Scott Peterson Death Sentence Overturned


Scott Peterson's death sentence in murder of pregnant wife overturned by California Supreme Court
Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner, were killed over 15 years ago

The California Supreme Court on Monday overturned the death penalty sentence for Scott Peterson, convicted in the Christmas Eve murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.

The court's decision came more than 15 years after Laci, a Modesto, Calif., school teacher, was killed. Investigators said Peterson dumped his wife's body from his fishing boat into the San Francisco Bay in 2002. The bodies of Laci and Conner surfaced months later.

While the murder conviction against Peterson stayed in place, the court ordered a new penalty phase trial.

"Peterson contends his trial was flawed for multiple reasons, beginning with the unusual amount of pretrial publicity that surrounded the case," the court found. "We reject Peterson's claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions for murder."


However, the court ruled the trial judge in Peterson's case "made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson's right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase."

The court also agreed that potential jurors improperly were dismissed from the jury pool after saying they personally disagreed with the death penalty but would be willing to impose it per California law.

Peterson, now 47, also claimed on appeal that he couldn't get a fair trial because of the massive publicity that surrounded his case, even though his trial was held nearly 90 miles away from his Central Valley home of Modesto to San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.


Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager did not immediately say if she would seek the death penalty again.

Peterson has been housed on San Quentin State Prison's death row since he was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2005.

Peterson's case grabbed national headlines and intense pressure was put on investigators to find her killer. They chased nearly 10,000 tips and considered parolees and convicted sex offenders as possible suspects.

On Dec. 24, 2002, Peterson called his mother-in-law, Sharon Rocha, in the early evening to ask if Laci was with her. He told Rocha he had returned from a day of fishing and when he got home, Laci's car was in the driveway and their dog was in the backyard with his leash on.

The call to Rocha around 5:15 p.m. would set off a chain of events that would move an entire community, which jumped into action to find the missing mom to be. As the days and weeks went on, the search for Laci, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she disappeared, became more desperate.

Peterson claimed she was home the morning he left for his fishing trip in the San Francisco Bay and that was the last time he saw her.

Laci's family went on television, pleading for her safe return and for any information to help find her.

"Please bring my daughter home," Rocha asked the public in one news conference.

Attention soon turned to Peterson who has maintained he had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance.

One month after Laci's disappearance, police revealed her husband was living a double life, having an affair with a massage therapist who was living in Fresno by the name of Amber Frey.


Frey, a single mother, went to police once she became aware that the man she thought was her boyfriend was quickly becoming a prime suspect in a nationally televised case.

She eventually would go on to wear a wire and helped police record her conversations with Peterson, which would play a key role in the trial.

On April 13, 2003, the body of a baby boy was discovered along the shore of San Francisco Bay. The next day, the body of an adult female wearing maternity clothes was found nearby. The bodies were positively identified as those of Laci and her unborn son Conner.

Peterson was arrested in San Diego just days after the bodies were discovered.

He had dyed his hair blonde, grown a goatee and had many items in his car which led investigators to believe he may have been ready to run.

The double murder trial would take more than a year to begin, but at the end Scott Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife, and second-degree murder for killing Conner.

Peterson, who pleaded not guilty, has always maintained his innocence.

He had dyed his hair blonde, grown a goatee and had many items in his car which led investigators to believe he may have been ready to run.

The double murder trial would take more than a year to begin, but at the end Scott Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife, and second-degree murder for killing Conner.

Peterson, who pleaded not guilty, has always maintained his innocence.

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Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Of course his sentence was overturned. Super liberal Judges in california.
I entirely agree. They just always have to wait until the right people are in power, the same goes with the idiots releasing prisoners that are dangerous. This overturn is disgusting, not that anyone ever gets executed anyhow in California..


Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Something procedural or tainted jury because of publicity. Whatever.

It is more like the poor guy, he can't golf anymore, he only died his hair and had money in his car approaching the Mexican border because there was this golf course and that was the dress code... He lost his gf Amber and he lost his baby and wife who showed up right in the bay he himself said he was fishing in... He doesn't deserve this, the poor, poor man...

Some days this is a sad world and I guess I should stop giving a sh*t. It seems to be what a ton of average citizens do. As long as their life is okay, it could never happen to them...



Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
It’s just the death sentence which isn’t surprising. We have super liberal judges and it happens all the time.

They may still retry the death penalty phase

Are you in Cali? I am not knocking anyone who lives there, I know quite a few people who do live there, loved ones, and they have their opinion of their own state. But yes, the death sentence has no teeth anyhow to speak of in most states that still have it...


Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
If there was ever a person who was more guilty than Scott Peterson I'll eat my hat right here and now. This is not right. It is a slap in the face for Laci's and Conner's family.😥
If there was ever anyone more obviously guilty than OJ, it was Scott Peterson...!! I get the rules of law and appeals and all that but I also get sometimes it is weighted way too much one way!


Staff member
I’m fairly certain the prosecution may want to retry the penalty phase, but ultimately they tend to go more towards what the victims family wants......I’m pretty sure Sharon couldn’t bare to go through another trial with all the evidence being dragged out.

As for what I think. Let him rot in prison for the rest of his miserable life and let beautiful Laci and sweet Connor RIP



Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
And waste taxpayer dollars.....
That's certainly the truth. Just so he never profits off of this with reporters or anything else, and he rots there until he dies is the key thing to me... And I agree with the other post too and hope they listen to Laci's family. Sad as it is the death penalty there is somewhat without teeth, meaning he will likely die before he is ever executed.


Former Member
Good decision by the court. I personally don't think there was sufficient evidence to even convict Peterson, let alone sentence him to death. The hinky things that took place with this jury during the guilt phase was atrocious.


Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
Long but good read. I had forgot a lot and there are a few things I am not sure I even knew. What a loser.

Capital punishment and whether one could go for it was the key thing it sounds like with the appeal. Judge screwed up not asking a question. Not like his verdict of guilty was overturned. Not a big Wiki fan but still some interesting info in here. His wife AND future son missing and his concern is adding some porno channels. What a prince. I forgot about the satanic cult part... Pretty unlikely. The only one with a real motive for wanting that baby dead was Scotty boy. And what was this? His third affair? (Per him so I take the number there with a grain of salt)... Anyhow, an interesting read. Keep in mind it is Wiki.


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