Skip to comments.Convicted By Suspicion -- Why Scott Peterson May Be Innocent
Posted on 11/30/2004 10:26:51 AM PST by J. Neil Schulman
CONVICTED BY SUSPICION -- WHY SCOTT PETERSON MAY BE INNOCENTby J. Neil Schulman, guest contributor.
[November 30, 2004]
[HollywoodInvestigator.com] 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 Petersons 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 Petersons 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 Petersons 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 hed 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 MEs 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 wifes 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 wifes 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 Petersons 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 judges 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 whos 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 Petersons 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 Petersons 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 Petersons 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.
"If you think about it, why would a stranger go to all the trouble to drive 90 miles to hide her body????? A stranger who murders doesn't need to hide the body."
If you think about it, a stranger who murders has just as much reason to hide the body as an intimate who murders: so as not to get caught, tried, convicted, and punished.
And dumping the body at the location where another suspect's alibi has been made known publicly makes it likely that he, rather than you, will be tried for the crime.
There is no evidence to eliminate Laci's body having been dumped in the bay on any day following her Christmas disappearance by someone else.
In essence, if anyone other than Scott Peterson killed Laci, the single-minded media and prosecutors who were focused only on Scott Peterson gave the killer an easy way never to get caught: dump the body where the media reported Scott said he was fishing ther day Laci disappeared.
And darned if that might not have worked beautifully.
And, just what would the strangers motive be? There was no plea for money, there was no robbery, her purse, wallet etc. were still at home. Usually there is a reason to murder someone. So, the stranger had to drive 90 miles & have access to a boat, just to set up Scott, but why?
The meaning of reasonable doubt can be arrived at by emphasizing the word reasonable. It is not a surmise, a guess or mere conjecture.1 It is not a doubt suggested by counsel which is not warranted by the evidence.2 It is such a doubt as, in serious affairs that concern you, you would heed; that is, such a doubt as would cause reasonable men and women to hesitate to act upon it in matters of importance.3 It is not hesitation springing from any feelings of pity or sympathy for the accused or any other persons who might be affected by your decision. It is, in other words, a real doubt, an honest doubt, a doubt that has its foundation in the evidence or lack of evidence.4 It is doubt that is honestly entertained and is reasonable in light of the evidence after a fair comparison and careful examination of the entire evidence.
Proof beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof beyond all doubt; the law does not require absolute certainty on the part of the jury before it returns a verdict of guilty. The law requires that, after hearing all the evidence, if there is something in the evidence or lack of evidence that leaves in the minds of the jurors, as reasonable men and women, a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, then the accused must be given the benefit of that doubt and acquitted.5 Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that precludes every reasonable hypothesis except guilt and is inconsistent with any other rational conclusion.6
"And, just what would the strangers motive be? There was no plea for money, there was no robbery, her purse, wallet etc. were still at home. Usually there is a reason to murder someone. So, the stranger had to drive 90 miles & have access to a boat, just to set up Scott, but why?"
If you're asking me why a stranger who murdered Laci Peterson would have taken the effort to dump her body where Scott Peterson said he was fishing, I've already answered in Post 301: to divert suspicion to another suspect and get away with the crime. It does not require of that murderer any personal hatred of Scott Peterson. It simply requires not giving a damn about Scott Peterson's fate for an alternative murderer of Laci to frame her husband and divert suspicion away from oneself.
As to why someone other than Scott Peterson would murder Laci Peterson? One can only speculate about motives ranging from convenience to pathological.
Do a Google search on "serial killer" and spend ten minutes reading through the results.
First, I like your tagline.
I'm not arguing merely that there was reasonable doubt in the Scott Peterson trial and that the prosecution failed to meet its burden. I'm arguing a more basic threshhold that was never met: there was lack of an evidentiary foundation for the murder charge ever to have been filed. Any judge or grand jury not prejudiced by the media-induced lynch-mob mentality against Scott Peterson -- solely because of his lousy character and lack of credibility, not because there was actual evidence he committed a murder -- should have thrown the case out at the point when the prosecution brought them a case without an ME's finding of a cause of death much less a known method of homicide, no eyewitnesses to either crime or threats, no crime scene, no compelling evidence of planning or conspiracy, no murder weapon, no trace evidence not explainable by common transference.
We are done..The reasonable conclusion of the coroner was homicide...How she was killed, where she was killed and when she was killed could be implied by the evidence...but did not need to be proved by the prosecution..
