A look inside San Quentin
From the "Wolf Blitzer Reports" staff
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Scott Peterson's fate is now all but sealed. On Monday the jury recommended he be executed for the murder of his wife and the fetus she carried.
San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi will formally sentence Peterson on February 25. Delucchi can overturn the jury's death sentence recommendation and order Peterson to remain in prison for the rest of his life, but that option is unlikely, an attorney said.
"It's very rare for a judge in California to reduce a death penalty verdict," former San Mateo County prosecutor Dean Johnson said Tuesday. "(It's) even more rare for Judge Al Delucchi to do so. He gives deference and respect to the expression of the conscience of the community, as expressed by this jury."
If the sentence is not overturned, Peterson will be moved immediately to one of the country's most notorious prisons -- San Quentin.
It sits less than 20 miles north of San Francisco, overlooking the bay in affluent Marin County, but San Quentin State Prison is a world of its own.
Built by prisoners in 1852, San Quentin is California's oldest prison and home of the state's death row for men.
Peterson could join more than 600 other men condemned to die.
But with a state average of 16 years between sentencing and execution, Peterson could likely face many years of mind-numbing monotony laced with the constant threat of assault by other inmates.
San Quentin's culture of violence is well-known and as in most prisons, child-killers are a favored target.
Peterson is likely to be segregated for his own safety, but he'll be forced to live the same routine as other inmates with regulated meal times, limited recreation and showers and strictly timed visits -- two hours a day Thursday through Sunday, although attorney visits are allowed any weekday.
And that is the bleak existence Scott Peterson is likely to lead for the rest of his life.