In yet another argument against California having a death penalty at all, Scott Peterson filed an automatic appeal of his sentence last week: claiming not only that he’s innocent, but that his trial was marred by incorrect evidentiary rulings and “overwhelming publicity.” His attorney argues that the trial, already moved away from Peterson’s Stanislaus County, should have been moved yet further away.
Given he fact that his attorney claims Peterson’s trial received more publicity than O.J. Simpson’s, it’s not clear how far would have been sufficient.
Peterson was convicted in 2004 of the December 2002 murders of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child Connor.
A Preponderance of Implication: Some thoughts about publicity and trials
Why California’s Death Penalty Still Matters: According to Mark Fuhrman, anyway (speaking of O.J.)
In the Drew Peterson case (jury selection is set to begin July 23, with opening arguments scheduled for July 30), Judge Edward Burmila has turned down a prosecution request that the bathtub in which Peterson’s third wife Kathleen Savio died be reinstalled in the former Peterson home and that the jury be brought to the house to “see and feel” the “murder weapon.”
The defense had argued that the prosecution just wanted to use the tub for “dramatic effect,” and Judge Burmilla said he didn’t want to inconvenience the current owners of the house — though he did leave open the possibility that he’d allow the tub to be brought into the courtroom if the prosecution needed it to refute defense expert witness.
© 2012 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.