Scott Peterson, the California man who was sentenced to death in 2005 for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, must be re-sentenced, a judge has ruled.
Last year, the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s death sentence based on the improper dismissal of jurors who personally disagreed with the death penalty but would have been willing to impose such a sentence.
As a result, in November, Peterson, who has continued to be housed on San Quentin State Prison’s death row, will be re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Peterson’s defense lawyers, however, are against re-sentencing and are instead seeking a new trial based on allegations of juror misconduct after a woman selected to serve on the first trial's jury failed to disclose she had been the victim of a crime while pregnant. The district attorney has indicated prosecutors will not seek the death penalty if that scenario occurs.
“This case has become more complicated. Sentencing Mr. Peterson should not be delayed,” Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo ruled on Sept. 22.
A court date is set for Oct. 6 to determine when this fall Peterson will be resentenced. Judge Massullo will then later rule on whether or not Peterson will receive a new trial based on the alleged juror misconduct.
Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant with a boy when she vanished in December 2002. Peterson was accused of dumping his wife’s body in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve. She and the fetus of her unborn son, who the couple planned to name Connor, washed ashore in April 2003.