Scott Peterson 'Feels Confident That He'll Get Out of Prison Someday': Source

Peterson is serving a life sentence for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son

Scott Peterson
Photo: Bart Ah You-Pool/Getty Images

Scott Peterson has scored several legal victories in the past two years — and he is telling family members that he expects to eventually be released from custody.

"He feels confident that he will get out of prison someday," a family member tells PEOPLE. "He is hopeful that he will be a free man again. He feels encouraged based on the events of the last two years.

Scott, now 49, was convicted in 2005 of two counts of first-degree murder of his wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner. He was sentenced to death row, where he remained for about 15 years.

But Scott scored two major legal victories in 2020. The first victory was in August, when his death penalty sentence was overturned, meaning that he would face a new penalty phase trial. The second victory came in October, when the California Supreme Court ruled that a lower court should take a second look at his case to determine whether his guilty verdict should be overturned.

In court last month, Scott's death sentence was officially vacated. He was resentenced to life in prison.

"He feels so gratified about that," says the family member. "He feels like it's a big step towards his freedom. He's feeling positive."

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Laci Peterson, Scott Peterson. ZUMA Press

But not everyone is happy about the prospect of Scott being released from prison. In court last month, Laci's family addressed him, calling him a murderer and saying that he should never be let out of jail.

"Two things will never change," Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, told Scott in court. "Laci and Connor will always be dead and you will always be their murderer. You betrayed her, your son and everyone else. You ended two beautiful souls."

Laci's siblings also expressed anger at Scott.

"Nineteen years, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my sister," Amy Rocha said from the witness stand. Added her brother, Brent Rocha: "There are no words able to express the pain associated with not being able to experience life together."

Family photo via The Modesto Bee/AP.

After last month's testimony, Superior Court judge Anne-Christine Massullo sentenced Scott to life without the possibility of parole for Laci's murder, and 15 years to life in prison for Conner's murder. The sentences will run concurrently.

According to Massullo, the only mitigating factor in the case was that Scott had no criminal history at the time of the murders. She stated that he has paid $10,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine imposed at the time of the first sentencing. She also stated that he has already served 6,818 days in prison.

But Scott isn't done with his legal challenges. Later this year, he will return to court to seek a new trial. His argument is that a juror committed "prejudicial misconduct" by failing to disclose that she had previously been involved with other, unrelated legal proceedings.

Scott's attorney told the court that the juror had been asked whether she was ever a crime victim or involved in a lawsuit. She allegedly said no at the time, despite having a restraining order after her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend allegedly harassed her while she was pregnant.

The prospect of a new trial horrifies Laci's family — but encourages Scott.

"He has spent most of his adult life in prison now," says the family member. "But he insists that he's innocent, and wants to have another day in court. And ultimately he wants to go home."

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