Court primarily declines consideration of DNA testing in relation to the case of Scott Peterson’s request, aimed at upholding the established evidence for the proceedings.

In a court hearing held on May 29, 2024, a California judge agreed to retest one of the 14 items requested by Scott Peterson’s defense team for DNA analysis. The request was made by the Los Angeles Innocence Project, who recently took up Peterson’s case, aiming to find evidence exonerating him from the murders of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child. The defense team requested 14 items to be tested or retested, but the judge denied the request for all but one item – a piece of duct tape recovered from Laci Peterson’s pants during her autopsy. The tape was initially tested in 2003 but did not yield a DNA profile due to insufficient quality.

Laci Peterson, aged 27 and eight months pregnant, disappeared on Christmas Eve in 2002, with her body found in the San Francisco Bay in April 2003. Scott Peterson, now 51, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in his wife’s death and second-degree murder in the death of their unborn son. He was convicted in 2004 and sentenced to death in 2005, later being sentenced to life in prison without parole.

During the hearing, the Los Angeles Innocence Project argued that there is no forensic evidence supporting Scott Peterson’s involvement in the murders, while the prosecutors upheld the original verdict. The defense claims that Peterson’s constitutional rights were violated, citing “a claim of actual innocence that is supported by newly discovered evidence.”

The defense team is also seeking numerous missing items from the original trial, such as evidence related to a December 2002 burglary, Laci Peterson’s missing Croton watch, and a van fire in the Airport District on December 25, 2002. They are also seeking documents from interviews with several witnesses. A discussion on the motion for post-trial discovery is scheduled for July 15.