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Haggling Over Evidence in Peterson Trial
The Guardian ^ | 3/01/2004 | Brian Skoloff

Posted on 03/01/2004 5:35:24 AM PST by runningbear

Haggling Over Evidence in Peterson Trial

Haggling Over Evidence in Peterson Trial

Monday March 1, 2004 10:46 AM

By BRIAN SKOLOFF

Associated Press Writer

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) - Just days before jury selection is set to begin, attorneys in Scott Peterson's double-murder trial continue to haggle over the admissibility of evidence.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi has already made several key rulings in the case, including a decision to allow prosecutors to use evidence police gathered with electronic devices used to track Peterson after his wife disappeared.

But still at issue is the admissibility of monitored phone calls, which was set to be the topic when court hearings resume Monday. Peterson is charged in the deaths of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son.

Peterson attorney Mark Geragos was prepared to challenge the wiretap evidence, which was gathered by police in the weeks after Laci Peterson's disappearance. Geragos claims investigators violated Scott Peterson's attorney-client privilege when they listened to bits of conversations with his first attorney, Kirk McAllister.

During the first months of 2003, investigators monitored about 3,000 calls Peterson made or received, including 76 between the former fertilizer salesman and his first attorney.

With both sides bound by a gag order, it's unclear exactly what evidence prosecutors plan to use from the wiretaps, but authorities have maintained they followed all federal guidelines when using the listening devices.

The bodies of Laci Peterson and the baby washed ashore in April along the shores of San Francisco Bay, not far from where Scott Peterson claims he was fishing on the day his wife vanished - Christmas Eve, 2002.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday, with court officials summoning 200 potential jurors for questioning.

In other crucial decisions, Delucchi ruled last week that only one jury will be seated for the trial and that panelists will not be sequestered. Geragos had sought two juries - one to decide guilt or innocence and one to levy a sentence if Peterson is convicted. He could face the death penalty.

Delucchi has yet to rule on what could be the most damaging ...........

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House Passes Unborn Victims Of Violence Act

House Passes Unborn Victims Of Violence Act

( ABP) -- The U.S. House of Representatives voted Feb. 26 to treat an attack on a pregnant woman as two separate crimes against her and the fetus she is carrying. Critics say the bill would undermine abortion rights by giving fetuses new legal status.

The measure would be applicable only to federal crimes, such as terrorism or drug trafficking. But supporters said Congress needs to bring federal law in line with state statutes. Twenty-nine states already have laws that recognize crimes against fetuses.

Passage of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is backed by President Bush and conservative religious groups. It is the major legislative objective of abortion opponents this year, after Congress banned partial-birth abortions last year. A similar bill awaits action in the Senate. Although the House has twice passed bills recognizing crimes against fetuses, the Senate has yet to do so.

Bush urged the Senate to follow the House's lead. "Pregnant women who have been harmed by violence, and their families, know that there are two victims -- the mother and the unborn child -- and both victims should be protected by federal law," he said in a statement.

Before passing the bill 254-163, House members easily rejected a Democratic substitute that would have increased penalties for attacks on pregnant women in which the fetus is injured or killed without recognizing the fetus as a victim. .........

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Demographics less important than attitudes in Peterson jury

Posted on Sun, Feb. 29, 2004

Demographics less important than attitudes in Peterson jury

KIM CURTIS

Associated Press

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Attitudes about the death penalty and extramarital affairs may be more important than demographics when it comes to picking a jury for Scott Peterson's double-murder trial, experts say.

Jury selection is slated to begin later this week, as the first 200 questionnaires are handed out to San Mateo County residents. After the judge dismisses people for hardship reasons, the next step will be further questioning, or voir dire. Jurors will be questioned one by one in the courtroom by lawyers and Judge Alfred A. Delucchi.

"Demographics are not the controlling factors," said Lois Heaney of the San Francisco-based National Jury Project, the nation's oldest trial consulting firm. "It's people's attitudes, their life experiences, what life has taught them."

