Updated 1:40 PM PT – Friday, August 12, 2022
New developments arise in convicted murderer Scott Peterson’s fight for a mistrial. His attorneys are calling for a mistrial in his 2004 conviction. On Thursday, Peterson appeared in court. It was there that his lawyers made one last effort to grant their client a new trial. Peterson was found guilty of killing his wife Laci and their unborn child Connor in 2002.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 11, 2022
It was during this first trial that one of the jurors appears to have failed to fill out their questionnaire properly and correctly. Jane Peterson, the convicted murderer’s sister-in-law spoke about the revelation.
“I believe in this evidentiary hearing, there was at least four, maybe five documents that were admitted as exhibits that were signed by juror seven under penalty of perjury for different circumstances, but were submitted to the court for various reasons and they all contradict each other,” she said.
Juror number seven, identified as Richelle Nice, neglected to declare to the court that she had filed a restraining order while pregnant in 2000. Nice also forgot to mention that she had been a victim of domestic abuse from her boyfriend while she was pregnant in 2001.
“My brother in law was convicted of murdering his wife and unborn son. And Richelle Nice was a victim of domestic violence while she was pregnant and also a victim where she filed for a restraining order while pregnant. And that’s information that should have been disclosed on her jury questionnaire,” Peterson said.
Peterson’s legal team argued that Nice’s failure to declare this information led to a major conflict of interest, as the subject matter of the case directly related to her own experience. His attorney claimed that Nice made this omission intentionally as a way to garner fame in a high-profile case, while being biased against his client.
Prosecutors shot back at this argument. They claimed she came in with no agenda and didn’t disclose her domestic issues in the 20-plus page juror questionnaire because she didn’t think it was relevant to this case.
“Well, I think I think what we heard today is that Scott did not have an impartial juror. And as Cliff ended with, she did not take her oath lightly. She did not take her oath lightly when she signed her jury questionnaire under penalty of perjury,” said Peterson. “As Dave Harris said, she wasn’t really good at filling out forms. And almost every form that was admitted into evidence that was signed under penalty of perjury had wrong information on it.”
Peterson’s sister-in-law, who had been speaking to the press about the newest developments in his case, pushed for the new trial. She stated that she will testify against him if it is granted.
“This was a capital murder case. And her questionnaire was signed under penalty of perjury and the Constitution guarantees a criminal defendant, an impartial jury. Scott did not have an impartial jury,” she said. “He did not have a fair trial. And it’s time for him to be granted a new trial.”
The court has 90 days to reach a decision on the mistrial. The prosecution has stated they will not seek the death penalty if a new trial is granted.