“I feel hopeful that we can get his conviction overturned,” Cliff Gardner said. When asked if there’s any chance Peterson, 48, will get out, he said, “Yes.”
On Christmas Eve 2002, Peterson’s wife, Laci Peterson, went missing while she was eight months pregnant with the former couple‘s first child. Her body was discovered four months later in 2003 and was just 27 years old at the time of her death. In 2004, Peterson was found guilty and convicted of first-degree murder with special circumstances and second-degree murder for the couple’s fetus.
By 2020, however, Peterson scored two major legal victories. The first was in August when his death penalty sentence was overturned. The second came in October when the California Supreme Court ruled that a lower court should take a second look at his case to determine whether his guilty verdict should be overturned.
Then in May 2021, Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager said she won’t retry the penalty phase of the trial, meaning that Peterson would no longer be on death row. Instead, he would be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Previously, Peterson’s sister, Anne Bird, spoke out about his sentence reversal. “I’m against the death penalty, but I do think he’s exactly where he should be,” she said during an interview with the Today show in August 2020. “I lost my sister-in-law Laci and my unborn nephew Conner, and I believe he should remain in prison for the rest of his life without parole.”
Meanwhile, Laci’s family was “devastated” after Scott’s penalty was overturned, an insider exclusively told In Touch at the time. This was not the “outcome” they wanted, but they are choosing to focus on “keeping [Laci’s] memory alive.”
“This has been with them every single day,” a separate family source told People. “Their only comfort has been that Scott has been where he belongs, on death row. That he was going to pay for what he did to Laci. It was closure.”
Peterson’s next hearing is scheduled for June 18.
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