Authorities allege Peterson, 31, murdered his pregnant wife, Laci, in their Modesto home on Dec. 24, 2002 because he was having an affair with a massage therapist, then drove her body to San Francisco Bay and dumped it overboard from his boat.

On Monday, attorneys will continue arguing over the admissibility of wiretap evidence gathered in the weeks after Laci Peterson's disappearance.

In addition to age, occupation, marital status and other demographic data, prosecutors and defense lawyers will ask potential jurors on the 30-page questionnaire whether they've had an extramarital affair, how they feel about people who have affairs, whether they've ever lost a child or been a victim of a violent crime, whether they've ever considered a career in law enforcement and if they own a gun.

"The prosecution is looking for people who are more conservative, more conventional and who are deeply, personally offended by things like people having an affair," Heaney said.

Prosecutors also will likely favor "authoritarians," or judgmental people who tend to discriminate, according to David Graeven, president of the San Francisco-based Trial Behavior Consulting. "They're very black and white. They tend to follow authority. They respect that which is above them, but not what's below them."

However, people who work in the hard sciences, such as engineers, would be ideal for the defense, Graeven said.

"Engineers rely on evidence," he said, adding that the prosecution has an extremely high burden of proof in a double-murder capital case.

The defense also wants jurors with "a high tolerance for ambiguity," Heaney said. "People who can tolerate just not knowing if the prosecution can't prove his guilt."

On the other hand, prosecutors want people who say "good enough," she said. "There's enough smoke here."

In most capital cases, the real issue isn't guilt, but whether to sentence the defendant to death, said Edward Bronson, who teaches at Chico State University and has studied juries for 40 years.

"There are exceptions, and this arguably is going to be one," Bronson said. "A lot of the evidence is kind of hokey. Some of it's barely admissible. This could be a close case on guilt."

Defense lawyer Mark Geragos failed in his attempt to empanel two separate juries - one to determine guilt and another to impose sentencing. Now, all 12 jurors and six alternates will need to proclaim their willingness to sentence a person to death.

That means trouble for the defense, experts agree.

Talking to people about the death penalty before the person is convicted, means "placing in people's minds that he's guilty," Heaney said.

And the more questions you ask, and the more you talk about the death penalty, "the worse it gets for the defense," Bronson said. "This is an absolutely atypical capital case. This ain't no Charles Manson. He's white, he's middle class ... This isn't what you typically find.".......

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DEVELOPMENTS:

Posted on Fri, Feb. 27, 2004

DEVELOPMENTS:

Judge Alfred Delucchi denied a defense request Thursday to sequester the jury for the six-month trial. He also denied a defense motion to select two juries, one for the guilt phase and one for the penalty phase.

The supervisor of a dog handler testified that Laci Peterson's sunglasses used by the dogs to recognize Laci's her scent were not contaminated by Scott Peterson's scent from his brown slipper.........

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Wiretap, dog tracking evidence to be challenged by defense

Wiretap, dog tracking evidence to be challenged by defense

Redwood City, California-AP -- Attorneys in Scott Peterson's murder trial will be back in court today to haggle over what can be admitted as evidence.

One issue is the wiretapping of three-thousand phone calls. Peterson's attorney says investigators violated attorney-client privilege when they listened to calls between Peterson and his first lawyer. Authorities say they followed federal guidelines when using the listening devices.

The judge has yet to rule on evidence from police who say tracking dogs picked up Laci Peterson's scent on her husband's boat and at a marina. Laci Peterson's......

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The People of the State of California vs Scott Lee Peterson

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: avoidingchildsupport; baby; babyunborn; conner; deathpenaltytime; dontubelievemyalibi; getarope; ibefishing; laci; lacipeterson; smallbaby; smallchild; sonkiller; unborn; wifekiller
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Court is to resume today... ? ...
1 posted on 03/01/2004 5:35:25 AM PST by runningbear
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To: Rheo; Mystery Y; Searching4Justice; brneyedgirl; Scupoli; sissyjane; TexKat; Lanza; Mrs.Liberty; ...
Pinging....
2 posted on 03/01/2004 5:36:29 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Helen; Howlin; fellowpatriot; HollyHock; Joan912; KneelBeforeZod; justshe; Alissa; Tijeras_Slim; ...
Pinging....
3 posted on 03/01/2004 5:37:09 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: runningbear
The defense also wants jurors with "a high tolerance for ambiguity."

