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Scott Peterson and Los Angeles Innocence Project aim to overturn murder case : NPR


An Oct. 21, 2022, photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation presents Scott Peterson. The convicted killer’s case is now being taken up by the Los Angeles Innocence Project.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP


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California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP


An Oct. 21, 2022, photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation presents Scott Peterson. The convicted killer’s case is now being taken up by the Los Angeles Innocence Project.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP

Two decades after he was found guilty of killing his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, Scott Peterson has a new partner in his struggle to demonstrate he didn’t commit the crime. The Los Angeles Innocence Project is now collaborating with Peterson, according to news outlets in California.

This marks a significant change in Peterson’s case. Until now, many of his lawyers’ endeavors have concentrated on overturning his capital punishment — a venture that achieved success in 2020. Peterson, 51, is currently pursuing vindication and striving to liberate himself from serving a life sentence.

In a statement to NPR, the Los Angeles Innocence Project stated that it “represents Scott Peterson and is examining his claim of actual innocence.”

Laci Peterson and her unborn child, Connor, vanished in December of 2002. Scott Peterson, who was discovered to be involved in an affair, was accused of the murder in April of 2003, almost immediately after his wife’s decomposed body was discovered along the shore of San Francisco Bay. He pleaded not guilty and has maintained his innocence in the years since.

After a five-month trial, a jury convicted Peterson in November of 2004, subsequent to dismissing two jurors from the panel during deliberations.

A jury sanctioned the death penalty for Peterson, only to have that penalty rescinded by a determination that the jurors hadn’t been adequately screened. In December of 2022, a court dismissed Peterson’s plea for a new trial.

During this week, Peterson’s team lodged a discovery motion, making reference to evidence associated with his case, according to records at the San Mateo Superior Court. His attorneys also submitted a motion for DNA testing, as well as a motion to seal some court records. These constitute the initial new court filings in his murder case in a year.

Statements from Peterson’s current and former legal representatives indicate the new effort may focus on a burglary near the family’s residence in Modesto, Calif., around the time Laci Peterson disappeared, as reported by ABC, which initially disclosed the Los Angeles Innocence Project’s engagement in his case.

In 2022, the Los Angeles Innocence Project utilized DNA proof to annul the wrongful murder conviction of Maurice Hastings, who spent over 38 years in prison.

The organization asserts its mission is “to exonerate the wrongly convicted; free the wrongfully incarcerated; uncover and correct prior misuse of forensic and other scientific evidence in the courtroom,” and advocate for enhancements in the criminal legal system, including standards for using forensic evidence in court.



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