The Death Penalty and the Scott Peterson Case

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Jury decisions are supposed to be based on evidence, but in the San Francisco suburb of Redwood City, a jury recommended capital punishment for Scott Peterson, even though the case was entirely circumstantial. Nobody knows how his pregnant wife Laci was killed or what the motive might have been. Jurors say they voted for the death penalty because the convicted murderer showed no remorse or any emotion at all. With the national trend moving away from death sentences, why was Peterson's case different? Will it set a precedent for other cases? Should defendants take acting lessons? We hear several opinions from experts in criminal law, the death penalty, media and politics. (An extended version of this program was originally broadcast earlier today on To the Point.)
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Capital punishment statistics from the Justice Department

Augusto Pinochet, George Washington University archives on

Operation Condor

Credits

Host:
Warren Olney

Producer:
Frances Anderton