U.S.

Scott Peterson sentenced to life in prison, after being spared a death sentence

Peterson, 49, was convicted in 2004 of killing his wife, Lacey, and their unborn son, Connor. Peterson was originally sentenced to death.

In August 2020, the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence after finding that potential jurors had been wrongly dismissed, in part because they had expressed public objections to the death penalty in a questionnaire.

On Wednesday, Judge Ann Kristen Masulo Peterson ordered a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the first-degree murder of Lacey and sentenced him to 15 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Conner.

Lacey Peterson’s family members tearfully addressed Peterson in court on Wednesday.

“You don’t want the responsibility to be a father. You’re a coward,” said Sharon Rocha, Lacy’s mother.

I also talked about the young man who never became Connor.

“He would have been 18 by now,” Rocha said. “Ten months ago you would have been free from child support and not have to worry about being responsible for a child.”

But, she said, two things will never change: “Lassi and Conner will always die, and you will always be their killer.”

The legal saga that led to the reinstatement

The disappearance of Lacey Peterson, who is seven months pregnant with Conner, was reported missing on December 24, 2002. Their bodies were washed ashore and found separately in April 2003.

Scott was convicted by a jury of the murders, and he was officially sentenced to death in 2005.

Before Wednesday, Peterson had been in limbo since the California Supreme Court overturned his August 2020 death sentence for murdering his wife and unborn child.
Vladiger said earlier this year that she would not seek to reintroduce the death penalty after consulting with the victims’ families, who said “the process is too painful to bear again.”

“The people present to the court that the only sentence available to this accused is life imprisonment without possibility of parole plus 15 years to life in the murder of Lacey and Conner,” Peterson’s wife and unborn son, the attorney general, provided December 1. advertiser.

The discontent comes amid another legal tangle in Peterson’s case: In October 2020, the California Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider his murder conviction because a juror did not disclose his involvement in other legal proceedings.

“Just 7 committed malicious misconduct by failing to disclose her prior participation in other legal proceedings, including but not limited to being a victim of a crime,” the court wrote.

Peterson’s lawyers said the jurors’ answers to her erroneous questionnaire were wrong, and that she committed misconduct, prompting the assumption of bias.

Peterson was sentenced to death in 2005 for the murders of Lacey and Conner in 2002 in what is arguably one of the most widespread trials in recent memory. But in 2020, the state’s highest court found potential jurors had been wrongly dismissed after they voiced public objections to the death penalty in a questionnaire.

“Here, the lower court erroneously dismissed several prospective jurors due to written questionnaire responses expressing opposition to the death penalty, even though the jury made no indication that their opinions would prevent them from following the law—indeed, this was specifically demonstrated in their questionnaire. They replied that they would not face such difficulty,” the court wrote in its 2020 ruling.

Prosecutors charged Scott Peterson with murdering her at their Modesto home, then dumping her body in San Francisco Bay from a fishing boat he had recently purchased.

Peterson has always maintained his innocence, and his appeals have focused on various aspects of the trial, including the publicity surrounding it, the manner in which jurors were selected, the evidence accepted and inadmissible at the trial, and the prosecution’s statements.

A slew of circumstantial evidence convinced the jury of his crime, including testimony from a woman who said she was dating Peterson—who pretended to be celibate—and the fact that Peterson claimed he was fishing in San Francisco Bay on his wife’s day. disappear.

On November 23, the court ordered Peterson to be transferred from San Quentin State Jail to San Mateo County Jail for re-sentence.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a moratorium on the death penalty in 2019. The moratorium applies only while Newsom is in office.

California has not executed any guests since 2006.

Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of San Quentin State Prison.

CNN’s Aya Amroussi, Alexandra Mix and Stella Chan contributed to this report.

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