Scott Peterson Death Sentence Overturned

1602114443522.png

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."

SCOTT PETERSON: 'I HAD NO IDEA' CONVICTION IN LACI PETERSON MURDER WAS COMING

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.


SCOTT PETERSON: 15 YEARS LATER, A LOOK BACK AT A CASE THAT GRIPPED A NATION

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.

SCOTT PETERSON MISTRESS AMBER FREY SUED OVER 'MEMOIRS OF A SEX ADDICT,' 'MYTHS OF THE FLESH'

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.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

GarAndMo39

Not a Sheeple!

Debit cards, illegal cell phones: How inmates pulled off giant California unemployment scam​

It was a scam built on state-issued debit cards, contraband cell phones, a jaunt to Las Vegas and a homemade phone book hidden under a jailhouse mattress.


In August, San Mateo County law enforcement officials charged 21 people — 13 prisoners and eight accomplices — with masterminding a fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment-benefits scheme that netted $250,000.


The case, described as a “big spider web” by one prosecutor, represents the earliest whiff of an audacious statewide enterprise that officials now say could approach $1 billion in illegal benefits paid to inmates and their associates. Prosecutors said at least 35,000 unemployment claims were made on behalf of prison inmates, including serial killer Cary Stayner and convicted murderer Scott Peterson. <snip>
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member

Debit cards, illegal cell phones: How inmates pulled off giant California unemployment scam​

It was a scam built on state-issued debit cards, contraband cell phones, a jaunt to Las Vegas and a homemade phone book hidden under a jailhouse mattress.


In August, San Mateo County law enforcement officials charged 21 people — 13 prisoners and eight accomplices — with masterminding a fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment-benefits scheme that netted $250,000.


The case, described as a “big spider web” by one prosecutor, represents the earliest whiff of an audacious statewide enterprise that officials now say could approach $1 billion in illegal benefits paid to inmates and their associates. Prosecutors said at least 35,000 unemployment claims were made on behalf of prison inmates, including serial killer Cary Stayner and convicted murderer Scott Peterson. <snip>
OOOoooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Guess they had some time on their hands and decided to rack up $$$ for cigarette money in the commissary!
 

Mel70

Blank
Quote: "It was an entirely circumstantial case. No direct evidence tied Scott to their deaths. The bodies being found in the Bay is certainly damning at a glance, but it needs to be considered in perspective. They were found months later and miles away from where Scott proved he had been fishing."

Response: Fine, there was the hair in the pliers but it is argued both ways. So we shall call it entirely circumstantial, one of the strongest circumstantial I have seen. I just to refresh myself read an entire list of all they had.

As to the fishing, very damning was Scott told many people he was going to golf on Christmas Eve. Most damning is he told his own uncle shortly after Laci was missing that he WAS golfing. As far as where he was fishing and where they were found months later? What did he prove? He eagerly provided a receipt to prove he was at the Bay and where he parked, that's about it... Not to mention all other sorts of things about fishing, where, why, time of day, etc., that neither family knew he had a boat but also that he was "golfing", not fishing... Innocent people do not need to lie about such things imo.

I am not saying any one thing is enough just touching on each thing we are talking about as part of the entire picture...
He's a compulsive liar. Who goes fishing or golfing on Christmas Eve and wouldn't spend it with his very pregnant wife. Come on.
 

Mel70

Blank
That's not true, either. You need to learn the facts of this case. They spoke about "meringue" on the Martha Stewart show that aired on the 24th, just as Scott told the police. With the exception of his relationship with Amber, everything Scott told the police was found to be true. He told them everywhere he went that day and everything he did.

That is not my issue. Circumstantial evidence is often more powerful and more convincing than direct evidence. My issue is the complete lack of evidence, of any kind.

The prosecution created this totally imaginary scenario where Scott killed Laci somehow, wrapped her body in a tarp and boat cover and put her in his truck. At this point he takes the time to do a few fake internet searches and watch a little Martha Stewart. After letting his dog loose somewhere in the neighborhood, he drove Laci's body to his warehouse, tied several uniquely identifiable anchors around it, then transferred it to the boat. After which he inexplicably spent 45 minutes responding to innocuous emails, looking up instructions and assembling a mortiser. He was in no hurry, I suppose... Then Scott decided to drive 90 miles to the busiest marina in northern California to put his boat in the Bay and go dump the body. For some reason, he took the time to unwrap the body and bring the tarp and cover back with him, as well as one homemade anchor which would directly link him to the others he just dumped in the Bay. He apparently was able to do all of this alone, without anyone seeing him do anything suspicious. No neighbors, motorists, boaters, fishermen, house boat residents, no one. Then he went home and immediately told the police exactly where in the Bay he dumped the body, describing the area precisely. Does that make sense to you? There's not a single shred of evidence to indicate that any of this actually happened.
Oh please.
 