You are speaking from a bias yourself..and yet accuse others.
I'm now replying to questions I've already answered in my original article and follow-up posts so I'm done defending my article in this thread.
I usually don't join in discussions of my articles to begin with but I was accused of being a lurker.
Talk amongst yourselves. :-)
then he sent me mail..I didn't answer it.
The trouble in this case is that nothing equally as inculpatory as a positive luminol reading exists.
Well let's examine out this case then:
Laci was found duct-taped at the bottom of the bay. Without her head, arms and feet. There were NO tool marks to indicate mechanical amputations.
Can you rule out suicide? I can!
Personally, I don't think she snapped off her owns limbs and head and then jumped into the bay.
Can you rule out accident? I can!
She certainly didn't *accidently* fall into the bay... right where her husband was fishing... and lose her head, arms and legs in the process of falling off a boat, pier, dock or bridge, all while *accidently* bumping into a roll of duct-tape.
Can you rule out natural causes? I can!
Duct-taped, headless and limbless in the bottom of the bay is NOT natural causes.
Come on Sherlock...
What are you left with here?
Except for the fact that the bay was being watched 24/7!
Criminy. Just because YOU repeat it, doesn't make it so.
Please answer ONE question:
Did YOU read ALL of the transcripts regarding this case?
Utterly hopeless. I congratulate you for NOT responding to his mail!
I'll see you on the SP thread after court resumes in a few hours.
You know, that malicious, mob inspired trial brought forth
with bias and no factual grounding? Geeeeeeez. This thread has been quite the waste of time, although I have
admittedly sort of enjoyed it for strange reasons. :)
I usually don't join in discussions of my articles to begin with but I was accused of being a lurker.
Talk amongst yourselves. :-)
Rather touchy, aren't you?
Big flaw in your "plot," there, buddy.
The gestational age of the baby at death is December 23 or 24; the press didn't "report" where Scott had been fishing until after the first of the year.
So it appears that, according to your story, Scott Peterson is the unluckiest person on earth: not only is he completely innocent of the murder of his wife and child of which he has now been convicted, but unfortunately for him, the "real" killers managed to "find" the exact place he told the police he had been fishing that day and dump the bodies there.
"Talk amongst yourselves."
How gracious of you.
I see; so you want us to SPECULATE on why somebody else would murder Laci -- even though there is not ONE SHRED of evidence to back that up -- but you don't want the jury to DEDUCE that Scott was the person who murdered her in spite of the facts that give support to that very theory.
I think you are Mark Geragos and these rantings are your unused defense notes.
Do you have a retention problem, or do you just refuse to acknowledge facts?
You don't need a BODY, you don't need an eyewitness, and you don't need a weapon or a motive to prove a person guilty of murder.
Your lack of knowledge of the law and this case makes me wonder, yet again, whether you're just here to promote your sagging book sales.
You seem to have forgotten something:
Innocent people do not claim they are waiting for the supposedly 'missing' person to come home by SELLING THE "MISSING" PERSON'S CAR THE FIRST CHANCE THEY GET, changing their hair color and growing a goatee, grabbing a bunch of cash and RUNNING to Mexico.
I would think you wouldn't; too much here to "defend."
He's forgotten about Scott saying he was waiting for Laci to come home, then selling her car, bleaching his hair, and running to Mexico.
He seems to have forgotten that innocent peopel don't do that.
Now, now; you don't want to bring FACTS into this discussion, do you? :-)
" peopel "?!
Guess I should be glad I didn't type "epopel" this time!
I'm getting coffee for all of us..!
How about innocent people don't tell people that their wife is missing/dead two weeks before they actually disappear.
Innocent people who are waiting for their loved one to return don't try to sell their home FURNISHED within 30 days.
He seems to have forgotten that as well.
Too many things are wrong with his premise for this guy to be taken seriously.
Oh - and don't forget that Scott had also contacted a realtor about selling the house. Couldn't do it thought; the house was joint property, and since Laci was still missing and hand't been declared dead, he couldn't sell the house.
Howlin reminded me of that one.
This guy is supposed to be a writer to be taken seriously?
Heck, I just read a bunch of FReepers who were likely half awake with half their memory tied behind their backs due to being sleepy tear apart his premise with the precision and efficiency of microsurgeons.
Howlin - As a newbie, I am so honored, thanks:)
Now I feel emboldened. Watch out for a plethora of vanities HA HA!!
I had not intended to return to this discussion, but let me just state that many of the posters simply don't know the facts of this case.
