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Peterson Judge Denies Change of Venue

Penalty Phase Postponed Until Nov. 30

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Updated November 22, 2004
Judge Alfred A. Delucchi denied motions from the defense for a change of venue and a change of jurors for the penalty phase of Scott Peterson's first-degree murder trial and postponed the proceedings until Tuesday, November 30.

Saying there was no location in California the trial could be moved to that had not been saturated by press coverage of the case, Judge Delucchi told defense attorney Mark Geragos that moving the trial to another location would accomplish nothing.

"Where could I send this case in the state of California that hasn't been inundated with the media coverage?" Judge Delucchi asked.

The judge also denied a defense motion to choose a new jury for the penalty phase saying the defense would be better off with the present jury rather than choosing a new one that had been exposed to media coverage throughout the process.

In arguing for the change of venue, Geragos pointed to the atmosphere outside the Redwood City courthouse after the guilty verdict was announced. He compared it to a lynch mob and said he expected to see the crowd building a gallows across the street.

Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Laci Peterson and second-degree murder in the death of their unborn son Conner. The jury will decide if Peterson will get the death sentence or face life in prison without parole.

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