The Prosecutor's Case

His case and the evidence for it

What was the prosecutor's evidence? He said the only thing you needed to consider was that Laci was found 'exactly' where Scott was boating. Let us look at that argument. What he is saying is

  • Laci Peterson lived in California
  • Laci Peterson was abducted from California
  • Four months later Laci Peterson's body was found in California
  • Scott Peterson lived in California

Therefore Scott Peterson is guilty.

That doesn't convince me - or many others!

Now the argument is that Scott was as close to the location where the bodies were found as 2 miles and 4 months before. We therefore ask, if another person can be found who was, say, 4 miles away from that location 8 months before are they 'more guilty'? Most would reject this.

As a counter proposition, if another person can be found who was, say, 1 mile away from that location 2 months before are they 'more guilty'? No one has overcome this obvious conclusion.

Thus the argument is then that if we can find any person who was closer in time and space, then Scott cannot be the only person this 'evidence' applies to. If there is an objection to this logic, an explanation must be offered - thus far, none has been.

So can we find another person? Both bodies were within about 1 mile of the I-580 freeway when found, i.e. with no time allowance needed, and with thousands passing by daily. In other words 1 mile and zero days. Further, each of the people who found Conner and Laci was immediately close to them in time and in space, in other words zero distance and zero time. If they could be so close, anyone else could be as well, including the 38 million other people who also live in the state. As there are 38 million other possibles, Scott cannot be convicted on this basis. It is not even remotely sufficient to convict, even if other evidence supported it. Since no time or place of death can be established no conclusions can be based on these - we are forced to rely on the location of the bodies. The prosecutor stood on proximity to those locations and thus his major argument is destroyed.
† Scott Peterson is, in fact, the one person who can be shown to have not been close in space or time.

What else? The jury claimed the cement residue weighed heavily in their verdict. Let us look at that.

Even if you believe that there were 5 circles in the mess on the flat bed (and this is arguable), what can be concluded from that? All we could say is that
  • someone, we don't know who,
  • made something, we don't know what,
  • by some method, we don't know how,
  • at some time, we don't know when,
  • for some reason, we don't know why

So far no one can point to any evidence that fills in any of the blanks. Also, there is another question here for the prosecution which both sides ignored, "Were the alleged 5 weights made all at the same time or were they made separately?" In either case, the answer leads to another unsolvable obstruction to the prosecution case - the problem of matching, like a bullet to a gun. There are no other weights or molds to match to. The prosecution claims are imaginary.

Then there is the hair. Whose was it? Could it have been another woman's? The prosecution could not say that it could not. But even if it was Laci's, all it tells us at best is that Scott or his clothes were in his boat at some time. How helpful is that? Was it ever in doubt? It is known that the police shook Scott's jacket out in the boat before searching it. The conclusion is obvious.

There is, of course, the Servas timeline. Even accepting that, a woman can be abducted in 90 seconds or less. How much use is Servas' dubious timeline, based on unreliable guesses and estimates and changed more than once?

Even Devore only showed that the abductor might have killed Laci within hours of abduction. The FBI will tell you that this is quite usual in kidnappings. How helpful is it to the prosecution? It still doesn't implicate Scott, and Devore's theory has been repudiated by his own major reference, Jeanty, in a paper Jeanty wrote (with three others) following an extensive study which proved that Devore's method cannot be accurate..

Since no one can tell us when Laci died, where, how or why this is not much of a case really since there is no evidence of Scott's guilt. Fetal abduction cannot be excluded and looks far more likely to be the truth as there is considerable evidentiary support for that possibility.

This was the prosecutor's summation of his own case:

"Laci Peterson washed ashore right here at Point Isabel.

Conner Peterson washed ashore right here at the Richmond shoreline in that marshy area.

The only man, or only person that we know without any doubt that was in the exact location where Laci and Conner's bodies washed ashore, at the exact time that they went missing, is sitting right there. Not another soul do we, have you heard any evidence fits that description. That alone is proof beyond a reasonable doubt in this case.

You can take that fact to the bank and you can convict this man of murder".

A cynic might point out that Scott Peterson would certainly be pleased if all he had to do in regards to his execution was to drive as close as 2 miles from San Quentin, 4 months before the scheduled date. However few would expect that this would be sufficiently close to the "exact location" required by the state for this purpose. Odd, then, that it is apparently sufficiently close to convict him. One suspects that any bank that saw this 'check' would call the police and have Mr Distaso arrested for fraud.