That's one way of putting it...

4 posted on 03/01/2004 5:43:19 AM PST by EllaMinnow (The best days of America lie ahead GWB 2/23/04)
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To: Constitution Day

Ahhh! You friend of Scott's... for you 200 francs.
5 posted on 03/01/2004 5:43:49 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Just once I'd like to get by on my looks.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Oh. My mistake, you said haggling!


6 posted on 03/01/2004 5:57:27 AM PST by Constitution Day ("The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary.")
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To: Constitution Day
I'm DYIN' laughing here!!!!!!
7 posted on 03/01/2004 6:49:33 AM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Devil_Anse
Pretty easy I think....Throw out the attorney/client calls and retain the rest which are not under such rule.
8 posted on 03/01/2004 7:42:29 AM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Devil_Anse; Tijeras_Slim
The comedic stylings of Slim & CD... Accept No Imitations!
9 posted on 03/01/2004 7:43:24 AM PST by Constitution Day ("The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary.")
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To: runningbear
Smash him flat and give what is left a fair trial.
10 posted on 03/01/2004 7:45:19 AM PST by JamesA (Stand up, stand together or die as one.)
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To: runningbear
Can't we just take the SOB out back and shoot him?
11 posted on 03/01/2004 7:53:20 AM PST by armyboy (Posting from Sustainer Army Airfield Balad, Iraq. All Gave Some...Some Gave All)
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To: runningbear
In addition to age, occupation, marital status and other demographic data, prosecutors and defense lawyers will ask potential jurors on the 30-page questionnaire whether they've had an extramarital affair, how they feel about people who have affairs, whether they've ever lost a child or been a victim of a violent crime, whether they've ever considered a career in law enforcement and if they own a gun
Why ask if they own a gun? that should make no difference.
12 posted on 03/01/2004 7:58:23 AM PST by armyboy (Posting from Sustainer Army Airfield Balad, Iraq. All Gave Some...Some Gave All)
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To: armyboy
We're making assumptions that these jurors are not liars.

And like anyone is going to put "IN WRITING" that they have had an affair.

13 posted on 03/01/2004 8:17:29 AM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Constitution Day; Tijeras_Slim

ROFL! You guys should market this schtick. $$$$$

14 posted on 03/01/2004 8:55:32 AM PST by Velveeta
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To: armyboy
I'd be tempted to write "None of your business" on a questionnaire like this.
15 posted on 03/01/2004 9:40:50 AM PST by 3catsanadog (When anything goes, everything does.)
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To: armyboy
ROFL....
16 posted on 03/01/2004 10:03:42 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: armyboy
not sure why either...
17 posted on 03/01/2004 10:09:50 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: redlipstick
The defense also wants jurors with "a high tolerance for ambiguity."

FGS, what on EARTH does that mean? ROFLMAO.

18 posted on 03/01/2004 10:30:07 AM PST by Howlin (Just another unrepentant Bush supporter.)
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To: Constitution Day
You post more on these threads than I do lately. Hmmmm.......addicted?????
19 posted on 03/01/2004 10:31:01 AM PST by Howlin (Just another unrepentant Bush supporter.)
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To: Howlin
LOL. Nah, it's just a joke to me and Slim now.
I'm cool with it now that it's not on the news every day. ;)
20 posted on 03/01/2004 10:32:44 AM PST by Constitution Day ("The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary.")
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To: Constitution Day
Better brace yourself; you have a few weeks until the jury is picked, then it's going to be back on 24/7.
21 posted on 03/01/2004 10:35:31 AM PST by Howlin (Just another unrepentant Bush supporter.)
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To: Howlin
Oh boy. :(
22 posted on 03/01/2004 10:36:54 AM PST by Constitution Day ("The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary.")
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To: Howlin
That's what I was thinking!! Does that mean that want people who are easily mixed up? Scott Peterson's life is a lesson in ambiguity.
23 posted on 03/01/2004 11:46:10 AM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: Canadian Outrage
does that mean THEY want!! is what I meant to say.
24 posted on 03/01/2004 11:48:04 AM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: Devil_Anse
YOU HAVE MAIL!!
25 posted on 03/01/2004 11:50:08 AM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: Sacajaweau
Sounds fair to me!
26 posted on 03/01/2004 6:22:51 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Amazing, the lovely keepsakes which can be made with toilet paper and toothpaste!

