As I am sure you must be aware, Scott Lee Peterson is a convicted murderer who is currently confined in San Quentin State Prison.
Viewers around the world were captivated by the court trial in 2004 where we saw Peterson become convicted of the first-degree murder of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and the second-degree murder of their unborn son, Conner, in Modesto, California. The public cry for justice was quelched when, in 2005, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
However, that would not be the last time we heard about Scott Peterson. More than 15 years following the murder of Laci Peterson and her unborn child, his case was on an automatic appeal to the Supreme Court of California. On the 24th of August, 2020, the death penalty for Peterson was overturned. Justice Leondra Kruger wrote the opinion of the Supreme Court and it was 103 pages long.
The gist of the opinion written by Justice Krueger is that before the trial began, the trial court made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under the long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson’s right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase. More specifically, jurors who were opposed to capital punishment but willing to impose it were wrongfully dismissed. “While a court may dismiss a prospective juror as unqualified to sit on a capital case if the juror’s views on capital punishment would substantially impair his or her ability to follow the law, a juror may not be dismissed merely because he or she has expressed opposition to the death penalty as a general matter,” Kruger wrote.
Now, two months after the California Supreme Court overturned his death penalty, they have ordered a second look at Scott Peterson’s conviction for killing his pregnant wife Laci and unborn son.
On October 14, 2020, the Supreme Court sent the case back to San Mateo County Superior Court to determine whether Peterson should receive a new trial, the Los Angeles Times reported . There was one thing that they wanted to be reexamined in particular. There was a juror in the original trial who failed to disclose that she had once feared for her unborn child when being harassed by the ex-girlfriend of her boyfriend. When potential jurors were asked whether they had ever been a victim of a crime or involved in a lawsuit, the juror identified as Richelle Nice, said no to both questions. Initially seated as an alternate, Nice replaced a discharged juror during deliberations. She published a book with several other jurors about their experience during the 2004 trial.
Scott Peterson has always maintained his innocence.