Gut Rumbles

December 13, 2004

i don't understand

First of all, let me attest that I believe Scott Peterson is guilty. Yes, I believe that he killed his wife and dumped her into the ocean, taking his unborn son out with her. He strikes me as the kind of guy capable of doing such a horrible thing.

But I STILL DO NOT BELIEVE that the government proved that case.

I was surprised when he was convicted. All the evidence against him is circumstantial and the prosecution has no witnesses, no murder weapon, and nothing serious to tie Scott to the crime, other than pure supposition. I don't think I could have voted "guilty" based on what I saw of the case.

But 12 people did, and now Scott is facing the death penalty. "Cheers" may have gone up outside the courtroom after the decision was read, but I wasn't cheering. This kind of shit bothers me.

First, I am FOR the death penalty, but only in cases where the evidence is a slam-dunk, the perp BRAGS about what he did after the smoking gun is ripped from his hand and nobody has ANY DOUBT about who did what to whom. Yeah. KILL that bastard.

But Scott Peterson does not fit that profile.

Second, I believe that if the full power of government comes after an individual citizen, the government should be made to prove its case TRULY beyond a reasonable doubt, because government has more resources to throw at you than you can muster to defend yourself. I don't care who you are or what you're accused of doing, you should be treated as the underdog until the government can PROVE otherwise.

But Scott Peterson does not fit that profile.

Third, nobody should be convicted in the press and given the soap-opera treatment before the case ever goes to trial. Call me paranoid all you want to, but I have to wonder... what if Scott Peterson DIDN'T do it? Do I believe that he received a fair trial? No, I don't, not will all the pre-trial bullshit that occurred. I'm just saying... this kind of shit is DANGEROUS, folks. Scott could be YOU next time.

I hope they got the right man. But I am not CERTAIN. I could not vote for the death penalty in this case, and I wonder about those people who cheered when it was announced. Does the idea of burning witches still fascinate them?

Our legal system needs a lot of work.


I agree 100%. I'll BET the heartless asshole did it, but no one SAW him do it. I wouldn't vote for death in this case. Lets just hope that if they do put him to death, some nutbag doesn't come around afterwards and confess to the crime that Scott paid for.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on December 13, 2004 06:24 PM

You can't give someone the death penalty on a verdict based solely on reasonable doubt. I believe there must be incorruptible DNA or other forensic evidence, or unimpeachable multiple eye witnesses to put someone to death.

Sure, the scumbag did it. But maybe not. How can you kill someone based on a glorified hunch?

The only way to protect and keep the death penalty is to reserve it for incontrovertible cases. This one isn't it.

Posted by: Velociman on December 13, 2004 06:36 PM

AMEN to you and all of the above. I really can't believe that they convicted Peterson on the flimsy evidence they had.
I do believe he's guilty, but the state did NOT prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, and like Velociman said, the death penalty should be reserved for those cases where there isn't a shadow of a doubt.

Posted by: delftsman3 on December 13, 2004 06:53 PM

Rob, I agree with you on this one, even if I could be classified, some of the time, as one of those flaming liberals. I have even expressed those same sentiments concerning the Gov NOT proving their case.

Posted by: sailingcv on December 13, 2004 07:24 PM

Hell just froze over...we totally agree on this one.

Posted by: Jane Finch on December 13, 2004 07:25 PM

While I agree that *I* don't think the Government proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt; I also know that I wasn't sitting in that courtroom for lo those many months listening to what the government and the defence were saying.

The only murder case I have intimate personal knowledge of was similar to Peterson's in that a husband was accused of killing his wife. I sat in the courtroom every day, and I wasn't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt until the very last day.

All I would say is that we can second guess the jurors all we want from the vantage of our bloggy homes. But perhaps the view was different from the Jury room.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader on December 13, 2004 07:40 PM

I know what you mean, Acidman. But Peterson will probably live longer because he was given the death penalty. Maybe he should have been found not guilty because of this reasonable doubt. I don't know.