(I heard next Christmas Scott is gonna take a class on how to make Santa Clauses from folded Reader's Digest magazines and cotton balls.... got me thinking... you know, no ex-Girl Scout need ever be bored if forced to serve a life sentence...)
27 posted on 03/01/2004 6:26:09 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Sacajaweau
"Dear Mr. Geragos and Mr. Distaso: I have had one affair, it was with a lady called Mrs. Geragos; can't remember her first name. Please do not tell! Sincerely, Juror 1091."
28 posted on 03/01/2004 6:28:58 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Howlin
"a high tolerance for ambiguity"

Translation: "a high tolerance for the droppings of the bull; also, someone who thinks EGRESS is a type of bird."

29 posted on 03/01/2004 6:31:07 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Constitution Day; Tijeras_Slim
Oh, PSHAW! You know you're soaked with perspiration, lying awake nights wondering about that dumpster by the Gallo Winery!!
30 posted on 03/01/2004 6:32:48 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Canadian Outrage
"easily mixed up" = "stupid"

To quote a lawyer who was on a multiple-defendant federal drug case, "What we're looking for is the stupidest twelve people in the district."

Alas, them jurors, some of 'em ain't as dumb as they look... his client is serving life.
31 posted on 03/01/2004 6:35:04 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Sacajaweau
With respect to your post #13 - The very questions that the Defense want answered clearly UNDERSCORE the bad character of their client. And frankly a DIRECT question such as "have YOU ever had an affair?" is inappropriate.
32 posted on 03/01/2004 8:33:31 PM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: Devil_Anse
#28 - FOFL!!
33 posted on 03/01/2004 8:36:19 PM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: Canadian Outrage; Devil_Anse
We might as well laugh while we can. I know the trial is going to get ugly fast: like as soon as Jackie P enters the courtroom.

34 posted on 03/01/2004 8:41:48 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: onyx
You better believe this is going to be dirty - VERY dirty!! And I am prepared.
35 posted on 03/01/2004 8:47:09 PM PST by Canadian Outrage (All us Western Canuks belong South!!)
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To: onyx
Er... yes... Laci's mother-in-law does tend to ugly up any place she favors with her presence!
36 posted on 03/01/2004 10:13:59 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Canadian Outrage
That's a very good point you make, about that direct question, "Have YOU ever had an affair" being inappropriate. Furthermore, I think a lot of jurors will be insulted and put off by it. As someone here said, the impulse is to answer, "None of your business!"
37 posted on 03/01/2004 10:16:00 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Canadian Outrage
I'm just glad to know that (while they do have some financial power) the Petersons are not without unlimited funds. IMO, sometimes jurors can be bought. But a defendant has to be able to afford them.
38 posted on 03/01/2004 10:17:45 PM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Devil_Anse

We're going to very busy in a few weeks. Rest up.
39 posted on 03/01/2004 10:22:46 PM PST by onyx (Kerry' s a Veteran, but so were Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Timothy McVeigh)
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To: Devil_Anse
>> "What we're looking for is the stupidest twelve people in the district." <<

...and don't forget Jo-Ellen Demitirius is the jury cunsultant for the defense--she picked the O.J. jury!!!!

