Scott Peterson was convicted in 2005 of murdering his pregnant wife.
A California district attorney said in a court filing Friday that she will not seek a new death sentence against Scott Peterson, convicted in 2005 of murdering his pregnant spouse .
The Stanislaus County district attorney’s office said it would drop efforts to reestablish the penalty thrown out last year by the state Supreme Court.
Even the California justices ruled the death sentence could not stand because potential jurors were excluded after saying they disagreed with the death penalty.
The household has”no doubt” Peterson murdered his wife and unborn son Conner and warrants the death penalty but doesn’t need to pursue this punishment because”this course of action is just too painful to endure once more,” District Attorney Birgit Fladager stated in her filing in San Mateo Superior Court.
Peterson, now 48, was convicted in the San Mateo court following his trial was moved from Stanislaus County due to the massive pre-trial publicity that followed the Christmas Eve 2002 disappearance of 27-year-old Laci, who was eight months pregnant.
Investigators say Peterson took the bodies out of their Modesto home and dumped them out of his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, where they surfaced months afterwards.
Peterson maintains his innocence, and a judge is considering whether to grant a new trial because a juror didn’t disclose that she had sought a restraining order in 2000 against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. She said in seeking the arrangement she feared for her unborn child. The judge has to determine if that amounted to juror misconduct, and if so, if it was so prejudicial that a new trial is warranted.
If no new trial is granted, he will be sentenced to life imprisonment.
One of Peterson’s lawyers said the announcement isn’t a precursor to a plea bargain and his client will seek a new trial when a judge decides his very first one was tainted by juror misconduct.
Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo said she hopes to make a decision this year if Peterson merits a new trial.
It is not apparent if prosecutors might again seek the death penalty if there’s a new trial and he was again convicted, said defense attorney Pat Harris, who is managing the death sentence portion of the circumstance.
A different attorney, Andras Farkas, is representing Peterson on the issue of whether he gets a new trial. Farkas did not respond to an email requesting comment.
“It’s not clear to me they’re saying no matter what, we’re carrying the death penalty off the table… or they are saying if we go back to trial we are reserving the right to put the death penalty back up again,” Harris stated. “It seems like they’re sort of holding back that when the judge requests a new trial, they can put the death penalty back on the table”