Scott Peterson Appeals Sentence

Justin Sullivan / AP Photo

Scott Peterson is escorted by two San Mateo County Sheriff deputies as he is walked from the jail to a waiting van in Redwood City, Calif on March 17, 2005.

Scott Peterson and his death penalty lawyer have filed an automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court. In 2004, Peterson, a former fertilizer salesman, was convicted in the murders of his wife and unborn son and sentenced to death. Despite being found guilty of suffocating his pregnant wife and throwing her in the San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve, Peterson has always insisted that he's innocent. In this new appeal, his lawyer argues that over-the-top publicity and media coverage of his case – which, he claims, surpassed that of even the O.J. Simpson murder trial – deprived his client of a fair hearing. "Before hearing even a single witness, nearly half of all prospective jurors admitted they had already decided Mr. Peterson was guilty of capital murder," Peterson's lawyer writes.