Scott Peterson, the former Modesto resident currently on death row for killing his wife and unborn son in 2002, thinks that his death sentence is “cruel and unusual” and that a juror tainted the jury’s ultimate decision to convict him. He filed a claim to the state of California in 2015, but the state fought back this month, filing their on response to Peterson’s claims.
According to Peterson, a “stealth juror” ruined his trial and forced a guilty verdict. The juror, Richelle Nice, was 4 1/2 months pregnant when she was assaulted herself, and allegedly had a vendetta against Peterson based on her own personal experience. According to Peterson’s claim, Nice wanted badly on the jury so that she could ensure Peterson was found guilty.
“It turns out that (Richelle Nice), herself, had been a victim of a crime that endangered the life of her unborn child – a crime similar to that for which Scott stood accused. Ms. Nice suppressed this information, however, in an apparent attempt to gain a spot on Mr. Peterson’s jury,” wrote Berkeley appeals attorney Lawrence Gibbs.
Although Gibbs’ appeal offered 19 different reasons for overturning Peterson’s conviction, the state wrote in its brief, filed on August 10, that the claimed offered “no persuasive reason.”
“Peterson offers no persuasive reason to have the court reconsider its prior decisions.”
Peterson’s current lawer, Cliff Gardner, told ABC that he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll respond to the state’s brief or seek more time.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: California Dep’t. of Corrections/Handout]