Scott Peterson's DNA Testing Request Largely Denied in Innocence Bid

Fresh legal twists arise in the notorious Peterson case

by Zain ul Abedin
SHARE
Scott Peterson's DNA Testing Request Largely Denied in Innocence Bid
© Pool/Getty Images

In a significant legal setback, Scott Peterson's bid for new DNA testing was largely rejected by a California judge, amid ongoing efforts by the Los Angeles Innocence Project to overturn his conviction for the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child.

The ruling came down on Wednesday in San Mateo County, where only one of the 14 items submitted for reexamination was approved - the duct tape found on Laci's body during her autopsy. The Innocence Project, which advocates for wrongfully convicted individuals and took on Peterson's case last year, had hoped that advanced DNA testing would exonerate him by proving the presence of another individual's genetic material.

However, the judge permitted testing solely on a section of the duct tape that had been previously analyzed in 2003. At that time, although human DNA was detected, it failed to provide a quality profile sufficient for identification.

Laci Peterson, 27 and eight months pregnant, vanished on Christmas Eve 2002. Her remains surfaced in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003, leading to Scott Peterson’s arrest and subsequent conviction in 2004 for first-degree murder and second-degree murder of their unborn son.

Initially sentenced to death, Peterson's penalty was later commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Forensic Debate Intensifies

During the lengthy hearing, the Innocence Project argued the absence of direct forensic evidence linking Peterson to the murders, a point contested by prosecutors who maintained the integrity of the original verdict.

David Harris, the trial's lead prosecutor, dismissed the defense's arguments as legally unsound, emphasizing the certainty of Peterson's guilt. Moreover, Peterson's legal team contends that his constitutional rights have been infringed upon, citing "newly discovered evidence" that bolsters his claim of innocence.

They are also endeavoring to locate numerous items they allege were misplaced post-trial, including evidence linked to a nearby burglary and various personal belongings of Laci Peterson. This legal drama continues to unfold.

The court has scheduled a further session on July 15 to discuss potential post-trial discoveries, leaving room for more twists in this longstanding and emotionally charged case. This decision marks yet another chapter in Scott Peterson's complex legal journey, reflecting the enduring tensions between justice served and justice sought.

SHARE