Scott Peterson’s sister-in-law has said he was ‘failed’ by the Justice Department, insisting she has new evidence saying he couldn’t have killed his wife.
Peterson was found guilty of the murder of his wife Laci and unborn child on Christmas Eve in 2004.
He was sentenced to death, but his death sentence was overturned by the California Supreme Court in August. A hearing was held on Tuesday to discuss a new hearing on conviction: his supporters and the legal team hope to fully reverse the conviction.
Janey Peterson, who has spent years investigating the case, said police in Modesto, 140 miles east of San Francisco, ignored tips and clues in the case.
“There is no set of circumstances to match the evidence where he could possibly have done it,” she said CBS 13.
Janey Peterson said her brother-in-law had failed due to the legal system
Her husband led the search for her for months, but was arrested after Laci’s severely decomposed body washed up on a San Francisco coastline in April 2003. The couple got married in 1997.
‘The legal system has failed here, and many aspects have failed.
And it started with the Modesto police. And it started with the fact that they were not following up on evidence showing that Laci was alive on the morning of December 24th. ‘
Peterson, now 47, continues to maintain his innocence.
Laci disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2002. Peterson told police he had been fishing in Berkeley that day, and when he got home to Modesto, his pregnant wife had disappeared.
He led the search for her for months, but was arrested after Laci’s severely decomposed body and their son’s fetus washed up on a San Francisco coastline in April 2003.
Peterson, whose bodies say he dumped the bodies on the side of his fishing boat, has been on death row since 2005. He is now awaiting his conviction.
Janey Peterson said she believed Laci was murdered after confronting burglars in a neighboring property.
“An anonymous tip came in saying that five people were involved in the break-in, but only two of those people were arrested and questioned,” Janey Peterson said.
“A Lieutenant Aponte who worked at Norco Prison in California called Modesto police in January and said they had an inmate in their prison who overheard discussing exactly what Laci had confronted the burglars in Medina’s house.”
Prosecutors say the break-in didn’t happen until two days after Laci’s disappearance.
They insist that the correct conclusion was reached at the trial 18 years ago.
On Tuesday, the defense announced its intention to send a request for discovery to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
The judge agreed that both parties would meet in 60 days on June 28 to discuss the status of the discovery request.
The California Supreme Court in August overturned Peterson’s planned death by lethal injection, due to errors in the process.
Scott Peterson and his wife Laci were photographed in 2002, before her disappearance on Christmas Eve
Peterson was convicted of murder in November 2004 and sentenced to death in 2005
In their ruling, the court said Peterson’s death sentence was dropped because the judge on the jury had made “ obvious and significant errors ” in the selection of the jury, which meant that Peterson was not given an impartial trial.
The court agreed with Peterson’s argument that potential jurors were falsely removed from the jury after saying they personally disagreed with the death penalty but were willing to follow and enforce the law.
While a court may dismiss a prospective juror as unfit to serve on a main case if the juror’s opinion of the death penalty would significantly affect his or her ability to follow the law, a juror should not be fired just because he or she she has objected to the death penalty as a general matter, ”the judges said in a unanimous decision.
Laci was reported missing on Christmas Eve in 2002, when she was eight months pregnant
Peterson argued on appeal that he could not get a fair trial due to the massive publicity that followed, even though the proceedings were nearly 90 miles from his Central Valley home in Modesto to San Mateo County, south of San Francisco.
He had also argued on appeal that the court had erred in deciding whether jurors and the defense were allowed to properly test whether Peterson’s new boat was likely to have capsized had he dumped the weighted bodies over the side.