L.A. Innocence Project Takes Up Scott Peterson’s Case

SEO Content Writing Service

The Los Angeles Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that works to overturn wrongful convictions, filed documents in court this week to re-examine the case of Scott Peterson, who is serving a life sentence in a California prison for the murders of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son in 2002.

The organization said in a statement emailed to The New York Times that it “represents Scott Peterson and is investigating his claim of actual innocence.” The San Mateo County Supreme Court confirmed the organization’s filing on Friday.

Paula Mitchell, the director of the organization, said in a declaration included in the filing that newly discovered evidence had revealed “deficiencies” in the case’s discovery process, according to an ABC News report of the court filing.

The decision by the Los Angeles Innocence Project to take up the case resurfaced attention on the murder conviction, which for years has generated widespread coverage by tabloids and news organizations, books and at least one made-for-TV movie.

“We are very excited that the incredible attorneys at the L.A. Innocence Project are lending their considerable expertise to help prove Scott Peterson’s innocence,” Pat Harris, who was one of Mr. Peterson’s lawyers in the trial and said he would represent him in the event of a new one, said in an email.

On Christmas Eve in 2002, Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old substitute teacher who was pregnant with the couple’s first child, was reported missing from the home she and Mr. Peterson shared in Modesto, Calif. In April 2003, her body and the fetus washed ashore in San Francisco Bay, close to where Mr. Peterson, who was 30 at the time, had told the police he had gone fishing the day she went missing. He was arrested that month.

The case was moved to San Mateo County Superior Court from Modesto because of pretrial publicity. During the trial in 2004, the prosecution argued that Mr. Peterson killed his wife so he could have an affair with another woman, Amber Frey. Prosecutors said Mr. Peterson had told Ms. Frey that he was unmarried with no children.

Mr. Peterson was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2005, but the California Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2020. The court upheld his conviction but said the trial judge had made mistakes that had hindered Mr. Peterson’s right to an impartial jury.

He was resentenced in 2021 to life without the possibility of parole. Lawyers for Mr. Peterson, who has maintained his innocence, filed a writ of habeas corpus in 2022, saying he had been deprived of his constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury because of a juror’s alleged concealed bias. The judge denied it, saying it failed to show bias.

The Los Angeles Innocence Project re-examines, on a pro bono basis, cases of people who were possibly wrongfully convicted. Most cases are based on misidentification by eyewitnesses or the incorrect application of forensic science. Wrongful convictions are also related to inadequate defense, false confessions and other factors.

The group said in its filing that its attorneys had reviewed trial files but could not locate evidence from investigations into events during the month Ms. Peterson went missing, ABC News reported, quoting the documents.

According to ABC’s reporting, Ms. Mitchell said that newly discovered evidence had showed “deficiencies” related to police reports, tip sheets and other materials used by both the prosecution and defense. She added that items in the police report were not given to defense attorneys during discovery and that witnesses were “hesitant” or “unwilling” to provide information in the high-profile case.

“New evidence now supports Mr. Peterson’s longstanding claim of innocence and raises many questions into who abducted and killed Laci and Conner Peterson,” the filings stated, according to ABC.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Friday that “Mr. Peterson, like all individuals convicted of crimes, is afforded the legal right to appeal his conviction with representation of his choosing.”

Ms. Mitchell sent a letter about the findings to the Stanislaus County district attorney, Jeff Laugero, on Nov. 14, 2023, ABC reported, citing the filings.

Members of Laci Peterson’s family could not be reached for comment.



Source link

You May Also Like

About the Author: digitalinfocenter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home Privacy Policy Terms Of Use Anti Spam Policy Contact Us Affiliate Disclosure Amazon Affiliate Disclaimer DMCA Earnings Disclaimer