I've been ignoring the Scott Peterson trial as much as possible. How many hundreds of cases like this occur all the time? Why do they pick this one out and analyze it to death as if we should care about it more than any other? Of course they did it so much that many people turned out to care, but the entertainment circus over this thing has been really sad. Still, it was hard not to catch most of what was said. They repeated it so often, at least once an hour most days. What struck me as so obvious in this case was that they had absolutely nothing on the guy except some relatively suspicious circumstantial evidence and clear proof that he's just a total jerk. I don't know how any of that should be enough to alleviate a reasonable doubt that he killed them. I was never able to be convinced that he did it from what I've heard all along. I wouldn't put it past him. He's completely amoral. Still, that's no proof, not to the level of removing a reasonable doubt. Unless there's something that's been buried by the media, he should never have been convicted.
The fact that they're giving him the death penalty is now going to stand as evidence of how easy it is to get the death penalty, which will support those who want to remove it entirely. The use of such an argument is a baby-bathwater situation, of course, because one decent enough solution to trigger-happy juries is to raise the standards again for applying the death penalty, or rather enforcing them where they're supposed to be. That was supposed to have happened after the Supreme Court temporarily banned capital punishment in the 1970s because of its unequal standards in application, and those were supposed to have been greatly improved by the time they allowed its reinstitution. Compare the O.J. case, though, and it's easy to see that there's still great inequity, at least in the high-profile cases. He got off because he was a famous football player. Peterson didn't because his jury voted with their entrails and not their minds. We also know that the race of the victim affects juries' decisions on whether to institute a capital sentence. With white victims, the chance is much greater (regardless of the race of the convict, which turns out to have little effect either way overall, though some parts of the country lean one way and some lean the other, presumably because of residual racism in some places and P.C. restraint in others).
This is the biggest problem with the American system of peer juries. It's the same problem with Democracy in general. One impartial judge is always preferable to a whole bunch of jurors untrained in how to evaluate evidence or how to recognize bad arguments and appeals to emotion. Christians, of course, believe that there is that one impartial judge, and all will be set right in the end. Unfortunately for us at the moment, we'll have to wait until we die for that. Until then, we'll just have to observe the government wielding its God-ordained sword imperfectly.