Monday, July 30, 2007

The Prosecutor's Case

One way to look at the prosecution case is to study the closing statements. This is where the prosecutor can expound on his theory and show how the actual evidence makes his theory the only one which fits all of the facts. In this case it is shocking to see how poorly the theory and facts fit together, and how often the prosecutor resorted to trying to testify himself, testimony not supported by anything except his own opinions.

Trial Proceedings

Prosecution Closing Arguments given by Rick Distaso

Monday, November 1, 2004

MR. DISTASO: Thank you, your Honor.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your time. I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing that because I want to spend time on the evidence. I want to thank you for your time you spent in this case. You've been here a long time and everybody in the trial really appreciates it. I think in this case an important place to start right from the beginning is hearing from Laci herself.

So go ahead, John. (Video played)

That was Laci Peterson early in her pregnancy; happy, as you can see, obviously; not aware of what was about to befall her some months down the road; obviously in love with Scott Peterson. And I think that's the biggest part of this case. The betrayal aspect of Scott Peterson. Laci Peterson had no idea what was coming from this man. And, in fact, she probably trusted him more than anybody else, I think is what the evidence showed us.

But this is not what the evidence shows. Distaso is assuming the guilt of the defendant, then trying to use it to prove the guilt of the defendant. It is up to the jury to convict based on the evidence, not based on assuming guilt. This is circular causation, a logical fallacy.

Now, let's go to the next picture, John, Laci in life at the Christmas party. This is probably one of the most telling pictures in all of the trial. Laci sitting alone at that Christmas party, by herself, teetering in on those big high heels, even though her feet are swollen with an advanced state of pregnancy, with a smile on her face, making the best of it. That pretty much describes in a nutshell Laci Peterson's life in December of 2002.

Once again Distaso is using prejudice to convict.

Go to the next picture, John.

Of course, here's where we ended up. Laci Peterson washing ashore on the San Francisco Bay around Point Isabel and found at that dog park on April 14th.

Laci Peterson didn't wash ashore totally alone in the San Francisco Bay, of course. She washed ashore with her unborn son, Conner, about a mile north on April 13th.

No evidence was offered that Conner ‘washed ashore’. In fact there was overwhelming evidence that he was placed exactly where he was found.

Go ahead, John. Show that picture. Okay. Click out of there.

It's no mystery how we got here. Scott Peterson is the one who brought us to this place.

Once again Distaso is using prejudice to convict.

Like I told you in the beginning of this case, when we did opening statements, this is a common sense case. It might have seemed complicated. You know, it took a long time to put on. It's not.

Distaso took 5 months to put on a case that expert lawyers have said should have taken one week, at most two. What is his point?

It's a very simple common sense case. Go ahead, click on that, John.

The most important fact in this case, go ahead and click on "common sense", the most important fact in this case is, and the one fact that cannot be refuted, no matter what anybody says, no matter what any interpretation of the evidence you want to believe, you cannot deny one particular fact, and that's that the defendant went fishing right here off of Brooks Island. Or he said he went fishing.

Scott stated this over and over, however it is important to note that ‘fishing’ and ‘boating’ are often used interchangeably. In this case it was clear Scott was testing out his ‘new’ boat. What is Distaso’s point?

That's where he took his boat that day. Laci Peterson washed ashore right here at Point Isabel.

Conner Peterson washed ashore right here at the Richmond shoreline in that marshy area.

No evidence was offered that Conner ‘washed ashore’. In fact there was overwhelming evidence that he was placed exactly where he was found.

The only man, or only person that we know without any doubt that was in the exact location where Laci and Conner's bodies washed ashore, at the exact time that they went missing, is sitting right there. Not another soul do we, have you heard any evidence fits that description. That alone is proof beyond a reasonable doubt in this case.

You can take that fact to the bank and you can convict this man of murder.

To describe this as an utterly extraordinary statement seems somehow inadequate. Clearly any one or more of 200 million people could have abducted Laci Peterson during the day she disappeared. Equally, any one or more of 200 million people, the same people or others, could have dumped the bodies of Laci Peterson and her baby within a day or two before their discovery. Scott Peterson was 90 miles away from Laci when the abduction occurred. He was 400 miles away when the bodies were dumped. The state failed to even try to prove that Scott Peterson was the one and only person who could have been involved in both actions, yet they appear to be trying to do just that, based solely on the fact that Scott knew Laci. I don’t think any ‘bank’ would accept that for any purpose.

Go ahead and click on the pictures.

Remember what he told us? He said he went fishing off an island two miles north. He said there was some broken-down piers. You can't see them on the screen, but that box shows, and the picture's there in evidence and you'll see them there. He said there was a no landing sign. Click on the other one, john.

There's a no landing sign on the island. There it is. Go to the tip of Brooks Island.

This is the tip of Brooks Island. Another no landing sign and some trash on the shore. He also described that area. So we know without any doubt this is where he went. Now, look, here's what I know some of you are thinking. Look how far Brooks Island is from that shore. Those are buildings. Some of you are thinking How do you take a boat out in the Bay and nobody can see what you're doing? Well, look how far Brooks Island is off the shore. I'll show you another picture in a minute, but, these are buildings. Now, put it in people size, and put in a small 14 foot boat. No one on the shore can see a single thing you're doing a mile and a half out in the Bay. It's impossible.

What is impossible is to make any sort of judgment of what is visible based on photographs. An honest test would be to place a boat in the vicinity the state or the defendant claimed was his location, then observe him from the closest point with binoculars or a telescope. There is no indication that this was done, and this appears to be a fraud on the court.

... To be continued

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