A California district attorney will not seek a new death penalty for Scott Peterson, less than a year after the state Supreme Court reversed his capital punishment sentence for the 2002 killing of his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son, Conner.
The news comes a month after the 48-year-old appeared in court for a hearing and a judge granted his lawyers 60 days to provide a discovery request to try to get a waiver for a retrial for the death penalty phase. Later this year, a superior court judge is expected to rule on whether Scott will receive a new trial on the charges following the Supreme Court’s reversal of his death sentence last summer due to problems with jury selection. He has been on death row since 2005 and maintains his innocence.
“The People have met and discussed with the victims’ family what a new penalty trial would involve, pursuant to their rights under Marsy’s Law,” read court documents from the Stanislaus County DA’s Office filed on Friday, May 28, and obtained by E! News. “While the family of Laci and Conner believe there is no doubt that defendant is guilty of these crimes and that his conduct warrants the death penalty and defendant is deserving of the punishment of death, the family has decided this process is simply too painful to endure once again.”
The documents continued, “The decision to accept the sentence for defendant of Life Without the Possibility of Parole followed discussions with the family of the victims, Laci and Conner; they are aware that, if the penalty phase is not retried, the defendant will be sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole. Therefore, notice is hereby given that the Office of the District Attorney will not re-try the penalty phase for defendant Scott Lee Peterson. Accordingly, the People respectfully request that this Court set a date for defendant’s sentencing.”