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Convicted By Suspicion -- Why Scott Peterson May Be Innocent
The Hollywood Investigator ^ | 11/30/2004 | J. Neil Schulman

Posted on 11/30/2004 10:26:51 AM PST by J. Neil Schulman



by J. Neil Schulman, guest contributor. 

[November 30, 2004]

[]  Scott Peterson may or may not have murdered his wife, Laci, and their unborn child.  But the Redwood City, California trial that has just convicted Peterson of murdering Laci with premeditation was a kangaroo court in which none of the elements necessary to achieve a murder conviction were offered, much less proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The first element that needs to be proved in any murder trial is that a murder has occurred.  There was never a determination by any California medical examiner that the cause of Laci Peterson’s death was homicide.  No medical examiner was able to determine the cause of Laci Peterson's death, nor even prove to a medical certainty in what week beyond her disappearance on Christmas Eve that she died.

    A thorough examination of the residence where Scott and Laci Peterson lived together, by teams of detectives and forensic experts, uncovered no evidence whatsoever that a crime had occurred there. 

    No crime scene was ever found.

    No forensic evidence was found in the Petersons’ motor vehicles lending any foundation to the suspicion that she had ever been transported in one of them -- alive or dead -- to the place where, months later, her body was found. 

    No weapon was ever produced with any evidence that it had been used to cause Laci Peterson’s death.

    No witness was produced who had seen or heard Scott Peterson argue with Laci near the time of her disappearance, much less any witness who had seen Scott Peterson fight with his wife or kill her.

    The only forensic evidence produced in court that even presumptively linked Scott Peterson with the death of his wife was a strand of hair that DNA analysis showed to be Laci's, in a pliers found in Scott Peterson’s fishing boat.  A police detective interviewed a witness who had seen Laci in the boat warehouse where Scott stored that boat.  Even in the absence of this witness statement to a police detective, the rules of forensic transference indicate that transference of trace evidence between a husband and wife who lived together is common, and not indicative of foul play. 

    No witness ever saw Laci in that fishing boat, nor did any witness ever testify to seeing Scott Peterson bringing a corpse-sized parcel onto his fishing boat.  Thus, the fishing boat never should have been allowed into evidence, nor should prosecution speculation into his dumping her body using that boat have been permitted.

    Nor was any evidence offered in court showing that Scott Peterson had engaged in any overt activities in planning of a murder.  He was not observed buying, or even shopping for, weapons or poison.  Police detectives found no records in his computer logs that he was spending time researching methods of murder.  No evidence was offered that he ever considered hiring someone to kill her.

    No evidence was offered in court indicating that Scott Peterson had any reasonable motive for murdering his wife, such as monetary gain, or to protect great marital assets that he’d lose as an adulterer in a divorce in California, a no-fault community-property state, or because Scott had some basis to believe he had been cuckolded.

    So in a case without an ME’s finding of homicide or a known time of death; 

    without a single witness to a crime having occurred; 

    without a crime scene;

    without a murder weapon;

    without any indisputable forensic evidence linking the defendant husband to his wife’s death; 

    without an obvious motive;

    without the prosecution presenting conclusive direct or circumstantial evidence overcoming every single exculpatory scenario by which Laci Peterson might have otherwise come to her death; 

    in summation, without the prosecution demonstrating that Scott Peterson and only Scott Peterson had the means and opportunity to murder his wife and transport her alive or dead to the San Francisco Bay in which her body was found ... how is it possible that Scott Peterson has just been convicted of a premeditated murder with special circumstances warranting the death penalty?

    It comes down to this: Scott Peterson was having an adulterous affair at the time of his wife’s disappearance, and Scott Peterson is a cad and a bounder.

    Scott Peterson repeatedly lied to everyone around him – including his new mistress – to further the pursuit of this affair.  This pattern of lying was established by audio tapes of his phone conversations with his mistress that were played in court.  But these tapes were played before the jury without any foundation for their playing being offered, since their playing spoke to no element required for conviction in the crime with which he was charged.  And these tapes -- which were more prejudicial than probitive -- destroyed Scott Peterson's credibility to appear as a potential witness in his own defense.  They served only to make the jury hate Scott Peterson.

    Scott Peterson found himself at the center of a media circus, and his attempts to change his appearance and escape being followed can equally be interpreted as either avoidance of the media who were stalking him or avoidance of police who were tracking him.

