MODESTO, Calif. (KRON) — Scott Peterson will be represented by a private attorney as his 2004 conviction for killing his wife and unborn son goes under reexamination.
Pat Harris will be Peterson’s trial attorney, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney, John Goold. He was Peterson’s attorney in the original trial.
The penalty phase of his case will be retried, Goold said Friday.
“Even though you’re only retrying the penalty phase, you’re really retrying the whole case,” said Harris. “Because you get a brand new jury and they have to hear all the evidence.”
Peterson will be back in court on November 6.
In August 2020, the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence over alleged juror misconduct during the trial which took place in 2004.
According to officials, the juror did not disclose pertinent information that could have been a conflict of interest for her suitability as a juror, potentially impairing a fair verdict.
“If they want to start a jury selection on penalty phase even though it makes absolutely no sense, because of the habeus pending, then we’ll do that,” said Janey Peterson, Scott’s sister-in-law who advocates for his innocence.
Peterson’s case made international news in the 2000s after the bodies of his missing wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son, washed ashore in San Francisco in 2002. Laci was eight months pregnant.
His case was tried in San Mateo County and he has been held in San Quentin State Prison ever since.
Court documents said the trial judge “made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson’s right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase.”