LOS ANGELES — Convicted murderer Scott Peterson told the California Supreme Court that his guilty verdict and death sentence should be overturned because his trial was tainted by massive publicity, a biased juror pool and shaky evidence.
Peterson, condemned to die for killing his pregnant wife Laci and their unborn son in 2002, said in his 427-page appeal that prosecutors had no evidence of how, where or when Laci was killed, and that overwhelming pretrial publicity had infected the juror pool and the trial.
“The case against Mr. Peterson was anything but overwhelming,” Cliff Gardner, Peterson’s lead lawyer, argued in the appeal that is automatically granted to capital murder convicts. “There were no eyewitnesses, no confessions, no admissions, and scant physical evidence connected him to the crime.”
Nearly half the prospective jurors said in pretrial questioning they believed the Modesto, Calif., fertilizer salesman killed his wife.