    The bodies of Laci Peterson and her unborn child were discovered in close proximity to the location where Scott Peterson said he had been fishing at the time of her disappearance.  But those bodies were found after months of all-media publicity in which Peterson’s alibi was broadcast and published, and if Laci had been murdered by some third party, the murderer would have easily had both means and motive to dump her body at that location to convict Scott and end pursuit of themselves for that murder.

    In any case where more than one explanation of a fact can be offered, the judge’s charge instructs the jury that the explanation suggesting innocence is the one they are legally required to adopt in their deliberations. 

    Scott Peterson was convicted at trial of murder possibly leading to a death sentence in which the trial judge allowed prosecutors to speculate in front of a jury on how Scott Peterson might have murdered his wife.  Anyone who’s watched a single episode of Perry Mason or Law & Order knows the judge is charged with forbidding such speculation unless there is a foundation of facts in evidence.

    No such foundation was presented indicating a method of murder in the murder trial of Scott Peterson.

    In other words, Scott Peterson looked and acted guilty, and in the age of 24-hour -a-day TV news networks that have to fill up those hours with ratings-producing subjects, Scott Peterson’s trial and conviction was the perfect storm of Guilty by Suspicion.

    Scott Peterson may very well have been convicted of a murder that he committed.  If so, he was convicted in a case that under our system of justice – in which the presumption of innocence may only rightfully be overcome by evidence that is convincing beyond a reasonable doubt – never should have been allowed into court, much less handed over to a jury.

    The jury that convicted Scott Peterson was a lynch mob inflamed by prejudicial testimony and their conviction of Scott Peterson qualifies as a hate crime.  The verdict needs to be overturned on appeal.  The judge brought out of retirement to preside over the case needs to be retired again.  The prosecution needs to be brought up on civil rights charges to make sure this behavior is punished.

    May God have mercy on Scott Peterson’s soul if he is, in fact, a psychopath who spent Christmas Eve murdering his pregnant wife so he could avoid the inconvenience of a divorce.

    And may God have equal mercy on the prosecutors, judge, and jurors who have taken away Scott Peterson’s life – whether through a sentence of life imprisonment or death by lethal injection – if they have allowed their disgust for a deeply flawed man to whip them into a passion in which suspicion in the absence of any proof was sufficient to convict him. 

Copyright © 2004 by J. Neil Schulman.  All rights reserved.

J. Neil Schulman's book, The Frame of the Century?, presents as strong a case for a suspect other than O.J. Simpson in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson as was presented to convict Scott Peterson in the murder of Laci Peterson.  Our sister publication, the Weekly Universe, has previously reported on Schulman's 'Vulcan Mind Meld with God' and his discovery of an eye drop that cures cataracts.

KEYWORDS: evidence; fresnoda; innocentmyass; laci; murder; peterson; scott; trial; trials
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To: sodpoodle
Not tough at all. Only providing a keener awareness that the checks and balances are only as good as the people (all humans) participating, and their ability to do so intelligently and objectively.

Too many are not: some at all, others in the "wrong" situation. I don't presume this prosecutor set out to screw up or provide a poor case, but at the end of the day, I believe he did.

141 posted on 11/30/2004 12:33:49 PM PST by DK Zimmerman
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To: DK Zimmerman

I have learned from your experience.

Thank you

142 posted on 11/30/2004 12:37:22 PM PST by sodpoodle (sparrows are underrated)
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To: ApplegateRanch

I get the feeling that you are not taking the author very series.

143 posted on 11/30/2004 12:39:55 PM PST by F.J. Mitchell (If you were still in the womb, would you trust your life to Specter?????)
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To: Laura Earl

I loved how Scott told his mistress he was a widower - weeks before Lacy was missing. He must have been psychic!

144 posted on 11/30/2004 12:39:55 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Thank you President Bush, and thank you America!)
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To: Rodney King

>Third, there are repeated references in the comments to Laci Peterson having been weighted down by anchors. No anchor attached to her body was ever offered as evidence, nor were any cement anchors recovered from the bay where her body was found ever entered into evidence. Laci Peterson's body having been weighted down by anchors of the type Scott Peterson made was simply more prosecution speculation without any evidentiary foundation whatsoever.

>So she stayed under water for weeks how exactly?

That's precisely the point.

The prosecution speculates that Laci's body was dumped in the bay on Christmas Eve when Scott Peterson claims he was fishing. The prosecution then, to support its unproved assumption, further speculates that her body must have been weighted down.