I do know a case in which there was no reasonable doubt, the murder was clearly premeditated, but the woman got off with 12 years max.. She had no excuse except "domestic violence", but had a history of clearly pathological lying.

Her husband-victim was drugged and snug in a sleeping bag when he was shot behind the ear. The area was isolated due to it being just past the summer camping season, 2 miles up from where I live as much as I can. No one else lives within 10 miles of this place. There is still no usual cell-phone service there. [I was not there at the time, thus cannot be charged.]

I know the D.A, personally. He is beholden to sexist feminists in the County, and is prone to compromise, which is usually a good thing.The trial was stopped just before evidence was about to be revealed that the woman had talked to her father about the virtues of drowning vs other methods of murder, a deal having been reached.

The Violence Against Women Act needs to be allowed to sunset, but it won't.

Posted by: Ga-ne-sha on December 13, 2004 08:42 PM

I cannot understand why any of you expect this case and his ultimate sentence to have any basis in reason or ligic. It's California for fuck's sake. Reason and logic are the last things you should expect to find in that crotch of America.

Did Scott do it? Probably.

Did the State prove it? Hell no!

Will he die for it? Eventually, either by the State or another inmate.

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on December 13, 2004 08:50 PM

"oh i bet the a##hole did it."just go buy some god damn guns,point them at your daughter,son-your dying mom,who cares?just bleat out any bad cuss words

Posted by: ocho nueve-diez on December 13, 2004 09:11 PM

Ocho, you are ceasing to be amusing. I'm about to blacklist your blithering ass.

Posted by: Acidman on December 13, 2004 10:47 PM

Wow, Ocho! A fake email address to troll my blog. How ORIGINAL you are! Just like the rest of the nutless wonders of your kind.

Posted by: Acidman on December 13, 2004 11:45 PM

Aww, don't pick on the retarded, rob, he's just too fucking shtoopid to copy his proper email
down into the little box.

Pity the asseyed fucknugget; his father gave him no name, and his mother burned his tiny pee pee with the nasty french dingleberry cigars she smoked.

Posted by: sabre2thg8keeper on December 14, 2004 01:18 AM

Thank you for reading those words on the tip of my tongue. I was having a discussion with a friend last night and couldn't quite put into words the nagging feeling I had about the Peterson case and the death penalty verdict. I haven't followed the case as closely as some people I know and my gut feeling is that he DID kill his wife and baby...but I too am unsure that I could have voted for death based on the evidence.

And those people cheering outside the courthouse today and when the guilty verdict was read? I'd like to smack each and every one of them. I strongly support the death penalty...but not as a spectator sport.

Posted by: Chablis on December 14, 2004 05:32 AM

wonder about those people who cheered when it was announced..........and these people are anti-abotion!!!God, its good to be american

Posted by: ocho nueve-diez on December 14, 2004 05:41 AM

Ocho, protecting an implanted zygote can easily be argued to be self-defense by proxy, as in the case of the death penalty. The murderer in the latter case is getting what would have been legal to do had the victim been able to do it. Sprechen ze Deutsh, instead? Neither do I.

Posted by: Ga-ne-sha on December 14, 2004 06:57 AM


So the standard (in your opinion) to convict someone of murder is that we need to have SEEN the accused commit the crime?

I dont know many murderers who wait till someone is WATCHING them (till they commit their crime)

The state is NOT required to prove the guilt of the accused beyond ALL doubt (or even to a mathematical certainty)

A reasonable doubt means just what it says.

It is a doubt of a fair-minded, impartial juror, honestly seeking the truth.

It is a doubt based upon common sense and reason.

There are very few things in this world that we know with absolute certainty, and in criminal cases the law does not require proof that overcomes EVERY possible doubt.

It must be only beyond a reasonable doubt.

And theres no one that I know of who believes beyond a reasonable doubt that this piece of crap DIDNT do it.

