Peterson lawyers say appellate rules don't let them lay out facts

Dec. 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM   |   Comments

CHICAGO, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Drew Peterson is expected to formally appeal his conviction next month, but his lawyers say the Illinois appellate court has severely limited what they can say.

The appeals court has, for the third time, denied the attorneys' request to exceed the 50-page limit on briefs, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

No more than 15 pages can be used to lay out the facts of the case.

Peterson's attorneys had requested a waiver on the page limit, saying the case had generated more than 11,000 pages of court records. The trial transcript is 5,000 pages.

Attorneys had asked to be allowed to submit 50 pages outlining the facts and 125 more pages arguing why his conviction should be overturned.

Peterson, 59, was sentenced to 38 years in prison in February for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. He is also the only suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, in 2007.

Prosecutors had not objected to the request.

The court announced during the weekend Peterson's request had been denied.

Court records suggest Peterson may appeal on several factors, including the admissibility of hearsay testimony and whether the judge erred in allowing Stacy's pastor to testimony about conversations they had.

The deadline for Peterson's attorneys to submit the appeal is Jan. 14. Arguments before the court are expected in late 2014.

Peterson remains incarcerated in a maximum security prison.

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