Occam's Razor suggests a simpler explanation in the absence of any anchors being recovered: that her body was dumped at a later date -- and the ME's autopsy does not tell us how long her body was in the bay, thus never eliminating this as being the simplest explanation.

Since Scott Peterson at such a later date was already being tailed by police, Occam's Razor is exculpatory.


145 posted on 11/30/2004 12:43:10 PM PST by J. Neil Schulman
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To: FoxPro

>It doesn't matter whether he did it or not. He was not >convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore he is not >guilty and a great injustice has been done, regardless of >what actually happened.

I think the big statement here is IN YOUR OPINION. 12 people (who matter) obviously disagree with you.

146 posted on 11/30/2004 12:43:58 PM PST by sandbar
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To: J. Neil Schulman
Duoy! The term used in law is REASONABLE doubt, not insano unrealistic crazy a** tiny itty bitty shadow of a doubt. For a jury to find REASONABLE doubt, they MUST be able to concoct a REASONABLE alternative explanation of how the crime COULD have happened under a scenario other than the accused having done it. To say a satanic cult kidnapped her or whatever is NOT REASONABLE. Anyone can tell that Ben-Affleck-look-alike is guilty. He acts guilty, which is evidence. It is called "consciousness of guilt." How would YOU act if your 8-months pregnant wife disappeared? Would you testify in your own behalf? Would you beg, plead, cry for justice? Or would you just sit with a stone face acting as if the proceedings do not affect you. He's guilty and should get the death penalty. What a waste of time this is. You pulled me in with the idiocy of it all. Dummy me.
147 posted on 11/30/2004 12:44:48 PM PST by spiralsue (I will never forget 9/11)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA

I used to know a guy who was fond of telling the ladies that he and his wife were separated. He would act all sad about it..the truth was they were separated because she was at home in Atlanta with their kids, and he was on a business trip here in Birmingham. Scum!

148 posted on 11/30/2004 12:46:13 PM PST by Laura Earl (1/2way290)
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To: J. Neil Schulman
I made a tongue in cheek response earlier, not realizing that you are in fact the author of this book and one on the OJ case.

Having read one side of the OJ case (Bugliosi's) I would be curious about something regarding OJ and would wonder how you would respond to it. Specifically: During OJ's initial interview with the police at Parker Center, after his attorney left, Bugliosi stated that OJ said the blood on the Bronco was his ( 'I bleed a lot, cut easily and such' or similar words). Bugliosi stated he could have convicted OJ on that basis alone.

Given the above, how would you content that OJ would be innocent?

149 posted on 11/30/2004 12:48:21 PM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls)
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To: F.J. Mitchell

I KNEW I shouldn't have added that last line.

Like some of Scott's initial stories that he later changed, it inadvertently gave me away.

DARN, shucks, and golly!

150 posted on 11/30/2004 12:48:41 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: Michael.SF.

how would you content contend that OJ would be innocent.

151 posted on 11/30/2004 12:54:49 PM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls)
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To: spiralsue
Perhaps a lawyer will find it necessary to correct me, but no, you have it backwards.

"Beyond a reasonable doubt" refers to the requirement for the prosecution to PROVE exactly how, why, and when the alleged crime took place, by the alleged criminal. There are elements of each crime, which the prosecution must prove, BARD. If all are not present, i.e. one or more are mere supposition, coincidence, or unprovable, then a jury is supposed to acquit. That is their job. That is why a jury that convicts in such circumstances is dangerous.

Remember, our system is supposed to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. Not to be confused with us "civilians" out here. We're free to say kill the sucker, he's gotta be guilty. Those folks entering deliberation in the jury room must be held to a higher standard.

152 posted on 11/30/2004 12:57:31 PM PST by DK Zimmerman
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To: Rodney King

Let's not forget him checking out the currents and tide positions in the bay several weeks before his trip. And telling people his wife was dead. You don't have to have a smoking gun to prove murder.

153 posted on 11/30/2004 12:59:32 PM PST by sandbar
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To: ApplegateRanch

Good farce.

LOL! I totally missed that last line, how I don't Know.That line is sarcasm in it's purest form. Very good.

154 posted on 11/30/2004 1:02:29 PM PST by F.J. Mitchell (If you were still in the womb, would you trust your life to Specter?????)
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To: sandbar

Certainly not if the victim was knifed. But if you can't even prove murder was involved, a smoking gun is not only irrelevant, the presence of a crime is uncertain.

