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Scott Peterson’s Penalty Phase Retrial Rescheduled for Next Year After He Waves Right to Speedy Trial


Scott Peterson

There’s a new development in the convoluted case of convicted murderer Scott Peterson, 47. He waived his right to a speedy redo of his penalty phase in the killings of his wife Laci Peterson, 27, and their unborn son Conner. It is set for January 21, 2020.

Peterson’s death sentence was overturned in August after the Supreme Court of California determined the defendant’s trial court improperly dismissed potential jurors who simply voiced an opposition to capital punishment.

“Here, the trial court erroneously dismissed many prospective jurors because of written questionnaire responses expressing opposition to the death penalty, even though the jurors gave no indication that their views would prevent them from following the law — and, indeed, specifically attested in their questionnaire responses that they would have no such difficulty,” the court said. “Under United States Supreme Court precedent, these errors require us to reverse the death sentence in this case.”

The state has another chance to pursue a death sentence again, but things got even more complicated after it was determined that a juror failed to reveal on her juror questionnaire that she was the victim of a crime: namely, that she filed a restraining order on an ex-girlfriend of her then-boyfriend.

Peterson’s defense has argued that certain potential jurors wanted to get on the case specifically to find their client guilty. The court is now asking the state to argue why the underlying conviction should not be tossed.

“This was a closed case,” said a source close to Laci’s family, according to PEOPLE. “The family wasn’t moving on, of course, but they were definitely moving forward. Now they’re facing the very real possibility of having to sit through another trial. They’re horrified. They’re horrified and disgusted.”

[Mugshot via California Department of Corrections]

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