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Scott Peterson now on death row for killing wife, unborn son

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)–Scott Peterson was moved to death row at San Quentin State Prison near San Francisco during the early morning hours of March 17 after being convicted of double murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection for killing his wife and unborn son.

The 32-year-old Peterson was transferred from San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City under heavy security with shackles on his ankles, waist and wrists at 3:10 a.m. to the men’s prison overlooking the bay where his wife and son’s bodies washed ashore in 2003. He joins 643 other criminals on death row in California, according to the Associated Press.

On March 16, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi followed the jury’s recommendation of the death penalty after listening to members of Laci Peterson’s family deliver final words in court.

“You decided to throw Laci and Connor away, dispose of them like they were just a piece of garbage,” Laci’s mother, Sharon Rocha, told Peterson, according to the AP. “We had to bury Laci without her arms to hold her baby and without her head.”

The judge had the option of sentencing Peterson to life in prison without parole for the crime, but he chose death by lethal injection. He also denied a defense request for a new trial and ordered Peterson to pay $10,000 toward Laci and Connor’s funeral expenses.

Peterson was convicted in November of one count of first-degree murder for Laci and one count of second-degree murder for Connor, the unborn child in her womb.

Last April, President Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act -– also called “Laci and Connor’s Law.” Until then, federal law had not treated an unborn child as a victim when he or she died as a result of an assault against or murder of the mother.

“As of today, the law of our nation will acknowledge the plain fact that crimes of violence against pregnant women often have two victims,” Bush said at the signing. “And therefore, in those cases, there are two offenses to be punished.”

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commended Bush at the time for signing the bill.

“This is a significant step forward in reasserting, for the unborn, the legal rights of all human beings,” Land said. “It is another reminder that we are slowly but surely winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the American public when it comes to the personhood of unborn human beings. We should resolve to continue to pray and work until every unborn child has the same protections under the law that we as adults possess.”

Rocha worked toward its passage. In remarks after Scott Peterson’s sentencing, Ron Grantski, Laci’s stepfather, told reporters Scott “got what he deserved.”

“We’re fortunate to have this law that we have,” he said. “It’s a double murder. He killed our grandson and our daughter.”

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