Scott Peterson Now: A Nonprofit Group Aims to Use DNA Evidence to Fight His Conviction

"The nature of the request is not a fishing expedition," said a representative from the Los Angeles Innocence Project.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Mar. 14 2024, Published 3:22 p.m. ET

Convicted murderer Scott Peterson is escorted by two San Mateo County Sheriff deputies as he is walked from the jail to an awaiting van March 17, 2005 in Redwood City, California. Scott Peterson was transported to San Quentin Prison death row after he was formally sentenced to death for the murder or his wife Laci and their unborn son. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Source: Getty Images

The 2004 murder of 27-year-old Laci Peterson has dipped in and out of the media since her decapitated body washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay. This story was made even more tragic and horrifying by the fact that at the time of her death, Laci was eight months pregnant. Before her body was found, the remains of her unborn son were discovered in the same area. It's a gruesome story that ended with the conviction of Laci's husband, Scott Peterson. However, some believe they got the wrong guy.

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Scott's trial began June 1, 2004, and lasted a little over four months when he was found guilty of both first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of Laci and their son Conner. Judge Alfred Delucchi sentenced Scott to death, but in March 2019, California governor Gavin Newsom put an end to the death penalty in California.

Where is Scott Peterson now? With some help from the Los Angeles Innocence Project (LAIP) — which is not affiliated with the national Innocence Project — he's trying to get his conviction overturned.

A child stands in front of a Laci Peterson Missing sign at the place her body was found.
Source: Getty Images
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Where is Scott Peterson now? He is currently in prison — but that could change.

Scott is currently incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, Calif. He was relocated there from San Quentin in October 2022 after he was resentenced to life without the possibility of parole. In January 2024, the LA Innocence Projected announced it would be taking up Scott's case with a plan to use new DNA testing.

"We are very excited to have the incredibly talented attorneys from the LA Innocence Project lend their considerable expertise to helping prove Scott's innocence," said Scott's attorney Pat Harris. In March 2024, Scott attended a hearing remotely which addressed three motions currently filed on his behalf. The LAIP only throws their weight behind people they truly believe are innocent and have made specific requests from the court when it comes to Scott Peterson.

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Paula Mitchell from the Los Angeles Innocence Project told CBS News that "[t]he nature of the request is not a fishing expedition." In particular, they want to test DNA related to a van involved in a burglary that was also seen parked by the Peterson home around the time Laci vanished. The LAIP plans to work diligently until they are able to present their case in court.

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Scott Peterson was previously denied a new trial in December 2022.

CBS News reported that Scott was denied a new trial after a judge decided that a juror from his 2004 trial was not guilty of any misconduct. During jury selection for Scott's 2004 trial, Richelle Nice had failed to disclose that in 2000 she attempted to obtain a restraining order against her then-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. At the time Nice felt that her unborn baby was in danger and she feared for its safety.

While in pursuit of a new trial, Scott's attorneys used letters Nice had written to their client after his conviction. They argued the letters demonstrated a bias against Scott. However, the judge said the letters did not indicate that Nice was lying to sit on a jury in order to exact revenge against Scott so she could punish a man who ended the life of a pregnant woman.

While testifying in February 2022, Nice said she didn't feel negatively toward Scott until after he was convicted. She said she omitted information about her own pregnancy and restraining order because it never occurred to her to include that information. "It wasn't done intentionally," said Nice.

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