Monday, September 6, 2010

Beyond Emotional Doubt - the new standard?

Beyond reasonable doubt, that's supposed to be the standard for conviction. But that's not what happened in the Scott Peterson trial. I found this startling observation about what kind of jurors the DA would want in jury selection:

According to Modesto attorney Richard Herman, the prosecutor “wants somebody who will think emotionally and not logically, and who will dutifully listen to evidence. It’s an emotionally charged case, and you’d give more weight to limited circumstantial evidence because of your emotional reservoir.”
(Source: "Do they want you? Peterson trial jury selection begins this morning," Oakland Tribune, March 4, 2004)

That about sums it up, Beyond Emotional Doubt definitely was the standard used to convict Scott Peterson.

There were only 2 pieces of evidence that linked Scott Peterson to the murders of Laci and Conner: 1) The recovery locations, reduced to zero value because the MPD publicized Scott's fishing location very early on, giving anyone plenty of time to know where to dispose of the bodies; and 2)the hair in the pliers, reduced to zero value because hair is so easily transferred and the lab technician testified unequivocally that the pliers hadn't been used recently enough to be a factor in the crimes.

All the rest of the evidence was directed at an emotional conviction.


Anonymous said...

re the hair found in the pliers..were there any other hairs found in the warehouse? or just the one found in the pliers? no other hairs found in the bathroom, the office portion, anywhere?

Marlene Newell said...

None that anyone reported.