40 posted on 03/01/2004 10:53:46 PM PST by sissyjane
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To: sissyjane
>>jury cunsultant <<

I should be in bed...can't spell!!!
41 posted on 03/01/2004 10:56:02 PM PST by sissyjane
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To: Devil_Anse
You know you're soaked with perspiration, lying awake nights wondering about that dumpster by the Gallo Winery!!

I object... I'm a Franzia "Chablis in a Box" man.

42 posted on 03/02/2004 4:56:13 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Just once I'd like to get by on my looks.)
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To: Velveeta; Constitution Day
ROFL! You guys should market this schtick. $$$$$
SHHHH! We're channeling Abbot and Costello. You figure who is who.
43 posted on 03/02/2004 4:58:12 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Just once I'd like to get by on my looks.)
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To: All
Peterson wiretappers testify


Laci Peterson's stepfather, Ron Grantski, enters the courthouse Monday. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Peterson wiretappers testify

By GARTH STAPLEY
and SUSAN HERENDEEN
BEE STAFF WRITERS

Last Updated: March 2, 2004, 05:05:25 AM PST

Wiretap experts who previously helped authorities build a double-murder case against Scott Peterson testified Monday behind closed doors -- for the defense.

Also Monday, Judge Alfred Delucchi indicated he is close to ruling on key decisions regarding evidence, including authorities' use of wiretaps and dog-tracking, and statements Peterson made to media before his arrest in April.

And, the judge made it clear that jurors will be shown graphic autopsy pictures of Laci and Conner Peterson.

Michael Murman, president of Nebraska-based Pen-Link Ltd., and employee Kevin Clements shook hands with prosecution investigators after emerging from the judge's chamber Monday. They made no comment.

But sources on both sides said the phone-bugging experts were summoned by Mark Geragos, Peterson's Los Angeles attorney.

Clements in June uncovered recordings of 176 of Peterson's cell phone calls -- recordings that authorities initially didn't know they had.

Clements told The Bee at the time that it is "not uncommon" for authorities to unwittingly record portions of calls while bugging phones. A defect in AT&T Wireless technology allowed wiretap agents to unknowingly capture calls in "audio buffers," Clements wrote in a court document.

Pen-Link specializes in intelligence gathering, typically working hand-in-hand with law enforcement -- not defense attorneys.

The company's customer list includes the FBI; CIA; Secret Service; U.S. Marshals; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the federal Drug Enforcement Administration; and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In a 2000 interview, Murman told The Associated Press he expected to pull down sales of $50 million to $70 million over the subsequent five years.

Geragos has asked Delucchi to throw out all wiretap evidence -- including more than 3,000 of Peterson's calls before his arrest in April -- because authorities allegedly botched some of the monitoring. In addition to the 176 "buffer" recordings, authorities have acknowledged recording portions of three calls between Peterson and his defense team.

Though agents apparently didn't know they recorded the 176 calls, they also didn't follow a judge's strict orders to turn down or "minimize" equipment during calls having nothing to with the double-murder investigation.

Soon after the 176 calls were made public, two wiretap experts said the revelation could wreak havoc with the prosecution's case.

"Failure to minimize can be a fatal defect," Raymond Perini has said. The New York defense attorney previously monitored dozens of wiretaps when he was a Long Island prosecutor.

Perini said that a judge can decide that the entire batch is contaminated and throw out parts of or all evidence gathered from the bugs.

Delucchi is expected to decide, perhaps as soon as today, whether prosecutors can use wiretap evidence. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Last week, prosecutors revealed that Peterson's father, Lee Peterson, and girlfriend, Amber Frey, for a short time were listed as wiretap "target subjects" and possible "co-conspirators" in an early stage of the case. Their names were removed from a judge's instructions on phone bug protocol five days later.

Prosecutors believe Scott Peterson, 31, killed his pregnant wife on or shortly before Christmas Eve 2002. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

Trial participants spent nearly all of Monday behind closed doors, much of it with Murman and Clements. When they emerged, the judge and attorneys on both sides put finishing touches on a lengthy jury questionnaire that prospective jurors will fill out before they are asked verbal questions.

The questionnaire has yet to be made public, but discussion among the trial participants indicates jurors will.......

