Saturday, May 29, 2021

DA no longer pursuing death penalty for Scott Peterson

Stanislaus County, California District Attorney Birgit Fladager filed a notice in court saying she no longer plans to pursue the death penalty against Scott Peterson, reported the Modesto Bee.

The notice, first reported by The Bee, says prosecutors met with Laci Peterson’s family to discuss what a new penalty trial would involve.

“While the family of Laci and Conner have no doubt that defendant is guilty of these crimes and that his conduct warrants the death penalty ... the family has decided this process is too painful to endure once again.”

Fladager and Chief Deputy District Attorney Dave Harris did not respond to attempts by The Bee to reach them Friday.

The decision means Scott Peterson’s sentence would remain life without the possibility of parole. It was reverted to that in August when the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence for the murder of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner, because it said the trial judge erred by excluding potential jurors opposed to the death penalty.

Peterson still has a chance to get a new trial if his conviction is overturned.

In a separate matter, the California Supreme Court in October also ruled that a trial court must decide whether one of the jurors intentionally withheld information on a questionnaire in order to get on the jury.

The case was remanded back to San Mateo Superior Court, where the original trial was held.

Scott’s sister-in-law Janey Peterson said in a text that she is “Grateful that they are no longer seeking to take Scott’s life, but still looking forward to getting back into the courtroom.”

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