What to Know

  • A judge is considering whether Scott Peterson, 48, should get a new trial because of juror misconduct and as prosecutors once again seek to have him sentenced to death.
  • San Quentin is home to California’s death row.
  • Peterson has been appearing remotely by video or telephone link at his court hearings in Modesto and Redwood City.

No one outside of San Quentin State Prison will be seeing Scott Peterson in person any time soon as officials consider if he should be retried in the headline-grabbing slayings of his pregnant wife and unborn child, a California judge decided Friday.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo had feared Peterson, 48, would not have ready access to his defense attorneys as she considers whether he should get a new trial because of juror misconduct and as prosecutors once again seek to have him sentenced to death.

San Quentin is home to California’s death row. Peterson, wearing a mask to limit spread of the coronavirus, has been appearing remotely by video or telephone link at his court hearings in Modesto and Redwood City since the state Supreme Court ordered lower courts to reconsider the two findings.

But his defense attorneys said they have had enough access to speak with their client at the prison and don’t need him moved to the San Mateo County Jail.

“I’m able to talk with Mr. Peterson there. He has a typewriter, he is able to write letters there. It is, I think, a better situation than what would occur in San Mateo,” defense attorney Pat Harris said during a hearing Friday.

San Quentin had one of the worst institutional outbreaks of the coronavirus. It sickened more than 2,200 inmates this summer and killed 28 inmates and one employee.