You Play Lawyer

I miss these threads. To get away from COVID 19 news, I started watching old Forensic Files on YouTube.

Something piqued my interest in the case of novelist Michael Peterson. In the years since he was convicted, the first verdict was vacated and he accepted an Alford Plea—acknowledging the Prosecution’s strong case, but still maintaining your innocence.

You guys play lawyer and decide which is correct—the original guilty of first degree murder verdict; the theory that Kathleen Peterson’s wounds were caused by an owl attack and not guilty; or guilty of manslaughter, which I believe to be the charge in the Alford Plea.

IMO the Alford Plea and manslaughter charge are appropriate. The evidence against him for premeditated murder is flimsy.

A forensic meteorologist saying he couldn’t have sat by his own pool in a t shirt and shorts in 50 degree weather? Huh? Has he never seen a group where some are shivering even in long sleeves and trousers while others are perfectly comfortable in t shirts and shorts?

Duane Deaver, the blood spatter expert featured in the episode of Forensic Files before Peterson’s new trial, has since been fired for poor quality work. Turns out he greatly misrepresented his credentials.

While the owl attack theory is bizarre, apparently they are common in that part of North Carolina. One victim compared them to bludgeoning with a baseball bat:

What do you guys think? Guilty of the original charge? Manslaughter? Or nothing?