After 2 Decades On Death Row, Scott Peterson Is Re-Sentenced To Life In Prison

In 2004, Scott Peterson was tried and convicted of killing his wife Laci and their unborn child.

And now, almost two decades later, Peterson is still guilty per the Supreme Court of California, but may not have received a fair jury trial according to experts.

after 2 decades on death row, scott peterson is re-sentenced to life in prison
Image via California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation

A legal expert and professor at Stanislaus State University, Blake Wilson, states overturning Peterson’s death sentence is rare.

With a resentencing for Peterson set for Dec. 8 and a hearing for a potential retrial in 2022, Wilson elaborated what is happening in the Peterson case, as well as why it’s so widely talked about.

A California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence asthe death penalty carries a lot of rules that have to be followed and a judge failed to some of them.

after 2 decades on death row, scott peterson is re-sentenced to life in prison | in 2004, scott peterson was tried and convicted of killing his wife laci and their unborn child.

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“We are here again, for this one sort of very simple reason based upon a fairly complex legal history — It’s for Peterson’s re-sentencing. His guilty verdict stands. The Supreme Court didn’t touch that, but they did vacate his death penalty based upon this faulty procedure that the judge has followed. That leaves only one option for the court, a new judge, and that’s to sentence Peterson to life in prison. And that’s what’s going to happen on Wednesday,” Wilson said.

Wilson stated the California Supreme Court threw out the death penalty conviction after a judge improperly excused jurors who voiced opposition to the death penalty without asking whether or not they could still be fair in their verdict.

“In other words, people that may have been sympathetic to Peterson, not on the issue of guilt but on the issue of his punishment, were kicked off that jury,” Wilson said.

after 2 decades on death row, scott peterson is re-sentenced to life in prison
Image via California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation

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And so, Peterson’s case arrived at that point through a direct appeal process.

Wilson revealed how after the death penalty conviction was overturned, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office chose not to retry the penalty phase with a different jury. This left one last option: life in prison.

“Suffice it to say, the judge in this case, didn’t follow the law, kicked off any juror who said they had a philosophical opposition to the death penalty. And what that meant was, and this is the Supreme Court agrees with Peterson on this, it meant that he did not receive a fair trial composed of a cross-section of the jury pool,” Wilson said.

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