Geragos steps aside in Peterson hearing

Dec. 1, 2004 at 11:12 PM

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Legal analysts gave good reviews to the defense in the Scott Peterson penalty hearing Wednesday as Mark Geragos' co-counsel questioned Peterson's father.

Experts who were inside the Redwood City, California courtroom said having Pat Harris handle the examination of Lee Peterson distanced the defendant from Geragos, the lead attorney who was unable to win an acquittal in the trial phase of the murder case.

The Modesto Bee, however, said that while Harris may have been effective, Mr. Peterson showed a stoicism that some observers said might not have connected well with the jurors.

Peterson testified about his son's childhood and close relationship with his family in an attempt to spare him from a lethal injection for the 2002 murders of his wife, Laci, and his unborn child.

The jury will recommend to the sentencing judge either a death sentence or life in prison. Testimony resumes Thursday.

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