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Key rulings expected on pieces of evidence

Posted on Tue, Mar. 02, 2004

Key rulings expected on pieces of evidence

By Julia Prodis Sulek

Mercury News

The judge in the Scott Peterson double-murder case plans to rule today on whether two key pieces of evidence will be allowed into trial -- dog tracking and phone tapping.

Peterson's defense lawyers want both excluded before the trial begins. Jury selection starts Thursday.

Dog handlers have testified during hearings on the pre-trial motions that trained tracking dogs picked up Laci Peterson's scent at her husband's warehouse where he kept his fishing boat, on the rim of the boat there and at the Berkeley Marina, where police believe Peterson took her body before dumping it in San Francisco Bay.

The dog tracking evidence is among the little direct evidence presented so far against Peterson in the largely circumstantial case. Prosecutors also say one of Laci Peterson's hairs was found in a pair of pliers at the bottom of the boat, supporting their theory that Peterson put her body in it before throwing it overboard.

Judge Alfred Delucchi also plans to rule today on whether to allow evidence from the wiretaps police placed on Peterson's cell phone and home phone in the weeks after Laci Peterson disappeared Dec. 24, 2002. Many of those calls were to his mistress, Amber Frey, a Fresno massage therapist who cooperated with police as soon as she saw Peterson's face on the TV news a few days after Laci Peterson disappeared. She has said she didn't know Peterson was married.

Dozens of the calls were also between Peterson and his former lawyer, Kirk McAllister, but prosecutors say as soon as they realized the nature of the calls, they would turn off the wiretap device. Those calls are protected by law by the attorney-client privilege.

But one of those calls was recorded, apparently accidentally when the wiretap device experienced a glitch. Prosecutors have said in court documents that they never listened to that call.

On Monday, two defense witnesses who helped install the wiretap devices for Modesto police testified in the judge's closed chambers. One of the witnesses, Kevin Clements, was familiar with the glitch........

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Experts: Dog tracking details most damaging to Peterson's defense

Experts: Dog tracking details most damaging to Peterson's defense

By Brian Skoloff
ASSOCIATED PRESS
6:20 p.m. March 1, 2004

REDWOOD CITY – Prosecution claims that police dogs discovered the path Scott Peterson took to dump his pregnant wife's body could be the most damaging details in a capital murder case so far built on circumstance, according to forensic experts and defense attorneys.

If, that is, jurors ever hear the scent-sniffing details. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi promised to decide Tuesday whether testimony from dog handlers would be admitted as evidence.

Peterson's lawyers have tried feverishly to discredit dog tracking as more "voodoo" than science. And even some dog handling experts say prosecutors are reaching too far when they say the dogs prove Peterson stuffed his wife's body into the boat he says he took fishing alone on San Francisco Bay the day she vanished – Christmas Eve, 2002.

Still, it might be hard for the defense to sway jurors if they do hear claims the dogs picked up Laci Peterson's scent on the 14-foot aluminum boat her family insists she never knew he bought. Movies and TV shows have persuaded the public: tracking dogs get it right.

"It could impress the jury a lot. That could be the whole case right there," said Los Angeles Defense Attorney Harland Braun, Robert Blake's first attorney in the murder case against the actor. "It also indicates how desperate the prosecution is that this is so crucial to their case."

Prosecutors claim Peterson, 31, killed his wife at their Modesto home, drove to a warehouse where he picked up the boat, then ferried the body from the Berkeley Marina and dumped it into the bay.

Laci Peterson's body and that of the couple's unborn son washed ashore about two miles from the marina. Prosecutors have presented neither......

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When Crime Pays, Who Should Get the Money?
The Suit To Freeze Scott Peterson's Profits From the Sale of His Story

Tuesday, Mar. 02, 2004

On February 26, California Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne issued a tentative ruling in a civil suit against Scott Peterson, who is charged with the murders of his wife, Laci, and their unborn child.

The civil suit -- brought by Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha -- seeks to have any profits Scott might receive from the sale of his story kept in a trust account until a verdict is reached in his murder trial.

