayes' lawyer Thomas Ullmann told jurors, "This is a human being. You may not like him, you may hate him, you may despise what he did in this case, but he's not a rabid dog that needs to be put down."

He then went a slightly unconventional route in his argument, comparing Hayes with the mythic figure Sisyphus. He told jurors, "If you want to end Steven Hayes' torment, you should kill him. If you want to end his misery, you should execute him. If you want to end his despair, you should sentence him to death." The Post called it "a desperate attempt at reverse psychology" to save Hayes' life, but considering the details of the crime, a Hail Mary is all Hayes really has at this point.

Today is the first day of jury deliberations. They are considering factors on six different counts against Hayes that would automatically lead to a life sentence instead of the death penalty, such as whether his mental capacity was significantly impaired during the attack. According to reports this afternoon, the jury sent a note to the judge indicating they are split thus far, and asked him what to do if some jurors agreed there were such mitigating factors, but others did not. The judge instructed them to keep deliberating.