Mel70

Blank
You saw exactly what I saw. Watching Scott's police interrogation, you can see he's not reticent, he's not defensive, he's not guarded, he's just answering their questions directly. He told them exactly where he went that day and what he did. ALL of which was shown to be true.

And I hope you keep posting here, cuz I really like your "manor"...:LOL::LOL::LOL:
Narcissists and compulsive liars can do That.
 

Frydaddy

New member
There was no direct evidence that Scott murdered Laci. None. And the circ evidence pointing to him was weak. Every conviction should be "beyond a reasonable doubt", particularly in a capital case, but I think the vast majority of jurors don't really understand what that means. If there was one thing I could correct in our system right now, it would be how our juries are chosen and instructed. Every juror should be counseled individually at the close of a trial and have the standard clearly explained to him. Unanswered questions are just that; jurors are not free to speculate on what the answer might be. Possibly/probably, may have/might have, uncertainty, hesitance, vacillation, etc. are all forms of doubt, and the benefit of the doubt falls in the favor of the defense. If a juror has such doubts, he should not vote 'guilty'.
SCOTUS ruled in 1954 that CE was equal in weight to direct evidence. Hence, per the highest authority available to us, direct evidence isn't required to convict or sentence to death per the law. From that point on, every other thing is a talking point subject to opinion, which is the actual issue that should be made subject to reforming jury trials if that is what we desire. Whether a piece of info is direct or CE, compelling or weak, that is left to the opinion of 12 people. I have an issue that someone sharing your opinion can single-handedly overrule 11 others. So even as we agree on the need for potential reform, we are 180 degrees out of phase on why. Virtually no part of society isn't polarized against someone else. My best suggestion, and it's off the sleeve, is professional three person juries consisting of appellate or circuit attorneys. My theory, use the people who decide on legality of proceedings down the road to also assess the evidence as they go. Saves time and money and should eliminate opinion or lack of expertise.

The single greatest thing I take exception to in this post is what you think needs corrected though. You've concluded jurors got it wrong, in fact concluded the system itself is flawed, based on the fact they concluded differently than you under the premise they weren't properly instructed. With Nice, you are correct. But if you were in Nice's spot, you'd be her in the inverse as I would evaluate it. Your requirement to convict is greater than that of SCOTUS, an opinion no more or less egregious than Nice's. In in a defendant's case, that makes you a bit more of an issue than Nice thanks to double jeopardy laws. See OJ, Casey Anthony, and myriad others dead to rights but acquitted based on an opinion not backed by SCOTUS rulings. I comprehend a higher court might overrule my opinion on this particular case, I've never seen you stipulate the same for your opinion. So, that makes it little more than message board fodder.

I'm not looking to re-litigate this trial, think we've both done that ad nauseum. I could easily list 100 things that individually and taped together paints a picture. Have no doubt you could explain away all 100 individually. Where Scott boxes you in is, your difficulty is looking at the 100 excuses/reasons taped together and explaining how those 100 things could all conspire against him unfairly. I don't there is precedent in history where anyone had so much leveled against him based on HIS words and actions that turned out to be completely conspiratorial. The test today, the wagering on a full blown retrial or simply a new penalty phase is the chess match. And it won't be you or I waging it. I think we all knew Nice was likely to be an issue eventually, Delucchi said as much himself. What I would say is this...thus far, I have seen no opinion by a court that this trial or even the conviction was faulty in outcome based on evidence or evaluation of such. Pair that with two things...man-tan not dismissing her (my opinion is he thought no way Strawberry Shortcake wasn't going to be smitten with him and Scott) and the fact she was third alternate. If he tried to dismiss her and Delucchi denied or if she was the on the original 12, that might change my opinion of a full retrial of criminal phase. As such, I think criminal phase remains, he eventually gets life or enough years he leaves there a diminished old man who outlived he and Laci's parents.

