Scott Peterson has been moved off San Quentin State Prison’s death row more than two years after his death sentence was overturned by the California Supreme Court.
Peterson, who was re-sentenced to life in prison late last year for the murders of his pregnant wife and unborn son, is now being housed at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, according to prison records.
“He’s going to be around more people,” his defense attorney Pat Harris told KRON. “He’ll have more of a normal prison life.”
Peterson was transferred to the new prison on Friday just days before the former fertilizer salesman’s 50th birthday. A new mug shot shows Peterson with closely cropped dark hair and salt-and-pepper facial hair.
Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Peterson was convicted in 2004 of murder in the death of his pregnant wife Laci and the couple’s unborn son after dumping Laci’s body in the San Francisco Bay. Laci disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002.
Peterson told authorities he had been fishing that day in the bay, not far from where the remains of both his wife and son would eventually wash up near the Berkeley Marina.
He was initially sentenced to death after a highly-publicized trial including testimony from his mistress Amber Frey, but that sentence was overturned by the California Supreme Court in August of 2020.
The court ruled that jurors had been improperly dismissed from serving on the trial for personally disagreeing with the death penalty but still being willing to impose it, KXTV reports.
Peterson’s legal team is now fighting to have his conviction overturned after arguing in court in August that a juror’s alleged misconduct had tainted the jury.
Their argument centers around the actions of juror Richelle Nice, who had not disclosed her own past with domestic violence on a juror questionnaire before serving on the jury.
Peterson’s legal team argued that Nice deliberately lied on the questionnaire so she get could onto the highly publicized trial and later cash in on the experience, which they say she did by co-authoring a book about the case with six other jurors, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutors contend, however, that Nice never intentionally lied on the lengthy 23-page form and pointed to what they believe was the state’s strong circumstantial case against Peterson.
Judge Anne-Christine Massullo has been tasked with deciding whether to grant a new trial in the case by December 15.