Laci Peterson

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A California jury has begun deliberating whether double-murderer Scott Peterson should be sentenced to life in prison without parole or be put to death.

The same jury convicted Peterson of murdering his wife, Laci, and her fetus.

Jury deliberations began after the judge read instructions in a formal, but impartial, tone. He gave no outward indication the instructions dealt with the question of whether a man lives or dies.

If the jury recommends death, the judge can reduce the sentence to life. But he cannot impose death if the jury recommends life.

In closing arguments in the penalty phase, a prosecutor called Peterson "the worst kind of monster."

The defense cited the many witnesses who'd testified to Peterson's basic goodness, and asked the jury to spare his life.

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