Scott Peterson Appeals Death Sentence
Scott Peterson was convicted 8 years ago of murdering his pregnant wife Laci. He was sentenced to death and has been incarcerated since then at Death Row on San Quentin.
Today his attorney filed his first appeal with the California Supreme Court. His brief is 423 pages.
TalkLeft has covered his case since 2003. If you want a refresher, all of our 130 posts are accessible here.
Some of the jurors held a press conference after the verdict, discussing among other things, why they ousted their jury foreman. The San Francisco Chronicle had this feature on life on death row at San Quentin in 2004. People Magazine a few weeks ago, in a feature on how several high-profile defendants over the past decades are doing in prison, reported Scott spends a lot of time doing Yoga and working on his appeal.
In 2004, the LA Times did a feature on the cost of the death penalty versus life imprisonment. One estimate was that it costs California taxpayers $90 million more a year to incarcerate death row inmates than those serving life without parole. There were 641 death row inmates in California at the time. There are now 725.[More...]
California's prison budget is an outrageous $9 billion a year. Last week, Governor Jerry Brown filed his plan (called the blueprint)to reduce costs and comply with federal court orders.
Here are the current complaints of inmates on San Quentin's death row.
No inmates have been executed since 2006 due to federal court orders, but 20 have committed suicide. 57 have died of natural causes.
Why the delay? It takes an average of 5 years to appoint a lawyer for a death row inmate. (Scott Peterson's appellate lawyer is retained.)
Appealing the death penalty in California takes decades for a variety of reasons. There are too few qualified attorneys to handle too many automatic death penalty appeals, resulting in inmates waiting about five years each for a public defender. Once an inmate is represented by counsel, it still takes additional years to put together the voluminous trial record that serves at the heart of the appeal.
...$4 billion has been spent on all facets of the state's death penalty since 1978, including $925 million on appeals.
California voters will vote in November on whether to abolish the death penalty.
[T]he SAFE California Act — would convert all death sentences to life in prison without parole and redirect $100 million from the death penalty system to be spent over three years investigating unsolved murders and rapes.
Nationally, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, 140 death row inmates have been exonerated since 1973 while awaiting execution.
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