We, the Jury: Deciding the Scott Peterson Case
by Juror Nos. 1,2,4,5,7,8,9
Read: January 26-25, 2017
Blurb: The great untold story of the Scott Peterson trial is the story of the jurors themselves. Now, for the first time, in their own words, seven of the twelve who decided Scott’s fate reveal the struggles and conflicts they faced in reaching a verdict in the first great murder case of the 21st century. Individually, and as a group, being a juror was an ordeal: emotionally bruising and physically challenging.
We, The Jury tells, for the first time:
- The jurors’ initial reaction to the “All American Boy,” Scott Peterson, and his family.
- The stunning details behind the ouster of foreman Greg Jackson, the doctor-lawyer who was dismissed.
- The extraordinary role of John Guinasso, Juror No. 8, who stopped rogue jurors from causing a mistrial.
- What the jurors really thought about Amber Frey and how her shocking testimony uncovered for them Peterson’s inner world, helping to condemn him to death.
- The story of the battles that went on inside the jury room.
- Why the jurors bonded with Laci and her family.
- Why defense attorney Mark Garages’ “stone cold defense” chilled the jurors.
- How the stumbling prosecution made a dramatic comeback to win a conviction.
- How the horrifying autopsy photos of the remains of Laci and Conner helped to seal Peterson’s fate.
- How, when it looked as if he might walk free, the jurors found the elusive Peterson guilty of killing Laci and Conner.
- The effect the trial had on the jurors at home and at work.
- The emotional price paid by these jurors – and perhaps all jurors who decide capital cases – when they condemn someone to death: the nightmares and anxiety that follow.
Review: I have had this book on my shelf for more years than I care to admit. I decided this year I would try to read more nonfiction, so this one (being the slimmest non-fiction book on my shelf as well as the oldest one hanging around) was the first one up. This book took me two months to read …. not because it was bad, but because I just couldn’t read a lot of it at a time. I had to read it in spurts here and there.
I followed this case like a hawk. I was obsessed. Never missed a night of Nancy Grace. Caught as much trial coverage as I could. Obsessed … totally. And now that I’m a mother, someone who has been pregnant twice, this case hits me harder than ever. Two times I have been 8 months pregnant. Both times I made it another month and walked away with beautiful, healthy babies. Laci never got that. Her life was tragically taken at 8 months pregnant. I can’t even begin to imagine. And to have your life taken by the one person you’re supposed to love and trust the most?! Inconceivable. I can’t imagine what it was really like to sit on that jury day in and day out. To see those awful autopsy photographs. To watch that smug man on trial with his smirks and blank stares. To have to decide whether that man should live or die for his actions. It’s not something I would ever want to have to go through. And this book really gives you a great insight into what they went through.
Books detailing various criminal cases are a dime a dozen. But a book like this – written from the perspective of the actual jurors…. it’s an eye-opening and enthralling read. I’d definitely recommend it.