155 posted on 11/30/2004 1:03:18 PM PST by DK Zimmerman
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To: J. Neil Schulman

"My point is that when inflamed prejudice replaces reason in criminal trials, the system is broken and criminal justice appropriate to a free and civilized society is replaced with the law of talon."

Amen to that.

Moreover, I'd like to add the cult of personality that was created regarding Laci's good looks, smile and the fact that she was pregnant at the time of her death.

She was young, yes, but she was not beautiful. I, too, saw her smile and didn't think was genuine. In fact, reading her background, I came to the conclusion that she was not a saint herself, and her smile was a phony and despicable one. But this is no reason for killing her.

Maybe Scott did kill her, but the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard was never met.

156 posted on 11/30/2004 1:05:02 PM PST by Baraonda (Demographic changes has consequences.)
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To: BenLurkin; Rodney King; MEG33
I'm SORRY ... it was a half-a$$ed post ... Here's how it SHOULD have appeared:

Nobody has ever been arrested for the murder of Chandra Levy.

What evidence was there that she was murdered?

157 posted on 11/30/2004 1:07:27 PM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan)
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To: iconoclast; Rodney King; MEG33

158 posted on 11/30/2004 1:09:35 PM PST by BenLurkin (Big government is still a big problem.)
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To: DK Zimmerman

>But if you can't even prove murder was involved, a smoking >gun is not only irrelevant, the presence of a crime is >uncertain.

WHAT? So I suppose you have a good explanation as to why a body is found in the bay decomposed, without limbs or head? And had been in the water a while, but yet did not wash up earlier. Hey, maybe she just went for a swim after walking for several hours (it's a 2 hour DRIVE). Ridiculous and you are grasping at straws.

159 posted on 11/30/2004 1:09:41 PM PST by sandbar
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To: J. Neil Schulman
I can't stop myself. I regret even reading this crapola. But I have to respond...

"So in a case without an ME’s finding of homicide or a known time of death;"

IMMATERIAL -- time of death is helpful but not necessary for a murder conviction.

"without a single witness to a crime having occurred;"

Eye witnesses are extremely unreliable. Circumstantial evidence gets a bad rap but is actually much more convincing than an eye witness.

"without a crime scene;"

IMMATERIAL. There is nothing in the law that says you must have a "crime scene" before prosecuting a murderer. Some murderers are sitting in jail and there was no dead body. That argument is just silly.

"without a murder weapon;"

IMMATERIAL. She is dead. The manner of death cannot be determined after someone is in the ocean for a few months. Does that mean if no one sees me push someone overboard and they don't find the body that no crime occurred? Who says you even need a weapon. A pillow can be a weapon. A string. Again, this is just silly.

"without any indisputable forensic evidence linking the defendant husband to his wife’s death;"

No forensic evidence? Were you on the jury? Did you see and hear all the evidence? There was blood and hair found. Even I know that is forensic evidence. There were also carpet fibers from his boat or truck. The cement anchors... oh, yeah, that was Scum's hobby. It is just a wild coincidence. Sheesh.

"without an obvious motive;"

So now the motive has to be "obvious"? Insurance money is a motive; fooling around on her is a motive; his "obvious" lack of concern for his unborn child and his wife is not a consideration? Besides, prosecutors have no obligation to prove motive.

"without the prosecution presenting conclusive direct or circumstantial evidence overcoming every single exculpatory scenario by which Laci Peterson might have otherwise come to her death"

Oh, yeah, the satanic cults. Or maybe it was aliens from Mars. Yeah, or maybe she offed herself and framed him from the grave. Wait she didn't have a grave. Her death and the CIRCUMSTANCES surrounding it are conclusive direct evidence that does overcome any exculpatory scenario because none of them are REASONABLE. Given all the evidence, which no one heard unless they were on the jury, the conclusion of a prudent and REASONABLE person would be that Scum Peterson murdered his wife. Give me one reasonable scenario that would fit all the evidence. Just one...

The witnesses in this crime are Laci and Connor. They have both clearly pointed their fingers straight at Scumbag Peterson as their killer.

Are you working on pulling off the perfect crime or do you really believe the junk you wrote?

Now that you've cleared up the Peterson case, why don't you defend that Vang guy who massacred six hunters? I'm sure there's some exculpatory scenario a creative mind like yours can come up with.
160 posted on 11/30/2004 1:10:37 PM PST by spiralsue (I will never forget 9/11)
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