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.
Speed, I beg to differ. What we are being asked to believe is that
1) Laci and Scott had an argument (about Amber)-
2) Scott left and went fishing by himself.
3) McKenzie the dog left and went for a walk by himself.
4) Laci (8 mos.pregnant) waited a few minutes and then walked 90 miles to the Bay, tied weights/anchors to her wrists and ankles and threw herself in the water.
Don't hold back! ; )
I guess you didn't hear the verdict.
And so terrifying were the looks of the average citizens, homemakers, grandmothers, Joe Sixpacks, that the Accused panicked and plead "Guilty".
Little Blue-Haired old ladies wanted to take him out and string him up from the nearest lampost.
Maybe if Richardson had adopted a more humble or contrite attitude, things would have gone differently. Nobody wins anything by having the knack of making people hate them, and a trial is a particularly wrong place to do that.
This man proves the truth of Califormia Drug Rule #1: "Never Buy Drugs by Price Alone. Cheap Is Not Always Good!"
Huh? Not convicted beyond a reasonable doubt? What does that mean? Apparently the jury believed that there wasn't any reasonable doubt.
It's such a coincidence that Scott visited the crime scene 5 times in the 2 weeks she went missing even though it was a 2 hour drive away. It's coincidence that when he was arrested he had his brother's passport, $10,000 in cash and died his hair blonde. It's coincidence that he tried to sell his wife's car just one week after she went missing...and tried to sell their home just weeks after she went missing. Give me a break!
I love a good "gang up on the lunatic" thread.
If O.J. is innocent of murdering his wife and that other fellow, given that he abused his wife on a regular basis, then how can Peterson be convicted based on circumstantial evidence? The issue of race is good for one case and not the other?
Absolutely, and no one has posted the "Time to get back on the Thorazine" line yet!
How did we know this gent was from California just by reading his first few words??????????
May I suggest that you learn the difference between reasonable and outlandish before submitting your next work for our review.
Consequently, I am not fully up to speed on the details. What little I have heard, despite my best attempts, however, supports this author's take on things. Your response completely misses the point. While he may not have cried and did not take the stand to wail and moan, there is no requirement for him to do either. It is the state's requirement to prove their case. Try countering the author's charge that almost every element of the crime was simply absent, unproven, or unprovable. Then, maybe you have a point.
Of course you're free to have an opinion without being held to "beyond a reasonable doubt." But the jury is not and based on this piece, they may have failed in their responsibility. It definitely wouldn't be the first time and inevitably won't be the last, but we should abhor it, instead of embracing it. Otherwise, any one of us may be the next to suffer for it.
Pimping a crappy book.
SCOTT GUILTY BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT
After they removed the ones who thought he was not guilty....
What evidence was there that she was murdered?
The jury convicted him because they hated him, not because they didn't have a reasonable doubt.
This is nearly, literally, a high tech lynching.
I hope you never have to sit in front of a jury that hates you.
I agree. I don't know if he did it or not. It seems likely that he did. But this was a lynching.
Could it have been natural causes..Could she have hitched a ride to bay and committed suicide?/..Tune in!
How do you know that? Were you on the jury? How do you know that there was reasonable doubt? Were you in the courtroom every day?
Each piece of evidence may, by itself, not prove the murder. The thing is, the jury doesn't view each piece of evidence by itself. It views the totality of the evidence. So, the jury viewed that the woman washed up on shore with cinder block weights. The jury saw the same kind of cement in the boat. The jury saw that the dog was left outside. The jury saw that Scott had lots of motice (financial, romantic). The jury saw that Scott lied about his whereabout the next day. The jury saw that Scott did not remember what he had gone fishing for. The jury saw that he had freswater tackle on his fishing gear. The jury saw that he returned to the scene of the crime five times after her disappearence despite it being two hours away. The jury also saw that Scott talked about his wife in the past tense before her body was found.
Each piece of evidence, by itself, did not prove murder. Viewed in its totality, the evidence clearly proves murder.
They dont even know how Laci died, for crying out loud.
Washing up on shore after having been weighted down by concrete is usually a pretty good sign.
Is there a "comedy" section of FR? That's where this should be posted.
No, no, no! She was kidnapped and killed by some homeless people hanging out by the river (or maybe it was the satanists hanging out by the river). They kept her until they found out where Scott had been on the day they snatched Laci, then took her to the bay and dumped her. I guess the homeless people used a shopping cart and kept to the backroads to transport her body to the Berkeley marina. I think that the satanists had a tan van they could use.
Scott had a perfectly understandable motive for killing Laci rather than divorcing her--if he got a divorce he would still have to pay child support for their son for 18 years. His best legal strategy might have been a 14th-amendment defense (equal protection of the laws): he as the expectant father was not given the same rights to dispose of an inconvenient baby than any expectant mother would have.
Now that you put it that way - I'm sold.
So? Her body was totally decomposed. Are you suggesting that every murderer should cremate his victim and thereby get a free pass?
PS to post #79 -- NOT that the Lacy & baby tragedy is funny, but this person's theories sure are. Scott Peterson is guilty and everyone knows it. Time to move on.
Murderers are convicted without the how of death proven..or the where and the why proven...
YOu do agree that there were a couple of people on the jury that seemed to not think he did it..... before they were dismissed from the jury? Don't you?
Sounds like CBS's excuse for RatherGate, i.e., The accusation is correct even if the evidence was forged.
I am sick I had not mentioned that one...
Yes, that does trouble me. I would not seem so strident in my defense of the system if this author was not so ridiculous as to suggest that there was no motive.
You state that the jury convicted him because they hated him - and not because of the evidence...
Being that there is still a gag order...
How do you know what the jury actually believed?
'...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;'
If our justice system were held to that criterion, there would be no guilty verdicts, ever.
Every clever defense council can come up with a circumstance that the prosecution cannot refute.
Could Laci have been abducted by unseen thugs who, for no good reason, abducted and killed her and then tossed her in the bay where Scott was fishing with the wrong gear?
But some explanations just don't make a whole lot of sense.
And that is why we have juries to weight the evidence as best they can.
Hey, don't be sick about it. We can't all think of everything, right? Just glad I could help with alternative scenarios.
This is close to to being a classic: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1290541/posts
This is the only loose end I see in this case---a cement anchor. If Peterson did the killing, why on earth would he keep one cement anchor? Why not dump them all while he's at it?
elbucko is not State Department material. What's worse, he doesn't care.
People in the midst of a murder/cover up don't always act completely rationally.