(REDWOOD CITY, California)–Scott Lee Peterson, convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in the first degree in 2004, went back to court Thursday.
A juror on the panel, Richelle Nice, has been alleged to be biased in her decision-making when determining Peterson’s death sentence.
Peterson’s attorney, Cliff Gardner, said in court that Nice was biased and lied to her fellow jurors, leading to Peterson’s conviction.
Gardner has said it was a mistake not to question Nice after she indicated on a jury questionnaire that she wouldn’t be able to observe only the evidence at trial and avoid preconceived opinions from influencing her verdict.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo asked Gardner, “Was that a mistake?”
She continued to question Gardner, asking, “Isn’t that what lawyers are supposed to do?”
Gardner rebutted, saying, “It seems absolutely consistent with the idea that she had some kind of predetermined bias in the case and she was talking about it there.”
Peterson’s lawyers allege that Nice lied on the extensive questionnaire given to potential jurors that asked, among other things, whether she had ever filed a lawsuit or been a victim of a crime.
In response to this, Nice said that she may have not answered the questions as intended, but she did answer them truthfully.
Judge Massullo has 90 days to decide if Peterson was a victim of jury misconduct, which could result in a new trial.