FRY THE BASTARD. (Or start the Black Flag drip)

Posted by: Ruth on December 14, 2004 07:25 AM

Really doesn't make much difference and California will never execute him. This trial wasn't about who killed the woman and her child it was about a man cheating on his wife. The reason he was convicted was not because of proof it was because of emotion. I don't know if he is guilty or not and I really don't care. California is filled to the brim with the wacko fringe of the world getting a fair trial is hard enough but in that wacko statue it is impossible. The presumption of innocent until proven guilty has gone by the wayside, the press tries and convicts the person long before the trial even starts. Take a hard look at juries, do you really think that is an impartial representation of anyones peers? Jury pools are made up of people who are too lazy or stupid to get out of serving. How many people who served on this jury will end up writting a book?

Posted by: James Old Guy on December 14, 2004 08:23 AM

Guilty as hell. We don't know all the evidence, but based on anchors that he made and were never found, bodies found in the same area he was "fishing" and buying a boat and not telling his wife (i'm almost guilty of that) - what more do you people need. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Did you know a girl turned up missing and was never found when Scott was in college? He was questioned over that and was also a suspect. The guys a serial pyscopathic killer. If he's innocent, where's his outrage, his screams of innocence?

You all say he's guilty, but it's not proven. Sheesh, you sound like Dan Rather.

Posted by: jimboy on December 14, 2004 08:36 AM

Since the evidence was all circumstantial, I'm surprised that the death penalty was ordered. What this really means is that Scott Peterson will be fully supported for the next 15 to 20 years while he goes through the complete appeal process. A lot can happen in that time frame, and as is usual in those cases where the evidence is purely circumstantial, things have a way of changing, and new things have a way of being discovered. I'm not saying he's not gulty, I'm saying that there's way too much circumstantial evidence, and no solid corroberating evidence.

Posted by: Vulgorilla on December 14, 2004 12:59 PM

I'll take your word for it. Personally I've barely paid any attention to the case. Scratch that, I've deliberately avoided reading, watching, or listening to anything concerning the case because the reason the media blows shit like this into national entertainment is because so many people eat it up like it's ambrosia coated filet mignon, especially the people bitching about how the media shouldn't be doing it.

The supply isn't the problem, it's the demand.

Those issues of the Enquirer don't sell themselves.

Posted by: Graumagus on December 14, 2004 02:06 PM

I rarely if ever watch TV, and just about all I know about this Scott Peterson guy could be summed up as what I've read on this thread. However, I remember hearing about them calling family members of the victim into court to testify about the wonderful, beautiful overblown life that was lost and to suck the jurors up into a whirlwind of emotional fury or something like that, and I remember thinking that such has no place in a court of law. Did that actually happen? What purpose could it serve?

Posted by: YoshoMasaki on December 14, 2004 11:48 PM

Holy crap people. He was cought trying to sneak across the border in disguise.

Not the actions of an innocent man.

Posted by: ErikZ on December 15, 2004 03:23 AM

Don't lose too much sleep over this. The last time California executed someone it was in 2002 for a crime commited in the early eighties. It takes about twenty years for them to get around to offing these guys. Statistics show that inmates on death row are far more likely to be murdered or die by suicide.

Posted by: Lee on December 15, 2004 01:16 PM

The State never even proved cause of death.

Posted by: Jack Straw on December 16, 2004 06:59 AM

My two cents--

Not to pick a fight (I'm no goddamned troll), but were any of you who said the case wasn't proven actually on the jury? If not, what channel did you watch all the trial details on?

That being said, of course it was a circumstantial case, but obviously the jury felt strongly enough about evidence presented to convict AND assign the death penalty.

I don't think the death penalty was the right decision, though. I'd much rather see him become someone's bitch in prison. Nothing is as sweet as prison justice for scumbags like Peterson. And I agree, the death penalty ought to be reserved for the most egregious cases (terrorists, Andrea Yates, Dahmer, etc.).

Posted by: Beth on December 17, 2004 02:25 PM
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