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jury sentences peterson to death...

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Jury: Peterson Deserves Death Penalty

1 hour, 28 minutes ago

By BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press Writer

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Repelled by Scott Peterson (news - web sites)'s seeming lack of sorrow and remorse, a jury decided Monday that he deserves the death penalty for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, almost two years ago to the date.

A cheer went up outside the courthouse as the jury announced its decision after 11 1/2 hours of deliberations over three days. Inside court, Peterson reacted with the same tight-jawed look that some jurors said turned them off after seeing little emotion out of Peterson since his wife's disappearance two years ago.

"I still would have liked to see, I don't know if remorse is the right word," juror Steve Cardosi said at a news conference following the sentence. "He lost his wife and his child — it didn't seem to faze him. While that was going on ... he is romancing a girlfriend."

A crowd of several hundred gathered outside the courthouse for the verdict — a scene reminiscent of when about 1,000 people showed up last month to hear the conviction. The San Francisco Examiner came out with a special edition within minutes of the sentence, with the giant headline "DEATH."

Laci Peterson (news - web sites)'s mother, Sharon Rocha, cried quietly — her lips quivering after the verdict was read. Scott Peterson's mother, Jackie, showed no apparent emotion.

In a brief news conference after the verdict, defense attorney Mark Geragos said he was "very disappointed." "Obviously, we plan on pursuing every and all appeals, motions for a new trial and everything else," he said.

The jury had two options in deciding the 32-year-old former fertilizer salesman's fate: life in prison without parole or death by injection.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi will formally sentence Peterson on Feb. 25. The judge will have the option of reducing the sentence to life, but such a move is highly unlikely.

If the judge upholds the sentence, Peterson will be sent to death row at San Quentin State Prison outside San Francisco, the infamous lockup that overlooks the same bay where Laci Peterson's body was discarded.

But Peterson still might not be executed for decades — if ever — and it can take years for even the first phase of the appeals process to begin. Since California brought back capital punishment in 1978, only 10 executions have been carried out; the last execution, in 2002, was for a murder committed in 1980. The state's clogged death row houses about 650 people.

The sentence marked one of the final chapters in a soap opera-like saga that began nearly two years ago with the Christmas Eve disappearance of Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old substitute teacher who married her college sweetheart and was soon to be the proud mother of a baby boy named Conner.

The tale of adultery and murder quickly set off a tabloid frenzy as suspicion began to swirl around Scott Peterson, who claimed to have been fishing by himself on Christmas Eve and was carrying on an affair with a massage therapist at the time.

The remains of Laci and the fetus washed ashore about four months later, just a few miles from where Peterson said he was fishing in the San Francisco Bay.

The case made more People magazine covers than any murder investigation in the publication's history. Court TV thrived on the case, providing countless hours of coverage on the investigation and gavel-to-gavel commentary throughout the trial. CNN's Larry King hosted show after show with pundits picking apart legal strategies, testimony and even Scott Peterson's demeanor.

Trial regulars showed up by the hundreds to participate in the daily lottery for the coveted 27 public seats inside the courtroom.

The case went to trial in June, and the jury of six men and six women convicted Peterson Nov. 12 of two counts of murder before issuing the sentence Monday.

"There are so many things, so many things," juror Richelle Nice said in describing how the jury came about its decisions. "Scott Peterson was Laci's husband, Conner's daddy — the one person that should have protected them."

Jurors said they were swayed as much by Peterson's emotions as by any of the testimony during the trial.

"For me, a big part of it was at the end — the verdict — no emotion. No anything. That spoke a thousand words — loud and clear," Nice said, responding to a reporter's question about whether they wanted to hear a statement from Peterson. "I heard enough from him."

Juror Greg Beratlis said the jury was convinced of Peterson's guilt by "many, many things."

"Those bodies were found in the one place he went prior to her being missing," he said. "I played in my mind over and over conspiracies: Was somebody trying to set up Scott? Was somebody after Laci? It didn't add up."

The jury's decision followed seven days of tearful testimony in the penalty phase of the trial. In arguing for death last week, prosecutors called Peterson "the worst kind of monster" and said he was undeserving of sympathy. Geragos begged of jurors: "Just don't kill him. That's all I am asking of you. End this cycle."

Prosecutors spent months portraying Peterson as a cheating husband and cold-blooded killer who wooed his lover even as police searched for his missing wife. They said he wanted to murder Laci to escape marriage and fatherhood for the pleasures of the freewheeling bachelor life.

The prosecution put on a short, but emotional case in the penalty phase, calling just four witnesses.

