Scott Peterson Sentenced to Death

Jury Agrees on Sentence for Scott Peterson

The jurors deciding whether Scott Peterson should be executed or spend life in prison for killing his pregnant wife reached a verdict in the trial’s sentencing phase Monday, a court official said. The decision came on the third day of deliberations and after the jury requested autopsy photos and other evidence that had been presented during the guilt phase of the trial.

After the jury broke for lunch, a court administrator told The Associated Press to “tell everyone we’re having a verdict at 1:30.” [California time, i.e., 4:30 Eastern. -ed.]

Update: Jury Recommends Execution for Peterson (AP)

A jury decided Monday that Scott Peterson should be executed for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, whose Christmas Eve disappearance two years ago was the opening act in a legal drama that captivated the nation.

The jury returned its verdict on the third day of deliberations and after seven days of tearful testimony in the penalty phase of the trial. The jury had two options in deciding the 32-year-old fertilizer salesman’s fate: life in prison without parole or death by injection.

Hardly a surprise, really. There was not anything that I’m aware of that pointed toward leniency.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jim Henley says:

    Granted I oppose the death penalty, but if death is the sentence, “let’s get some lunch first” just seems . . . creepy.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Yeah, I don’t get it. Perhaps it’s a precaution that’s taken in high profile trials–alerting the police that the verdict is going to come down just in case there’s a Rodney King-type outcry? It seems unlikely in this particular situation, though.

  3. Bithead says:

    May as well eat while you’re waiting for the press to get it’s stuff together.

    And death, as administered by the idiots in California was too good for this guy.

    That said, are we done, now? Can we get back to something with more meat on it, than ‘all Peterson, all the time”?


  4. anjin-san says:

    Tying rocks to this guy & dumping him in the bay sounds like a good plan…

  5. bryan says:

    Wait, y’all. He’s getting the California death penalty, also known in Reuters-speak as the “death penalty,” i.e., ain’t gonna happen. The only “death” part will be when he dies of a heart attack behind bars waiting for his last appeal to run out.

  6. schar says:

    Mr. Peterson received a fair judgement. It is a validation of the jury system, which has been under a huge black cloud since O.J. was set free by a jury compromised by the sports fame of the defendant and the disgusting manuevers of his highly paid defense team.

  7. Igor Volsky says:

    So glad this case is over… brace yourself for the inevitable death penalty debate!