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Scott Peterson Wants New Jury, Venue

Judge to Rule on Motion Next Week

By

Updated May 19, 2010
Scott Peterson's defense attorney Mark Geragos filed a motion today to request that a new jury be selected for the penalty phase of the trial and that jury be chosen in another California county.

Details of Geragos' motion will not be made public until Monday when Judge Alfred A. Delucchi reviews the file as the penalty phase of Peterson's murder trial is scheduled to begin.

The penalty phase of the trial was required after a six-man, six-woman jury found Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson. The jury must decide between the death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Today's motion was not the first time that Mark Geragos has requested two separate juries -- one for the guilt phase and one for the penalty phase. In February, Geragos filed a motion that claimed "the vast adverse publicity, the abnormally high prejudging of guilt and the strong statistical showings that a death-qualified jury tilts in the favor of the prosecution."

Mob-Like Atmosphere

Geragos is requesting a change of venue for the penalty phase due to the mob-like atmosphere outside the San Mateo County courthouse as the verdict in the trial was announced. A large crowd cheered the guilty verdict and taunted Peterson's family members as they left the building, while cheering members of the prosecution team.

Scott Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder with special circumstances in the death of his wife and second-degree murder for the death of his unborn son Conner, after a five-month trial.

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