by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
November 11, 2004
Redwood City, CA (LifeNews.com) — As jurors continue their difficult deliberations in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial, two jurors, including the jury foreman, have already been replaced with alternates.
No reason has been given for Judge Alfred Delucci’s decisions to dismiss the jurors, though his instruction to the jury following the foreman’s dismissal has led some speculators to suspect that he may have been conducting his own private investigation.
"I’ll remind you again," Delucchi told the remaining jurors after dismissing Juror number 5, the foreman, on Wednesday. "You must decide all questions of fact in this case from the evidence received in this trial and not from any other source."
The new foreman is a firefighter and paramedic who was singled out during the trial as taking very little notes, compared to the previous foreman who had filled several spiral-bound notebooks with notes from the testimony.
On Tuesday Delucci had removed Juror number 7, again without reason. Delucci had issued the same warning to jurors about using only information provided in the trial on Tuesday, following Juror number 7’s dismissal.
The jury problems may not be over, as late Thursday another hearing was conducted in Delucchi’s chambers. Bill Cody, an investigator with the San Mateo District Attorney’s office, was in attendance, though why a local investigator was present is not known.
The jury has been in deliberations since November 3, and has requested to examine much of the evidence presented in the trial, including Peterson’s 14-foot fishing boat.
Two of the jurors reportedly entered the boat, jumping up and down, which sparked yet another mistrial request from defense attorney Mark Geragos. Delucci denied the request, stating the jurors have a right to closely examine and even manipulate the evidence presented to them.
Scott Peterson has pleaded innocent to the double murder charges. The case has received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.
The laws allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child as a result of attacking a pregnant woman.
Laci’s mother, Sharon 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 returned to Washington from the campaign trial to vote against the bill.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, 30 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky and Virginia, and 18 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy.