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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Peterson Murder Convictions Reexamined

murder conviction

In 2000, Richelle Nice filed a lawsuit to get a restraining order against her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, according to The Los Angeles Times. The ex-girlfriend had harassed Nice while she was 4½ months pregnant, allegedly. Why is a 20-year lawsuit important? Nice was one of the jurors in the infamous Scott Peterson case. 

Peterson, you may remember, was charged and convicted of first-degree murder in 2004. He received the death penalty for killing his pregnant wife Lacie Peterson and unborn child; Lacie was due to give birth in 4 weeks at the time of her death. The Peterson murder case dominated headlines in California and was practically all that was talked about on Court TV. 

Now, sixteen years later, Scott Peterson is back in the headlines; the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence in August, NPR reports. Last week, the court called for a re-examination of the murder convictions. 

The court's decision to overturn the death sentence and order a re-examination is directly linked to some questions Nice answered dishonestly during jury selection. 

 

Prejudicial Misconduct

 

When prosecutors and defense attorneys consider prospective jurors, they are asked a series of questions. The State and the defense try to determine if an individual can be impartial and unbiased when sitting on a jury. 

During jury selection in the Peterson case, Nice said "no" when asked if she had ever been a victim of a crime or involved in a lawsuit, the article reports. Interestingly, according to his lawyers, Nice was one of the jury's two holdouts for convicting Peterson of murder. Her failure to disclose that she had been involved in prior legal proceedings could be the impetus for a new trial. 

"I think this is going to be ironic ... if it turns out that the juror who was most prominent in the post-trial proceedings and who is most adamant about Peterson's guilt, is going to turn out to be ... the very juror whose actions caused the reversal of the conviction and a new trial," said Johnson, a legal analyst. "And I think there's a very, very good chance that we may see a second Scott Peterson trial." 

We will continue to follow this story as it develops. 

 

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

 

If you are facing legal challenges in California, please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower. Attorney Brower is a criminal defense attorney specializing in many areas, from aggravated assault to white-collar crimes. You can reach us today at 714-997-4400 for a consultation.

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