SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – After receiving an overturned death sentence in the slaying of his pregnant wife, Scott Peterson is now heading back to San Mateo court looking to overturn his conviction over a potential issue in his trial’s jury selection, the California Superior Court said.
According to The Modesto Bee, the California Supreme Court made the ruling Tuesday following Peterson’s petition for habeas corpus, which was filed back in 2015.
Court records show there were 19 claims filed in Peterson’s petition to get his convictions overturned, 18 of which were denied as “moot” and “on merits.”
The claim involving the potential juror issue was the first in the petition. The court order says, “Juror No. 7 committed prejudicial misconduct by not disclosing her prior involvement with other legal proceedings, including but not limited to being the victim of a crime.” The Modesto Bee reported that the juror was a victim of a crime while she was pregnant and feared for the life of her unborn child.
The details of this case resurfacing once again are frustrating for jurors who want it to be over.
“It is sad. That’s what it is. It’s very sad because this is a beautiful example of a person who is exactly, in my opinion, where he belongs,” said Mike Belmessieri, one of the original jurors.
Peterson’s overturned death sentence came back in August in response to an automatic appeal when the California Supreme Court also decided to uphold his first-degree murder conviction regarding his wife and second-degree murder conviction regarding his unborn child.
The state Supreme Court ruled in August that sentencing was unfair and jury selection in Peterson’s case was impartial.
Laci Peterson, 27, was eight months pregnant with their unborn son, Connor, when she was killed. Investigators said that on Christmas Eve 2002, Peterson dumped their bodies from his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, where they surfaced months later.
Peterson was found guilty of the murder back in 2004, just shy of 16 years to this new development.
“Everybody’s a victim except Scott, you know? And now he’s getting another shot at the freedom I don’t think he deserves,” Belmessieri said.