A district attorney in California said that prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty against Scott Peterson, who was convicted and sentenced for murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, roughly two decades ago.
According to the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office, prosecutors will drop efforts to try to restore the death penalty sentence, reported CNN. It was thrown out last year by the California Supreme Court.
District Attorney Birgit Fladager said in her filing in San Mateo Superior Court that the family of Laci Peterson has “no doubt” Scott Peterson killed her and the couple’s unborn son Conner—and they said he deserves the death penalty, reported The Associated Press.
However, they don’t wish to pursue the punishment because “this process is simply too painful to endure once again,” said Fladager in the filing.
“The People have met and discussed with the victims’ family what a new penalty trial would involve, pursuant to their rights under Marsy’s Law,” the court documents stated. “While the family of Laci and Conner believe there is no doubt that defendant is guilty of these crimes and that his conduct warrants the death penalty and defendant is deserving of the punishment of death, the family has decided this process is simply too painful to endure once again.”
Peterson has long maintained his innocence, and a judge is considering whether to grant him a new trial because a juror didn’t disclose that she had sought a restraining order against her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. If the new trial isn’t sought, Peterson will face life imprisonment.
Peterson was convicted of the first-degree murder of his wife and the second-degree murder of the couple’s unborn son during a highly publicized trial in 2004.