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Jury To Consider Penalty for Peterson Murders

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As the penalty phase of the trial was set to begin to determine whether Peterson would serve life in prison or die by lethal injection, lawyers not connected with the case played Monday morning quarterback, analyzing where the defense failed and suggesting possible grounds for appeal.

People of California v. Scott Lee Peterson reached its first conclusion on November 12, when the jury found Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Laci Peterson, 27, and second-degree murder in the death of their child, whom they had named Conner.

The verdict came after San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred A. Delucchi removed two jurors during the panel's deliberations and replaced them with alternates. The first juror to go was a woman who reportedly conducted her own research on the case. The next day, Judge Delucchi removed the foreman, a doctor and lawyer who wrote his observations through the trial in several notebooks. No reason was given for his dismissal.

The jury already had deliberated for nine days, and some observers thought the addition of two new jurors and a California law that requires deliberations to begin ''anew'' so replacements can fully participate in the process would further delay a verdict. But it came just two days later, greeted by a cheering crowd outside the courthouse and media coverage across the country.

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