by Steven Ertelt
December 1, 2004
Redwood City, CA (LifeNews.com) — In the sentencing phase of the Scott Peterson double murder trial, the prosecution was expected to put Laci Peterson’s family on the stand and observers believed the focus would be on how much Laci meant to her family and the grief over the loss of unborn child Conner.
Jurors got that and much more when Laci Peterson’s mother Sharon Rocha lashed out at Scott Peterson during the testimony.
Rocha blasted Scott for taking away her daughter and denying her the opportunity to have a grandson.
"Divorce is always an option,” she shouted at Peterson, "not murder!”
She tore into Scott Peterson so strongly on several occasions that many in the audience were shocked and gasped.
"There was someone who knew all along and you wouldn’t tell us,” Rocha shouted again at Peterson. "Instead you let us go through this every day!”
Scott Peterson stared back at Rocha from the defense table expressionless and saying nothing.
"She should have been a mother also,” Rocha said of her 27 year-old daughter who was eight months pregnant when she disappeared the day before Christmas. "That was taken away from her. She wanted to be a mother."
Rocha told the jury that the manner in which Laci was killed was gruesome and cold-hearted. She referred to Laci’s decapitation and missing body parts after authorities found her body and that of Conner’s washed up in San Francisco Bay.
"She didn’t have arms to hold him,” Rocha said about Laci and Conner when the two were buried together. "She should have had her arms and her head.”
Rocha was also reminisced about her thoughts of her daughter.
"I can hear her giggling,” Rocha said, tearing up. "She didn’t just smile, she had this giggle. She’d bend over, then she’d laugh and pull her knee in and laugh at herself.”
With a statement from Rocha and three other members from Laci’s family, the prosecution hoped to make the case that Scott deserves the death penalty after the jury declared him guilty of killing Laci and Conner last month.
Laci Peterson’s brother, half-sister and stepfather also testified.
Defense lawyer Mark Geragos will call members of Scott’s family to the stand today in an attempt to show the jury that Peterson is a good man who has never before committed a crime.
The California Supreme Court on Monday declined to delay the sentencing phase.
Now, the same six men and six women who convicted Peterson on November 12 will determine whether he should be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty.
The jury declared Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in his wife’s death, and second-degree murder in his unborn son’s death.
The Peterson case has received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.
Peterson was prosecuted for two murders as California has an unborn victims law. Several states now have similar laws, which allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child as a result of attacking a pregnant woman.
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 candidate 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.