In shades of Rowan Atkinson's Blackadder, the Lord Executioner episode, where everyone is named Ploppy, Brian Peterson, the pathologist was called to testify on the fetus. When cross-examined Brian was asked if he was related to any of the Peterson's on trial?
"No but I would say to Scott, good morning Mr Peterson and he would say, good morning Mr Peterson and then Lee would say good morning Mr and Mr Peterson..." .....those long cold winter evenings must just fly by....
Brian Peterson testified that the fetus was expelled from the decaying body of Laci Peterson. This of course goes against several of the defense theories on being born and then killed by independent assailants. It also ties in with the evidence relating to the plastic bag which forensic experts claim was not wrapped around the fetus by Laci's attackers but floated there as just so much garbge in the water.
He also testified that there was no evidence that Laci had given birth before her death. Her uterus did not return to it's normal size which is the way it usually operated in a normal birth.
You can assume that that's the last Peterson Barmitzvah that Brian will be attending. Mind you on cross-examination he did concede that it was very difficult to tell whether the fetus had been born alive.
This would again put some doubt in jurors mind as to the possibility of independent 3rd part killers. This and the fact that Brian Peterson confirmed that the cause of death could not be confirmed.
The evidence of the pathologist like the other state forensic witnesses is substantial in quantity but does not give the jury any direct answers to the questions posed by the state.
The defense has thrown up alternatives which as laymen we might question. There is no problem with that. In a court however the state must prove it's case beyond a reasonable doubt and that is a very weighty onus.
At present there cannot, in my humble opinion, be anyone who can say, that even though the defense has raised a far fetched sounding story, there is no doubt that it is false. There is substantial doubt and truth is often stranger than fiction.
And the more forensic evidence there is, and the more scientific techniques have improved, the more Scott Peterson must be entitled to the benefit of the doubt.
If DNA, GPS and all the other incredible tools available to the modern day prosecutor, cannot pin down Scott Peterson then there has to be a reasonable doubt.
If we were living 200 years ago, the circumstantial evidence would be screaming -convict. I personally would always err on the side of caution unless we're dealing with Michael Moore, in which case I would have him put down for "parking in a loading zone with a loud wife''.