by Steven Ertelt
April 13, 2009
San Rafael, CA (LifeNews.com) -- Scott Peterson became a household name in 2003 when he was convicted of killing his wife and unborn child, Laci and Conner, and dumping their bodies in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002. Waiting an appeal in his case, which saw him convicted of the deaths of both people, Peterson now spends 19 hours a day locked inside his prison cell.
Peterson pleaded innocent to the charges, which included two counts of murder thanks to a California unborn victims law that holds criminals accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child in an attack on his mother.
In a videotape Peterson made last year in connection with the civil lawsuit Laci and Conner’s family file against him, Peterson said he is a victim of a shoddy investigation by Modesto police that made him appear guilty.
Now, Peterson spends most of his days in a 4-by-9 foot prison cell in notorious San Quentin prison and, ironically adorns his new home with a smiling picture featuring Laci and himself. Though most prisoners decorate their cells with numerous pictures, the one of the woman he was convicted of killing is the only picture that graces his abode.
He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in March 2005 and now bides his time approximately five hours a day by playing cards, basketball, and working out with other inmates.
At the time of his conviction, Peterson’s defense team and observers predicted Peterson would face the kind of persecution in prison reserved for child abuses and others who hurt children.
But Samuel Robinson, a lieutenant with the California Department of Corrections told People magazine that hasn’t happened.
"In Scott's case, the perception [among the inmates] is that he killed his wife, and yeah she was pregnant, but he killed his wife. He hasn't encountered the challenges others face who have killed kids individually,” he explained.
Robinson told the magazine that Peterson has a large contingents of female admirers across the country who regularly send him checks that go into his commissary account that he can use to purchase food, personal and grooming items, and items for entertainment, such as playing cards.
"He has a significant amount of money in his account from people all over the world," Robinson said.
Not much has changed in Peterson’s world, where he could be in prison for decades while the death penalty appeals process makes its way through the system, except his view. He was recently moved from a cell with a sliver-windowed view of the Bay to one with a view of the yard.
Robinson said Peterson receives several visits each month from family and friends and his only contact with the outside world is a blog that his family uses to post the comments he types and sends to them. He recently commented on an arrest in the Chandra Levy murder and said the media had the spot light on the wrong person for years, which he condemned.
In the tape in the civil lawsuit, Peterson talked about his grief at losing his wife and unborn baby
."I love my wife," Peterson said. "I love my son. I will always love them. I have always loved them. I should be able to hug them right now. I should be able to hold my son."
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne ruled after the hearing that Peterson would have to stand trial in the civil case.
The Peterson case resulted in the passage of a national law and measures in state legislatures to provide more protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children when they are killed or injured in an attack.