I’m not sure it means all that much in practical terms for the jury in the Peterson trial to sentence him to death. The media has made a big deal out of the fact that the State of California is not in the habit of executing those so sentenced. I really feel for that jury: it’s one thing to read about the atrocities men commit against their loved ones in the paper. It’s another thing entirely to spend 9 months talking about one guy, and the evil things he allegedly did, while he, his family, and his victims’ family sits on.
To the Peterson jury: Good on you. You made it through this one, and from the sound of things you made a tough call.
A friend of mine was a juror for a local murder trial. The ex-husband in that sad story murdered his ex-wife with a shotgun at her front door… while their daughter looked on. The daughter testified against her dad. My friend’s experience was gut-wrenching, but fortunately not drawn out. He came back to work after the trial at peace with himself, which is probably as much as any juror in a capital trial can hope for.
I’m also reminded of the recent Lori Hacking case here in Utah. Mark Hacking is yet another man whose lies and infidelities (whether consummated or not) led him down a darkened path where the only exit he could see required him to commit a murder. Ah, the deceptions we practice upon ourselves when we begin deceiving others… foremost among them is the mistaken belief that we can choose a destination other than the one at the end of the road we’re on without having to leave that road first.
I have little doubt that Scott killed Laci. Sure, it’s POSSIBLE that this was a third-party crime, but even without evidence, when the wife is murdered, the lying, cheating husband is ALWAYS the suspect at the top of the list. We married men have a horrible, horrible track record. Not all of us, mind you, but there’s this small, sociopathic segment in our demographic that makes us all look like potential killers, like murderers waiting only for a motive.