Laci's body was not found weighted down by a concrete anchor. No anchor was ever recovered in proximity to her body. No anchor having any link to her body was offered into evidence in the trial.
Laci's body was not found bound with duct tape. Considering that when her body was recovered it lacked head, arms, or lower legs, there was little that could have been restrained with duct tape. Duct tape entered into the case because some pieces of duct tape were found in the general area where her body was recovered, but no proof was ever offered linking that duct tape to her body.
Read Mark Geragos' motion to dismiss at the preliminary hearing, available on the Court TV website at http://www.courttv.com/trials/peterson/docs/setasidemotion.html You'll discover that the prosecution failed to introduce during the actual trial anything that met the burden even for the case to be tried, and that Geragos' motion to dismiss in the preliminary hearing is still unrefuted even as Scott Peterson's jury is considering whether or not to put him to death.
I have been accused to being prejudiced, of being a shill for Marc Geragos, of being here to sell the only one of my books that has anything to do with criminal justice.
Two of my books are science-fiction novels and one is a theological comic fantasy. Another of my books is a collection of short stories. One is a collection of my screenwriting. Another is an interview with science-fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. One is a defense of the right to keep and bear arms, another presents essays of a libertarian nature. Only one of my books, published in 1999, deals with the analysis of a trial.
I don't know Scott Peterson or anyone else in the case, don't know any of the lawyers on either side, nor anyone connected to the case in any way.
Nor would I ever want anyone like Scott Peterson -- a pathological liar and cruel adulterer -- in my life.
I care about fair trials, and no matter how lousy a human being Scott Peterson is, for the reasons I stated in my article and follow-up posts, he never got one.
Our system of justice requires more than speculation based on unestablished assumptions before you can charge someone with a crime, much less convict them and put them to death or imprison them for life. That's what happened in this case, and it stinks to high heaven.
That's my summation and I'm out of here again.
I am really not interested in this subject any longer, however, I do not understand why you think I am paranoid. What would that have to do with this subject? Is your opinion of my psychiatric status a professional opinion? Can you prescribe me something? Calling someone who disagrees with you paranoid is playground stuff. You might want to study up on paranoia. I may also have a psychology degree and an MD for all you know. Or are YOU out to get me? Shall I put on my tinfoil gloves to type this?
That you PooPoo?
But to be perfectly honest...I could not hardly care less...about the trial. Although I certainly wonder about the preoccupation with this particular crime.
My point I guess is there are thousands of murders in this country...that get hardly any pub. Why in the world did the MSM focus on this one....I'll never really know.
I wonder if you would ever be able to say anyone got a "fair" trial. You seem to have this idea that things must be black and white. Real life is gray. As if someone can only be convicted if they left evidence behind signed and notarized. Duct tape, anchors, his cleaning the house, his lack of concern for his missing wife and unborn son, his handy alibi at the boat yard, etc. Most capital cases are messy. The reason we have citizen jurors is for the simple fact that they bring all their experiences and knowledge to the jury room. It is not a mathematical equation, this guilt or reasonable doubt. It is a determination made by jurors who are charged with being the finders of FACT. His trial was as fair as can be expected. My parents taught me that life is not "fair." Deal with it.... if you are still reading this ridiculous thread that YOU started.
IMO, Mark Gergagmeous can rot in hell with his client.
My pleasure..This article has been posted 4 times on the CTV board someone just noted over there..The Scott is innocent diehards love it.
Do innocent people who are 'waiting' for someone who is 'missing' to return leave and go somewhere where the 'missing' person will not be able to find them?
Do they sell the 'missing' person's belongings for the most cash they can before leaving?
Do they dye their har and head to Mexico?
The answer is: NO.
Here's how CONCERNED Scott was about Laci and his unborn child:
At the prayer vigil for Laci, he was on the cellphone talking to his girlfriend.
I'm still waiting on some criminal defense lawyer to say Scott was convicted wrongly because the jury wasn't a jury of his 'pears'.
The jury wasn't full of wife-and-child murdering adulterous sleezebags.
I can just see Johnny Cochrane saying that.
Check it out...
He seems to be pro-gun, I'll give him that. (But that's all)
He's a strange one, to be sure. Do you think he'll grace us with his presence again?
Who knows where his ego will lead him?
Hopefully, to an orthodontist.
What do you mean that his motion is still unrefuted? Geragos made a motion and then judge just put it in his inbox and has forgotten about it?
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