Scott Peterson's murder convictions of wife and unborn son to be reexamined

Josh Peter, USA TODAY
·2 min read

In less than two months, Scott Peterson has gone from facing the death penalty for the 2004 conviction of killing his wife and unborn son to facing the possibility of a new trial.

The California Supreme Court, which in August overturned Peterson’s death penalty, on Thursday ordered his murder convictions be examined, according to multiple published reports.

At issue in what was once a high-profile case: The court said a juror failed to disclose she had been involved with other legal proceedings and, as a result, committed "prejudicial misconduct,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

In 2000, the juror in question filed a lawsuit seeking a restraining order after her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend harassed her while she was pregnant, the Times reported.

The San Mateo County Superior Court will determine whether Peterson, 47, should receive a new trial. Peterson lived in Modesto when the 2002 deaths occurred, but the trial was held San Mateo, about 70 miles away, because of pretrial publicity.

Before Peterson’s conviction, investigators said that on Christmas Eve 2002 Peterson killed his wife, 27-year-old Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, and dumped the bodies from his fishing boat into San Francisco Bay.

The bodies resurfaced there months later.

In 2005, a year after his conviction, Peterson was sentenced to die.

But on Aug. 24, in overturning the death penalty, the California Supreme Court justices said the trial judge in the case “made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson’s right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase.”

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Scott Peterson's murder convictions of wife and unborn son to be reexamined