MODESTO (CBS SF) — Prosecutors in Stanislaus County confirmed Friday they plan to retry the penalty phase of the Scott Peterson murder trial.

During a Stanislaus County Superior Court remote Zoom hearing Friday morning, Peterson appeared remotely from San Quentin State Prison.

Last month, the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence on the grounds that the San Mateo County trial judge wrongly excluded jurors who stated they opposed the death penalty because the judge failed to determine from those jurors whether they could set aside their beliefs and follow the law. The court’s ruling also upheld Peterson’s 2004 conviction for killing his wife, Laci Peterson, and the couple’s unborn son, Conner.

However, last week the court ruled on a ruled a habeus corpus petitition by Peterson, saying San Mateo Superior Court Judge must decide whether a juror committed prejudicial misconduct by not disclosing she had been the victim of a crime and had obtained a restraining order against the perpetrator. The decision could lead to Peterson’s murder conviction being overturned.

The trial was moved from Stanislaus County to San Mateo County because of extensive pretrial publicity.

During Friday’s hearing, Stanislaus County Assistant District Attorney Dave Harris announced it was the office’s intention to retry the penalty phase of the case.

A new hearing was set for November 6.

Peterson spoke at the end of the hearing when Judge Nancy Leo asked him whether he agreed with the new date and with the time waiver, saying “Yes, your honor” both times.

Peterson was represented by attorney Pat Harris, who was co-counsel to attorney Mark Geragos during Peterson’s trial, and the public defender was relieved during the hearing.

 

Comments