Jurors in Scott Peterson Trial Providing Difficult to Find

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jurors in Scott Peterson Trial Providing Difficult to Find

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 17, 2004

Modesto, CA (LifeNews.com) — As the preparations for the Scott Peterson trial unfold, media observers have become witnesses in the case, while qualified jurors are proving difficult to find. Peterson is standing trial for the murder of his wife and their unborn son Conner, a case that has received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.

Only seven additional jurors were added to the pool last week, while one that had been added earlier was disqualified, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The pool now has 70 jurors, from which 12 jurors and six alternates will be ultimately selected.

Forensics experts Henry Lee and Cyril Wecht, who provided many speculations for local and national media early in the investigation, has now been hired by Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson’s defense attorney. Wecht, notes the Modesto Bee newspaper, had been critical of Scott Peterson as the investigation unfolded, but now appears to have reversed his position after joining the defense team.

Since being officially brought onto the case, Lee and Wecht have ceased to provide the commentary for media outlets, as Professor Stephen Schoenthaler and attorney Ernie Spokes have.

Schoenthaler conducted unsolicited polls regarding whether Scott Peterson could get a fair trial in Modesto or in Stanislaus County, and provided media commentary during the preliminary hearing.

Following confessions from university students that they fabricated answers to the polls, Schoenthaler has become the target of a separate probe as well as having been subpoenaed. He has retained Spokes as his legal representative.

Scott has pleaded innocent to charges that he murdered his wife on Christmas Eve 2002, when she was eight months pregnant, and dumped her body into San Francisco Bay. Her body and that of her son Conner washed up on the California coast in April.

Laci’s mother, Susan Rocha, has become and outspoken advocate of Unborn Victims Laws, both for individual states and the entire nation.

President Bush signed a federal Unborn Victims of Violence Law in March. Rocha had voiced her support of the bill, and had criticized members of the Senate, including presidential hopeful John Kerry, who had stalled and opposed the bill.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 29 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky, and 17 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy. None of those laws has ever been successfully challenged in Court.