Scott Peterson’s Mother Testifies, Asks Jury to Avoid Death Penalty

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

Scott Peterson’s Mother Testifies, Asks Jury to Avoid Death Penalty Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 9, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — Scott Peterson’s mother testified on Thursday and pleaded with members of the jury to spare her son’s life. Peterson has been convicted in the double murders of his wife Laci and unborn son Conner.

A tearful Jackie Peterson told jurors that the Petersons "would lose a whole family" if Scott receives the death penalty.

"I really feel if you had to take Scott away from us, it would be a whole family wiped off the face of the earth," Jackie said. "It would be like Laci never existed," she said. She said that executing Peterson "would be such a waste."

Jackie was crying so hard on occasions that it was difficult for anyone in the courtroom to understand what she was saying.

Jackie also said that Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, would gain nothing by Scott’s death.

"She was a family member of ours," Jackie said. "Both Sharon and I would lose a whole family. It would be such a waste."

Rocha appeared unmoved by the testimony, according to a Contra Costa Times news report, and left the courtroom without comment.

She asked the jury to see the good in her son that other family members and friends described during the previous days of testimony earlier this week.

"He’s an exceptional young man and he’s my son," she said. "I know he’s not perfect … but he is genuinely a loving, caring, nurturing, kind, gentle person."

Jackie Peterson also described how her father was murdered when she was a child and she said she could understand the sense of loss Laci’s family is experiencing.

As he has done during the testimony of his father and some family and friends, Scott Peterson wiped tears from his eyes during his mother’s speech.

But, unlike others, Jackie Peterson did not contradict the guilty sentence and say that Scott Peterson was innocent.

Jurors were dismissed after the testimony and Judge Alfred A. Delucchi told them to expect closing arguments and the start of deliberations on Thursday.

The jury is in the sentencing phase of the trial and Scott Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Laci and second-degree murder in the death of Conner.

The jury will decide whether Peterson should receive life in prison without the possibility of parole or be subjected to the death penalty. If Peterson gets the death penalty, Delucchi can lower the sentence to life in prison.