(USNewsMag.com) – In 2002, the disappearance of Laci Peterson sent shockwaves around the country. Images of the woman with a contagious smile and a very evident zest for life circulated on the news and in print. Suspicions almost immediately turned to her husband, Scott, who had allegedly been fishing and came home to notice her missing.
In the months following, investigators couldn’t find Laci, nor her unborn son, Connor. Everything changed in April of 2003 when Laci‘s and Connor’s bodies washed ashore and Scott was charged with their murders. In 2004, a jury convicted him and he was subsequently sentenced to death — until now.
Revival of the Laci Peterson Case
On August 24, 2020, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturned Scott Peterson’s death sentence, claiming, “the trial court made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection.” Particularly, jurors were dismissed because they opposed the death penalty.
However, the court rejected Peterson’s claim he had an unfair trial. The SCOTUS told prosecutors they could reseek the death penalty in a new hearing.
On December 8, Scott avoided the death penalty when he was sentenced to life in prison. Before the hearing, which took place in a San Mateo County courtroom, Judge Anne Christine Massullo prevented him from making a statement. Her reasoning was he may get a new murder trial and his statements could be used against him.
Possibility of New Trial
Scott Peterson continues to maintain his innocence and he has several staunch supporters in his corner, including his sister-in-law, Janey Peterson, who says the prosecution has no valid evidence he committed the crime. Instead, she says, they focused on his infidelity and the fact he ordered porn. These reasons, do not add up to murder, Janey continued.
Pat Harris, Scott’s lawyer, agrees and says new evidence has come to light to possibly exonerate his client. Apparently, a burglary occurred across the street from the couple’s Modesto home allegedly at the time of Laci’s disappearance. The people involved in the burglary, Harris said, had a “very violent, criminal history,” and it’s more likely they killed her and dumped her body to keep her from speaking out about what she saw.
Do you have new evidence that exonerates your client? –@SavannahGuthrie
Absolutely. -Pat Harris, Scott Peterson's attorney pic.twitter.com/jayH9c9yO5
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 9, 2021
Whether or not these new allegations will hold up in court and grant Scott Peterson a new trial remains yet to be seen. For now, he remains behind bars, where Laci’s family is determined to keep him.
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