State

Scott Peterson's family seeks death penalty appeal money via PayPal

The family of Modesto's most notorious criminal, Scott Peterson, is soliciting donations to help pay for his death penalty appeal.

The Peterson family has set up a PayPal account to take donations via its Web site. The Petersons say they need to raise $95,000. The money will pay for investigators to review evidence that the Petersons believe will help free their son, who they say was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner.

On the Web site, the Petersons say they've exhausted their resources paying for Peterson's defense over the past six years. Peterson, 37, was convicted in 2004. He is on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Peterson's father, Lee Peterson, who lives in Southern California, said in an e-mail to The Bee that his son is the victim of a "horrible travesty."

"It all boils down to this simple fact," Peterson said. "If one or two bad cops feeling the media pressure and-or looking for glory decide to put an innocent man in jail, they have the power to do so. That thought should frighten every citizen."

The state will pay for part of Peterson's appeal. Such appeals are filed automatically after every death penalty conviction.

Laci Peterson's parents, Sharon and Dennis Rocha, recently dropped a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit against Scott Peterson.

On the Web: www.scottpetersonappeal.org.

Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at lalbrecht@modbee.com or 578-2378.

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