Often, the American justice system moves quickly but never as quickly as the American media system does. Scott Peterson’s indictment and plea were today — the rest is yet to come. But in the court of public opinion, Scott Peterson is already convicted.
THE COURT OF Public Opinion operates not on law but on impression, and Mr. Peterson has already broken four of the laws of making a good impression.
Exhibit A — The alibi. Maybe Scott often got to go fishing alone 80 miles from home on Christmas Eve with a pregnant wife at home. That would make him the first married man in history to be able to pull that one off. Not likely.
Exhibit B — The other woman. Whether or not you’re guilty of murder, you’ve just been proven guilty of being a lout beyond any reasonable doubt. Say good-bye to any support from married women. Also, easy on the Ambers. There’s a reason they chose Amber Alerts.
Exhibit C — The weekend the bodies of his wife and son are found, he sneaks one last round of golf. Oddly enough, he plays 30 miles from the Mexican border, and he had $10,000 and his brother’s ID in your pocket. That looks either like he’s expecting a sudden, dramatic increase in greens fees, or expecting Al “A.C.” Cowlings to stop by to give him a lift home or a lift somewhere.
Exhibit D — The mug shot. Has Scott learned nothing from Khalid Shaik Mohammed? It is all about how you look when you get caught. The new jumpsuit, orange hair color and matching goatee have given Scott Peterson the look of a man who, well, fits behind bars.