Judge Beauchesne said no to that request. But he also made clear that his ruling was "tentative" -- subject to reconsideration in twenty days, he said, if Rocha's attorney submitted further argument.

The issue of whether convicted felons can profit from the sale of their stories, which are inevitably entangled with their victims' stories, is a familiar one. While courts have been very hostile to the idea of effectively censoring books and movies in this way -- considering it a First Amendment violation -- victims' rights groups have been adamant that they consider sales of criminals' stories an unacceptable reminder that crime can, indeed, pay. They contend that if such stories must be sold, then the profits ought to go to the victims, not the criminals.

Is it contrary to the First Amendment to re-direct the profits from books and movies by convicted criminals to their victims? In this column, I address that question, and discuss the legal issues raised by the Rocha civil case ruling.

Why Did the Judge Issue a "Tentative" Ruling?

To begin, readers may wonder: What's going on with this "tentative" ruling? Is this judge just indecisive? The answer is no.

Tentative rulings -- sometimes nicknamed "tentatives" -- are a typical feature of practice in civil cases in Superior Court in California. Often, a judge will post his tentative ruling, and then immediately hear argument from the parties' attorneys as to whether he should reconsider the ruling.

It's a tough situation: The losing parties usually have only minutes to try to change the judge's ..........

44 posted on 03/02/2004 5:59:02 AM PST by runningbear (Lurkers beware, Freeping is public opinions based on facts, theories, and news online.......)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
SPEAKING of wine, time for a Laci Peterson pop quiz! Quick--what was the brand of wine that arrived at Laci's house as the Petersons' "Wine-of-the-Month Club" selection AFTER Laci's disappearance?

You have 4 seconds!

Tick... tick... tick... tick...

45 posted on 03/02/2004 7:37:09 AM PST by Devil_Anse
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To: Devil_Anse; runningbear; All
Per Fox News:

Judge ruled.

Wiretap evidence to be admitted at trial.
46 posted on 03/02/2004 9:55:28 AM PST by Velveeta
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To: Velveeta
YES!!! I suspect ther will be much in those wiretaps where Snotty incriminates himself.
Now for the Dog tracking ruling.....
Thanks V, I've been waiting for some word.
47 posted on 03/02/2004 11:34:25 AM PST by Jackie-O
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To: Jackie-O
Dogs are in too! :-)

Pinz
48 posted on 03/02/2004 11:39:10 AM PST by pinz-n-needlez
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To: pinz-n-needlez
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,113070,00.html

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Jurors in Scott Peterson's (search) murder trial will hear testimony that dogs traced his wife's scent to the spot where he launched what he claimed was a solo fishing trip the day she died, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The ruling was one of two victories for prosecutors Tuesday. Judge Alfred A. Delucchi also ruled that jurors will be allowed to hear evidence collected by investigators using wiretap listening devices.

Defense lawyers had objected to both the wiretap (search) evidence and the testimony from dog handlers, likening dog tracking to witchcraft and saying the canines were unreliable.

Peterson is charged in the death of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son. The bodies washed ashore in April along San Francisco Bay, not far from where Scott Peterson claims he was fishing on the day his wife vanished — Christmas Eve, 2002.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday, when court officials will summon an initial 200 residents for questioning. Peterson could face the death penalty if convicted.

Defense lawyers had argued investigators violated Peterson's attorney-client privilege when they listened to bits of conversations with his first attorney, Kirk McAllister.

Delucchi was unswayed by the arguments, saying investigators followed proper procedures when monitoring the calls and any privileged information they heard was "so minimal to be of no consequence."

During the first few months of 2003, investigators monitored about 3,000 of Peterson's calls, including 76 between the former fertilizer salesman and his first attorney.
(snip)
49 posted on 03/02/2004 11:41:06 AM PST by pinz-n-needlez
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To: pinz-n-needlez
YES!!! Did they just announce that??
50 posted on 03/02/2004 11:46:46 AM PST by Jackie-O
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