Why was Scott Peterson moved off death row? Pregnant Laci Peterson's murderer moved to Mule Creek

Why was Scott Peterson moved off death row? Pregnant Laci Peterson's murderer moved to Mule Creek
Scott Peterson’s defense team, family members, and supporters say the wrong man is behind bars for his wife Laci’s murder (California Department of Corrections)

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: Corrections authorities announced Monday that Scott Peterson has been released from death row, more than two years after the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence for the murder of his pregnant wife in the early 1990s. He was transferred last week from San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco to Mule Creek State Prison east of Sacramento. In a new mugshot taken Friday, Oct 21, the 50-year-old Peterson can be seen sporting a mustache, in contrast to his previous clean-shaven appearance.

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After finding Peterson guilty of the first-degree murder of Laci Peterson, 27, and the second-degree murder of their unborn son, Conner, jurors imposed the death penalty. On Christmas Eve 2002, he discarded their remains in the San Francisco Bay, according to the AP.

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In August 2020, the California Supreme Court overturned the ruling after learning that possible jurors had been "improperly rejected" because they disagreed with the death penalty personally but were prepared to uphold the law. In December 2021, 17 years after receiving a death sentence for the murder of Laci and his unborn son, Peterson was resentenced to life in prison without the chance of release, according to ABC News. He was convicted in November 2004. Despite the court's decision to overturn Scott Peterson's sentence, his conviction remains valid. 

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After the justices separately stated that Peterson's jury may have been compromised by a prejudiced juror, a California state court is currently deciding whether or not Peterson deserves a new trial. During that lengthy hearing process, Peterson was primarily confined at San Quentin, in part so he would have easier access to his attorneys. 

MEAWW last reported Scott Peterson appeared in court for a matter filed in 2002 on Thursday, August 11, 2022. His attorney made one last effort to have the murders of Laci Peterson and Conner, his unborn son, retried. The California Supreme Court sentenced Peterson to death after he was found guilty in 2004. The court resentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2021 due to jury misconduct. The California Supreme Court previously ruled that when finding Peterson guilty, the jury's consideration of their views on the death penalty was improper. A judge in San Mateo Superior Court will now decide whether Peterson may be granted a second trial.

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Peterson's attorney Cliff Gardner repeatedly asked Judge Anne-Christine Massullo for a new trial in the matter. Gardner has claimed that the defendants were not given a fair trial. This is because Richelle Nice, the juror who took part in a case involving a domestic conflict. Gardner continued, the juror was obviously predisposed towards Peterson and was only involved for fame and popularity.  The prosecution asserted that Nice had no agenda and was not eager to discuss her personal problems. He also mentioned that the trial for Nice's domestic conflict was still ongoing. She cannot, therefore, be considered a criminal. David Harris said, “Ms. Nice is not very good at filling out forms." Both attorneys were under pressure from Judge Massullo as they gave their closing arguments.  “Laci’s dead, Scott, because she loved you. She trusted you,” Rocha further added, “And she believed in you, and you betrayed her, and your son, and everybody else," Rocha continued. 

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