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Scott Peterson Resentenced to Life Without Parole

Laci Peterson's family spoke at 'emotional hearing'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2021 2:05 PM CST
Scott Peterson Resentenced to Life Without Parole
This Nov. 29, 2021 photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, shows inmate Scott Peterson, who was convicted for the 2002 murders of his pregnant wife and unborn son.   (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP, File)

(Newser) – As expected, Scott Peterson was on Wednesday sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2002 murder of pregnant wife Laci Peterson. He was given a 15-year sentence for the death of his unborn son, and the two sentences will run concurrently. Peterson saw his death sentence overturned in 2020 by the California Supreme Court, which ruled 7-0 that the judge in his case made "clear and significant" mistakes during the death-penalty phase of the trial, including the dismissal of jurors who had expressed opposition to the death penalty.

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The AP called it an "emotional hearing," with NBC News reporting that prior to Wednesday's sentencing, family members of Laci Peterson spoke in court. "I've seen no sorrow or no remorse from you at all," said mother Sharon Rocha. "I know you're going to say you have no remorse because you're innocent, but you haven't shown any grief or sorrow for either of them. I still feel the grief every day after 19 years." Said her sister, Amy Rocha, "It makes me sick being here today in front of you again. ... Even though the death penalty has been lifted you will still be punished in this life and after."

The AP reports that Peterson's attorney said the 49-year-old was prepared to speak, which he did not do during his initial trial and sentencing, but Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo didn't permit him to do so. Massullo will separately weigh in on whether Peterson was prejudiced by juror misconduct. Peterson's camp has long argued that Juror 7 did not disclose during jury selection that she had been beaten by a boyfriend while pregnant in 2001. Defense lawyers accuse her of actively trying to get on the jury and point out that she ended up co-authoring a book on the case. Hearings are scheduled for the week of Feb. 25. (Read more Scott Peterson stories.)

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