by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2005
Redwood City, CA (LifeNews.com) — Lawyers for convicted double murderer Scott Peterson have filed a request for a new trial on the charges that he killed his pregnant wife Laci and their unborn son Conner. Scott’s sentencing on the initial verdict has yet to be finalized.
The defense team filed a 122-page brief arguing reasons why a new trial is needed and prosecutors have until March 9 to issue their response.
Michael Cardoza, a local lawyer who has been helping the defense, told the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that lead defense attorney Mark Geragos had found new evidence.
Cardoza said a prison inmate had been caught on tape talking to his brother about a burglary at the Petersons’ house and that Laci Peterson confronted the robbers. Geragos could argue that authorities withheld evidence that could prove Scott Peterson is not the killer.
"Law enforcement did not turn (the recording) over," Cardoza said. "By not turning it over, they opened a Pandora’s box."
Judge Alfred Delucchi moved immediately to seal the document and said details would not be kept confidential until the prosecution replies.
Judge Delucchi has also set a March 16 date to finalize Peterson’s sentence. The jury recommended the death penalty for the two murders, but the judge could reduce the sentence to life in prison.
The Peterson case has prompted a number of states to enact unborn victims laws protecting pregnant women and authorizing prosecutors to charge criminals who attack them and kill or injure their unborn children with two crimes.
Abortion advocates oppose laws protecting pregnant women because they oppose making the unborn child a second victim in statute and claim that such laws will curtail legal abortion.
President Bush signed a federal unborn victims law last year.