Scott Peterson's sister, Anne Bird, is supporting the court's decision to overturn his death sentence for the murder of Laci Peterson, but not for the reason people might expect.
On Tuesday, Aug. 25, she told Today's Miguel Almaguer, "I'm against the death penalty, but I do think he's exactly where he should be... I lost my sister-in-law Laci and my unborn nephew, Connor, and I believe he should remain in prison for the rest of his life without parole."
Her comments come a day after a California Supreme Court ordered the removal of Peterson's death sentence. In the decision, Justice Leondra Kruger wrote, "Before the trial began, the trial court made a series of clear and significant errors in jury selection that, under long-standing United States Supreme Court precedent, undermined Peterson's right to an impartial jury at the penalty phase."
Kruger went on to explain, "A juror may not be dismissed merely because he or she has expressed opposition to the death penalty as a general matter."
At this moment, it's unclear if prosecutors will retry the penalty phase in an attempt to once again sentence Peterson to death. If they choose to not move forward with a retrial, he will automatically be sentenced to life in prison.
Bird has previously shared that she believes her brother is guilty for the murder of Laci, who was eight months pregnant with their unborn son Connor at the time of her death. In 2005, she told Dateline, "I just know that he did this."
"It's very hard to comprehend. And it hurts," she added.
Bird also expressed her belief that Peterson drowned Laci. "It's a silent death. Nobody would hear anything," she speculated. "And it's hard for me to think that, because I picture Laci and that's hard."
The cause of death was never confirmed as Laci and Connor's partial remains were found on a California beach in April 2003, around four months after she went missing on Christmas Eve.
The site where they were discovered was less than two miles from where Peterson had claimed to be fishing on the same day she was last seen. This, in addition to his extramarital affair, was one of the many arguments convinced the jury of his guilt.
In Nov. 2004, a jury would convict Peterson of one count of first-degree murder for killing his wife and one count of second-degree murder for killing their unborn son.
Peterson and his legal team tried to appeal the conviction, arguing that the amount of pre-trial publicity, among other controversies, biased the jury. Regarding this claim, Justice Kruger responded, "We reject Peterson's claim that he received an unfair trial as to guilt and thus affirm his convictions of murder."