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Peterson jury foreman: Justice done

Victim's stepfather says defendant 'got what he deserved'


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A California judge sentences Scott Peterson to die.
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REDWOOD CITY, California (CNN) -- Members of the jury that convicted Scott Peterson of killing his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son attended the sentencing Wednesday out of what some of them said was a need for closure.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi followed the jury's recommendation from November, sentencing Scott Peterson to die by lethal injection. (Full story)

Members of Laci Peterson's family addressed the court before Delucchi imposed the sentence, with her brother, Brent Rocha, calling Peterson "evil" and "a baby-killer."

Other family members, such as Laci Peterson's father and stepfather, used profanity in addressing Peterson, resulting in an admonishment from Delucchi.

After Peterson's father, Lee, jumped up and began yelling at Brent Rocha, calling him a liar, Delucchi threatened to have Lee Peterson removed from the courtroom.

Laci Peterson's family, Modesto police and prosecutors have scheduled a news conference Thursday on the case, saying they decided to do so after being deluged with requests for interviews.

In remarks after the sentencing, Ron Grantski, Laci Peterson's stepfather, thanked the people of Redwood City for their support, recalling when a boat parked on defense attorney Mark Geragos' property was turned into a shrine for Laci last year.

He also thanked the sheriff's department and bailiffs, saying, "I'm sure we've been a pain."

"Our family is going to make it," Grantski said before addressing California's death penalty. "We're stronger because of this, and Scott got what he deserved. We're fortunate that we have this law that we have. It's a double murder. He killed our grandson and our daughter. Every state should have it."

Asked later about his comments, Grantski said, "I would like to have said more. I think he got my message."

Asked about the Petersons, he said, "I can't speak for the Petersons. Who can?"

A majority of the jurors were present Wednesday.

"We were in there for seven months," Richelle Nice said of the jury duty. "We wanted to see it through to the end."

And at least one juror said he interpreted the fact that Delucchi followed their recommendation as a signal that the panel made the right decision.

"We did everything right," Mike Belmessieri said. "We went in and we saw, last June, an innocent man, and sat there, many of us -- I know I did -- saying, 'What's this poor kid doing here?' Well, we found out what he was doing there, didn't we?"

Nice called Peterson "a jerk."

"I have one comment for Scott: You look somebody in the face when they're talking to you," she said.

Belmessieri said Peterson entered court Wednesday with "a smile on his face, laughing. It was just another day in paradise for Scott, another day that he had to go through the motions. He's on his way home, Scott figures. Well, guess what, Scotty: It's illegal to kill your wife and child in California."

The jurors said Peterson showed no emotion as he heard from Laci's relatives. "Scott was being Scott," Belmessieri said.

He said people have a right to disagree with their verdict, but "it was all no emotion, it was all fact. ... If you weren't there, you don't know."

Jury foreman Steve Cardosi said he had little to say.

"The judge went with our recommendation," he said. "So justice has been done."

Belmessieri said he recalled hearing a cheer from spectators outside the courthouse after their guilty verdict was announced.

"I was really set back," he said. "I didn't see anything to cheer about."

He and other jurors discussed it, and they felt the same way, he said.

But later, he said, someone told jurors that perhaps the cheer was for the system, not the verdict, because the system really works.

"Well," he said, "it does really work."


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