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California prosecutors will not seek to restore death penalty against Scott Peterson


Prosecutors won’t seek to restore the death penalty against Scott Peterson, convicted of killing his wife and unborn child nearly two decades ago, a Northern California district attorney said Friday in a court filing.

Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager says she won’t retry the penalty phase of the trial after consulting with the family of the victims.

The California Supreme Court last year reversed the death sentence handed down to Peterson for the 2002 murders of his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner. The court found that potential jurors were dismissed erroneously, in part because they expressed general objections to the death penalty on a questionnaire.

Separately, the California Supreme Court ordered the lower court to reexamine the 2004 murder convictions because a juror did not disclose “her prior involvement with other legal proceedings.”

Peterson will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, Fladager said in her filing in San Mateo Superior Court.

“While the family of Laci and Conner believe there is no doubt that defendant is guilty of these crimes and that his conduct warrants the death penalty and defendant is deserving of the punishment of death, the family has decided this process is simply too painful to endure once again.”

CNN has reached out to Peterson’s attorney for comment. Peterson, 48, has maintained his innocence.

Peterson’s trial was moved from Stanislaus County to San Mateo following major publicity that arose from the disappearance of Laci, 27, on Christmas Eve 2002. She was seven months pregnant.

Peterson had reported her missing.

Her body washed up in the San Francisco Bay four months later, and Peterson was arrested.


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