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Scott Peterson filed an appeal eight years after he was sentenced to death.
Scott Peterson has filed an automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court eight years after he was sentenced to death for the murders of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, the Associated Press reported.
Peterson's lawyer, Cliff Gardner, filed the 423-page appeal document on Thursday. In the papers Peterson maintains his innocence.
Gardner argued in the papers that there was too much publicity surrounding the case for it to be fair, the Atlantic Wire reported. "Before hearing even a single witness, nearly half of all prospective jurors admitted they had already decided Mr. Peterson was guilty of capital murder," Gardner said.
The case became famous after Peterson reported his wife missing on Christmas 2002. A San Mateo County jury found Peterson guilty of suffocating Laci Peterson and dumping her in the San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002, according to CBS news. Peterson claimed his wife was kidnapped and killed in the morning of Dec. 24 2002, by a stranger.
Gardner argued in the filing that the decision made by the jury to send Peterson to death row was tainted because of the wild mob that gathered outside the courthouse after the guilty verdict was read, the Washington Post reported. Gardner added, “After the guilty verdict was announced, the 12 jurors departing to await the beginning of the penalty phase — and decide whether Mr. Peterson would live or die — were met with wild applause and cheering.”
The Atlantic Wire noted it could take months, or years, to have the appeal heard.
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