On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court ordered a review of Scott Peterson’s convictions for the murder of his wife, Lacey, and their unborn son, because a juror in the 2004 trial failed to reveal her participation in certain legal proceedings.
The The state court ordered To show why the murder convictions against Mr. Peterson were not overturned on the grounds that Juror, No. 7, had “committed harmful misconduct by failing to disclose her previous participation in other legal proceedings, including but not limited to being the victim of a crime.”
The case will revert to the Supreme Court of San Mateo County to determine whether Mr. Peterson should be brought for a new trial.
The Los Angeles Times reported That the jury did not disclose that she obtained a restraining order in 2000 against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend for harassing her while she was pregnant.
A request for comment from Peterson’s attorney Cliff Gardner was not immediately received on Thursday.
The case and the trial, which attracted wide media coverage and produced at least one film intended for television, returned to the spotlight in August when Peterson’s death sentence has been overturned by the California Supreme Court. At the time, the court upheld Mr. Peterson’s convictions, but said that the trial judge had made errors that impeded his right to an impartial jury during the sentencing.
The court said, “We reject Peterson’s claim that he received an unfair trial regarding his guilt, and accordingly confirm his conviction of murder.” “But before the trial began, the first instance court made a series of clear and gross errors in selecting the jury.”
The court said that prosecutors could again seek the death penalty for Mr Peterson in a new hearing.
Lacey Peterson, a 27-year-old surrogate teacher who was eight months pregnant, was reported to have disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002 from the home she was living in with Mr. Peterson in Modesto, California.
In April 2003, her body was found in San Francisco Bay, near where Mr. Peterson, who was then 30 years old, told police that he had gone fishing the day she disappeared.
Mr. Peterson was arrested soon after.
During the trial, the prosecution argued that Mr. Peterson, who was running a fertilizer company in Modesto, had killed his wife so that he could continue an affair with another woman, Amber Fry.
The jury found Mr. Peterson Guilty of first degree murder On the death of Mrs. Peterson and the second degree murder of fetal death. The couple’s child, whom they decided to name Konner, was due to be born in February 2003.
The case was moved from Modesto, about 70 miles to the east, to the San Mateo County Courthouse due to pre-trial publicity.
When Mr. Peterson was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2005, the judge gave the opportunity to members of Mrs. Peterson’s family to address him.
“You’re going to burn in hell for this, so are you,” said Dennis Rocha, Mrs. Peterson’s father. “Your life is over.”