Fireworks in Peterson Jury Selection
In what was described as an angry argument inside the courtroom Tuesday, murder suspect Scott Peterson’s attorney Mark Geragos declared that the first round of prospective juror responses to a lengthy questionnaire revealed such bias against his client that the court should consider a second change of venue.
Among the 126 questions in the survey, according to reports: “Have you formed or expressed any opinions about the guilt or innocence of the defendant, Scott Peterson?” and “Do you have any opinions about people involved in extramarital affairs?”
Peterson, 31, is charged with murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son on Christmas Eve 2002 in the couple’s Modesto home. (The ex-fertilizer salesman was reportedly involved with another woman at the time.) He told police he had been fishing off the Berkeley Marina, near where the bodies washed up in mid-April.
As Reuters reports, Geragos’s arguments — on the third day of jury selection — comes barely two months after a judge moved the case from victim Laci Peterson’s hometown of Modesto to Redwood City, 25 miles south of San Francisco. Jury selection, which resumed Thursday, is expected to take a month.
As second changes of venue are rarely granted, Geragos stopped short of demanding one, though he did reportedly suggest that, among other things, Judge Alfred Delucchi allow for two separate juries — one to decide the case, and another to decide upon a sentence.
The jurist asked Geragos to submit a motion by Monday, with the jurist saying he would hold a hearing on March 22.