Now, let me conclude with this. As a junkie of this case and this case alone, which would likely make us peers, I would absolutely be fascinated with a retrial of the criminal phase - hopefully televised. Both sides learning from their mistakes and re-thinking strategy. In truth, much as I would bet you would disagree, I think that may actually favor the prosecution. One, they could call to the stand each person who represents an alternate theory...Aponte, Graybill (who was himself a prosecution witness) Diane Jackson, Tenbrinks/Todd/Pearce, Ted the head on a swivel Rowlands, the walk witnesses still alive, and more or less disprove all these "non-investigated" doubt creators and dispel every one of them. They can re-assess their own witnesses, tidying up the twine issue with the ME, explaining the nuance of his mortiser search. In short, they could take all of Janey's supposition and hope, along with all the inadequacy you point out, which as I see it is really the only things the defense could do differently, and whitewash it before they even get a chance. I got my Costco plus size box of popcorn and have banked plenty of PTO and bourbon cream liquor just in case. Only problem is, my carpal tunnel treatment has a much higher copay than it did during the original trial! LOL
 

Frydaddy

New member
Since I didn't follow this case from the beginning like many of you could anyone help direct my attention to what the physical vs circumstantial evidence was used to obtain a guilty verdict?
Probably doesn't answer your question, but the case probably comes down to boat, bodies, bay, with everything branching out to various smaller pieces of CE. Based on sketchy memory, I was at around 600 individual bits of information that had been discussed and dissected surrounding this case. A lot of the forums that had case discussion are long gone as are many of the posters. Wiki is a good starting point, what I found to be most helpful is those seeking info taking what they do know and asking about it. Just an example...some may know he had a boat, but not know the intimate details about the purchase, who knew about it, etc.

No individual piece caused anyone to conclude guilt, at least not those who immersed themselves fully. It was many, many pieces that when taped together painted a pretty credible picture. Then consider the excuse or reason for each piece and tape those together and not only is the picture not credible, but it would make Scott the unluckiest person in history, where literally human existence itself would have had to conspire against him.
 

Frydaddy

New member
Long read here, but in the overrule of the DP conviction, the court unanimously confirmed the guilt phase verdict 7-0. I post this because it has a lot of information of what evidence was considered (to be legitimate, even as labeled circumstantial) in the guilt phase, along with the issues the defense tried to use for appeal. As I understand it, the next attempt to appeal the guilt phase will focus on new evidence. IMO, this will amount to nothing, but never say never. https://aboutblaw.com/SLb
 

Kimster

Let's Find Michael Bryson!
Staff member
I though it was more a gesture to Sharon and the rest of Laci's family to request the death penalty. In California, they aren't executing people no matter how much they deserve it. That said, glad the prosecutors are not going to retry the DP phase, why put the family through all of it again? California prosecutors will not seek to restore death penalty against Scott Peterson
You know that’s a good point. In chatting with Erin Corwin’s mom, she said the death penalty didn’t mean anything to them for the same reasons you stated.
 

Mel70

Blank
I though it was more a gesture to Sharon and the rest of Laci's family to request the death penalty. In California, they aren't executing people no matter how much they deserve it. That said, glad the prosecutors are not going to retry the DP phase, why put the family through all of it again? California prosecutors will not seek to restore death penalty against Scott Peterson
He deserves it. I would think they would want it. It's the best justice IMO. I know California isn't executing people. But still. I think that is the only thing that is going to make a difference in Scott's head.
 

GrandmaBear

Deputized Emu Slayer/Horse Thief Hunter
I think the death penalty should still exist in some states where it does not and it should be carried out in certain cases but it sure is not what goes on these days. Even though many of us may feel that way, the political ways these days and news is going towards "softness" on criminals and against the death penalty. Some states that have it new governors have put moratoriums on it. I would worry that the death penalty retried for Peterson, right now in California of all places, may not result in a unanimous yes. Also, witnesses die, prosecutors change or die, etc. I am guessing the decision was a measured one and considered the risk, and the possible pros and cons.

My personal opinion is that he deserves it though. But who ever thought this case would come back or win anything on appeal either?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
2,155
Messages
89,664
Members
463
Latest member
DissociatedDaddy
Top