Sentenced to death for murdering his pregnant wife Laci, who was carrying their unborn kid Conner, Scott Peterson still maintains his innocence. On Thursday, the charming Modesto killer filed for automatic appeal of his 2004 death sentence to the California Supreme Court — which, according to Associated Press, is moving at lightning speed, at least compared to those of his 725 fellow California Death Row inmates — and says that he had absolutely nothing to do with the killings of his wife and unborn son.
Then why was the adulterous and former bleach-blond fertilizer sales man convicted? Simple, says his death penalty lawyer Cliff Gardner. Peterson was victim of "intense publicity" similar to that of OJ or, most recently, Casey "#TotMom" Anthony. (Though Scott's case had a far different outcome, of course, as Simpson and Anthony were both acquitted.)
Associated Press has more:
Gardner argues that the intense publicity the case generated almost from the moment Laci disappeared deprived Peterson of a fair trial. The trial was ordered moved from Stanislaus County of the Petersons' home, to San Mateo County. Gardner argued that the trial should have been moved yet again because of the crush of publicity in San Mateo County.
"Before hearing even a single witness, nearly half of all prospective jurors admitted they had already decided Mr. Peterson was guilty of capital murder," Gardner argues. And in what may be a first for the American system of justice, outside the courthouse in which the parties would try to select a fair jury, a radio station posted a large billboard which had a telephone number for people to call in and vote" whether Peterson was a "man or monster." Peterson was pictured in an orange jailhouse jumpsuit.
"The publicity continued throughout trial," Gardner argued. "A mob estimated at more than 1,000 people gathered at the courthouse to await the guilt phase verdict. After the guilty verdict was announced, the 12 jurors departing to await the beginning of the penalty phase — and decide whether Mr. Peterson would live or die — were met with wild applause and cheering."
Gardner goes on to argue that the judge in the case "made several erroneous evidentiary decisions" leading to Peterson's allegedly unfair trial.
As far as Peterson's life on Death Row goes? Well, according to FOX News, it consists of 5 hours of out-of-cell activities, "which primarily consist of outside recreational activities (basketball, jogging, walking, and board games)." When he's not doing outside activities, he is "confined to his cell where he also consumes his meals."
On Christmas Eve, 2002, if you recall, Laci Peterson was reported missing from their Modesto, California, home. In April of 2003, a fetus washed up from in Richmond's Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, just north of the Berkeley Marina. That was the same spot where Peterson had been boating on the day of Laci's disappearance. Soon thereafter, "a partial female torso missing its hands, feet, and head washed ashore in the same area," which was identified as Laci's.