"Every morning when I get up I cry," Rocha told jurors. "It takes me a long time just to be able to get out of the house ... I miss her. I want to know my grandson. I want Laci to be a mother. I want to hear her called mom."

Rocha would later rise halfway out of her seat and scream at Scott Peterson, who was seated impassively at the defense table: "Divorce was always an option," she said. "Not murder!"

Defense attorneys argued during the trial's guilt phase that Peterson was framed and that the real killers dumped Laci's body in the water after learning of Peterson's widely publicized alibi. The defense fought hard to save Peterson's life, calling about 40 witnesses over seven days in the penalty phase.

Defense attorneys seized on anything from Scott Peterson's past in attempt to spare his life, including testimony that he never cheated or lost his temper on the golf course.

They told jurors of the Scott Peterson who was a smiling, snuggling toddler. He was the high school golf captain who tutored younger students. He sang to seniors on Sundays and once broke up a dog fight. He cared for mentally retarded children. He was the highly motivated son who worked his way through college.

And finally, he was the young professional who married the woman he fell in love with in college.

"I wish there was a phrase that I could give you that could turn this around and make you believe there is good, there is real, real good in this person," defense attorney Pat Harris said during closing arguments. "But I don't have that phrase ... that's up to you to decide."

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Exactly he should of gotten life without parole. He would of made a lot of friends in san quentens gen pop

I think he will be in jail for quite a bit of time before they Execute him. He'll have plenty of time to meet the Homies. :spank:

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there is no doubt in my mind he did it...but i'm still 1,000% against the death penalty

i dont think that 12 random people of a jury or even worse, 1 judge, should be able to play god and decide another human beings fate...no matter how guilty or bad the crime

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there is no doubt in my mind he did it...but i'm still 1,000% against the death penalty

i dont think that 12 random people of a jury or even worse, 1 judge, should be able to play god and decide another human beings fate...no matter how guilty or bad the crime

One person chose the fate of an innocent person and took their life...why should the killers life be spared?

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One person chose the fate of an innocent person and took their life...why should the killers life be spared?

Keep in mind that I’m all for the death penalty but what some people would say to that question is.... two wrongs don’t make a Wright. Who are we to play god and excacute anyone regardles of what they have done? I think that's the real question.

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Keep in mind that I’m all for the death penalty but what some people would say to that question is.... two wrongs don’t make a Wright. Who are we to play god and excacute anyone regardles of what they have done? I think that's the real question.

Two quick points:

1) We live in a society with rules. We constantly change them but we must always enforce them. Part of having punishment is deterrance. If you do not feel that you will suffer for breaking this society's rules then what's to stop you. Now that is a major problem in the US but I rather not digress right now but you see where I'm going. If you do not like what we have either move or try to change the law. The common citizen should know what the laws are where he/she resides - ergo they should know what they might be dealing with once they break those laws.

2) I'm not a big fan of an eye for an eye but if someone decides to play god and take a life, than just punishment needs to be served. What gives anyone the right to play god?

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does it seem like this trial got way too much airtime. Husbands murder their wives, people kill people everyday. Why do we care soo much about this one?

she was pregnant and almost due, he covered it up for a long while and it was her family that blew up the publicity on it.

The trial was blown up because he's one of those yuppies no one expects to do wrong, kinda like Christian Bails character in Shaft n such. Normal folk love watching the over acheiver popular big shot go down.

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Two quick points:

1) We live in a society with rules. We constantly change them but we must always enforce them. Part of having punishment is deterrance. If you do not feel that you will suffer for breaking this society's rules then what's to stop you. Now that is a major problem in the US but I rather not digress right now but you see where I'm going. If you do not like what we have either move or try to change the law. The common citizen should know what the laws are where he/she resides - ergo they should know what they might be dealing with once they break those laws.

2) I'm not a big fan of an eye for an eye but if someone decides to play god and take a life, than just punishment needs to be served. What gives anyone the right to play god?

I agree 100% with you. Like I said I'm all for the death penilty. But for argument sake I had to throw that in. And it sounds like you concur.

The big question is "What gives anyone the right to play god?"

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Bua I would love to answer you however I will not because YOU CANT FUCKING SPELL THE WORD RIGHT RIGHT WTF MAN

Sorry B. I work in sales. I just have to sell not spell. My spelling has always been a little fu~ked up. But you get what I am saying I think. Don't be so critical.

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Sorry B. I work in sales. I just have to sell not spell. My spelling has always been a little fu~ked up. But you get what I am saying I think. Don't be so critical.

Yo B....he's not being fucking critical...I'm sure he as well as myself wouldn't say shit about your spelling if it's just a normal typo or whatever but you get it wrong EVERY FUCKING TIME and it's really not that hard

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