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Prosecutors Say They Will Retry Death Sentencing Penalty Phase in Scott Peterson Case


Prosecutors in California made it formal on Friday: They will retry the penalty phase of convicted murderer Scott Peterson, 47, in the deaths of his wife Laci Peterson, 27, and the couple’s unborn son Conner.

The death sentence in the case had been overturned in August. A hearing is set for Nov. 6 because there is still plenty up in the air. This month, the California Supreme Court ordered a review of Peterson’s underlying conviction after the defense said one of the jurors lied to be on the case by omitting from a jury questionnaire that she had filed a restraining order against her then-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.

The juror in question, Richelle Nice, told The Modesto Bee in a 2017 report that the Peterson case and hers were very different. The ex “never threatened to kill me, to kill my unborn child, to beat me up,” she said. “When I filled out that questionnaire, my situation never came into my mind because it was not similar at all.”

A source for PEOPLE magazine told the outlet that Laci’s family was “stunned” by the order to review the conviction.

“This juror may be the reason that they have to go through this all over again,” the person said. “It’s a nightmare. They’ve already suffered an unimaginable loss.”

The state was given a Nov. 13 deadline to show a lower court why the conviction should remain in place. Now that process is tangled up with the process in which Peterson’s penalty would be retried. The defense on Friday told the court that they will need to speak to Peterson first before granting a time waiver for the retrial in the penalty phase.

[Mugshot via California Department of Corrections]

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