A year after Scott Peterson was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife, Laci, and unborn son Conner, his family apparently still hopes one day he will be freed. Three months ago his parents, Lee and Jackie Peterson, hired two prominent Bay Area attorneys to handle the first stage of their son's appeal. Then in late March, on their Web site scottpeterson appeal.org, they offered a $250,000 reward for "specific information" that leads to the exoneration of Peterson—who is on death row at San Quentin—or the arrest and conviction of someone else for the crime. They also offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the recovery of Laci's Croton watch, maintaining that "we believe Laci was wearing this watch the day she disappeared and that locating the watch may provide valuable information."
But the reward offers may be nothing more than wishful thinking. Redwood City attorney Dean Johnson, who followed the case, points out that the watch issue came up early in the trial, only to be discounted by the jury. Says Johnson of the watch: "It is certainly a red herring." As for the $250,000 reward, Birgit Fladager, one of the prosecutors on the case, scoffs at the notion that the Petersons will ever have to pay up. "It's a safe bet it's never getting paid out," says Fladager. "There's no risk for the family putting up that money because Scott Peterson is convicted and behind bars, where he deserves to be."