After overturning of death penalty, California Supreme Court ordered to re-examine Scott Peterson’s murder convictions

Scott Peterson was convicted in 2004 on charges of first-degree murder with special circumstance for killing his wife Laci and second-degree murder for the death of their unborn son, Connor. He was sentenced to death. 

However, this sentence has been overturned and the California Supreme Court has been ordered to re-examine the case when it was discovered that a juror, Richelle Nice, committed prejudicial misconduct because she did not disclose that she had been involved in prior legal proceedings. Nice had obtained a restraining order against her boyfriend’s former girlfriend but she denied any involvement in any crime-related incidents before serving as juror.

While there was no physical evidence that Peterson was responsible for the death of his wife and child, the prosecutors presented a large amount of circumstantial evidence against him. This included the fact that he had been close to the area the bodies were found on the day of Laci’s disappearance; had visited the crime scene repeatedly; was in possession of tarps covered in gasoline and fertilizer both of which allegedly destroy DNA and his testimony regarding the cooking show Laci was watching as he left and the rain which stopped him from continuing fishing do not align with the date. 

The prosecutors also discovered that Peterson was having an affair with a woman called Amber Frey and had lied to her about his marital status and his wife. 

When the police arrested him, it was near a golf course in La Jolla and he was reported to be carrying cash worth $15,000, multiple cellphones, an identification card that belonged to his brother, hundreds of sleeping pills, 10 Viagra pills, a firearm and a dagger. He was close to the Mexico border and his hair and beard were allegedly dyed blonde.

It is still to be seen what will happen in the case, now that a re-examination has been ordered.

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Rittika Dhar
Young aspiring content and creative writer and blogger, is currently pursuing an MA in English Literature.