Robert Blake and Scott Peterson. One Gets The Death Penalty And The Other Doesn’t. Why? Worthiness Probably.
Robert Blake was found not guilty and Scott Peterson was found guilty in their murder trials. Both cases were based entirely on circumstantial evidence and both men acted suspiciously before and after their spouse’s death. In Peterson’s case we are not exactly sure of the cause of death or when Laci died. Blake’s wife died when he left her sitting in a parked vehicle while he returned to Vitello’s restaurant to obtain is gun. In each case there were no eyewitnesses to the killing and no forensic evidence linking either man directly to the death of his wife. Blake was a celebrity and Peterson was not. Does this account for the difference? Maybe. The jury certainly held the prosecution to a higher standard in his case. Blake’s wife was portrayed as a woman that had spent her life exploiting men through the promise of sex in lonely-hearts ads. Laci Petersen was portrayed as a pregnant and beautiful young homemaker whom everyone praised. The fact she was photogenic helped the prosecution the also.
Did The Death Penalty Turn On The Issue That One Was A Worthy Person And
One Was Not?.
Amber’s Revelations Turned Laci’s Family Against Scott. The Truth About Bonnie Turned The Public Against Her
Obviously no one seemed to care about Bonnie Lee Bakley except her family who were suing Robert Blake for wrongful death money damages. Sharon Rocha Laci’s mother sued Scott for wrongful death damages, but only after Laci’s body was found and the police charged Peterson with her death and the death of their unborn child. However if Sharon Rocha and her familily continued to support Scott in his innocence as they did early in the case before Amber Frey made her revelations and Laci’s body was found then the police probably would not have charged him and there would have been no trial or death penalty. After Amber and the body was found they fell under the influence of the prosecution and helped make the cicumstantial case against Scott. The main thrust of the charges against Peterson was that he exhibited no remorse at the loss of Laci and their unborn child and that he was cheating on her with Amber Frey at the time of her disappearance. Blake showed little or no remorse also but was never shown to have despicable character.
Media coverage of both murders and trials was heavy. In the case of Scott Peterson their appeared to be no neutral coverage of him although his family did speak up for him as good person. This appears to have been ineffective. However the negative coverage far out weighed the neutral or family coverage in his case. Every female news commentator or newsperson was outraged that he was carrying on a liaison with Amber Frey, a massage therapist from Fresno, at the time Laci disappeared. Blake seems to have a tumultuous relationship With Bonnie Lee Bakley but the overall coverage disapproved of Bonnie as a person and was neutral as to Robert as to culpability. There was no character assassination of Robert Blake before the trial. Indeed he appeared to be a cantankerous older man taken advantage of by Bonnie Lee Bakley. She made her living before and after meeting and marrying Robert by separating lonely older men from their money. In the case of Robert Blake it appeared that is what she was doing with him. Blake only married her after he learned she was going to have his child. Scott on the other hand came across as a cheating husband who not only deceived his vulnerable and pretty wife but also Amber who says she was betrayed by Scott. See more on Amber. (click here).
In the end Scott Peterson was convicted on his poor moral character and the fact that Laci was a worthy person who the media and the public identified with. In Blake’s case he came across as a lonely old man victimized by Bonnie Lee Bakeley. No female news commentator or newsperson felt sorry for her. Indeed the public did not identify with or care about Bonnie. Bonnie was a cheater just like Scott was shown to be. There was no cheering crowd outside the courtroom when Blake was found not guilty as there was for Scott Peterson when he was found guilty.
Both Cases Were Media Prosecutions.
The circumstantial evidence against Blake was stronger than in the Peterson case however the victim was not a worthy person and so the jury didn’t find the evidence against him was beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of Scot the evidence was weaker but Laci was a worthier person and Scott’s character was shown to be reprehensible. Scott was convicted in the Media long before jury selection began. Both cases show that the death penalty is too final a resolution for these cases because of the media influence as well as the many other well-documented reasons against the death penalty. (click here).
No one cared about Bonnie Lee Bakley while every one cared about Laci Peterson except perhaps Scott as perceived in his words and conduct by the public through the lens of the media coverage concerning the case. In the end both Scott and Bonnie were seen as cheaters and that was the deciding factor in these cases. The media framed the issues long before the jury was selected.