Scott Peterson Jurors Resume Deliberations Today in Double Murder Case

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson Jurors Resume Deliberations Today in Double Murder Case

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 13, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — The Scott Peterson case continues on Monday as jurors resume deliberations and continue to consider whether the man who was convicted for killing his wife and unborn son should be given the death penalty or life in prison.

The jury heard closing arguments at the tail end of last week and then began deliberations but did not complete them. That’s a good sign for Peterson, some legal observers say.

"It was a good sign for Peterson that they didn’t come back immediately," Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson told KABC-TV.

"It makes a lot of sense to me that frankly they wanted to take the weekend, she added. "Because I think in the amount of time they’ve deliberated, about the only thing they’ve been able to do is hear each other out."

The jurors will remain sequestered in a hotel until they reach a unanimous agreement on what to do with Peterson. They have now spent more time discussing the sentencing phase of the trial than they did in determining whether they thought Peterson was guilty.

Judge Alfred Delucchi will officially sentence Peterson on February 25 and can choose to lower the sentence to life in prison if the jury gives him the death penalty.

Last month, the same jury of six men and six women found Peterson guilty of first degree murder in the death of Laci Peterson and second degree murder in the death of their unborn child Conner.

In closing arguments, both the defense and prosecution made their case.

Defense attorney Pat Harris told the jury Peterson "has a lot of good in him" and would likely help others in prison.

"There’s an opportunity to make something out of a life that has essentially gone wrong, a chance to see that others benefit from the positive part of Scott Peterson, some chance for him to do some good for the rest of his life," Harris said, according to a CNN report.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said Peterson would enjoy something Laci and Conner don’t — life.

"If you have life, he gets to sit in a cell, read a book, write letters; he gets to have life," prosecutor David Harris said. "All the things that Laci and Conner would love to do, all the things that Laci’s family would love to be able to share with Laci and Conner."

The case has drawn national attention to the plight of pregnant women who have suffered from acts of violence.

Most often, a husband or boyfriend wants his partner to have an abortion. When she refuses, many attackers have cited that as the reason for the assault.

Spurned by the epidemic, Congress and many state legislatures have enacted unborn victims laws that charge criminals with two crimes when they attack a pregnant woman and kill or injure her unborn child.