REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Scott Peterson's (search) sentencing has been postponed for eight days, until next Tuesday, Nov. 30. The judge in the case has also denied a change-of-venue motion by the defense and a request for a new jury.
Ten days ago, Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of his pregnant wife Laci Peterson (search) and of second-degree murder in the death of the nearly full-term fetus she was carrying.
He faces either the death penalty or life in prison. Testimony in the penalty phase is likely to be more emotional than it was during the five-month trial to determine his guilt or innocence.
Defense lawyers filed a motion last week seeking to have a new jury seated in another county to weigh the sentence, though the judge denied that motion Monday. The lawyers claimed San Mateo County was too prejudiced against Peterson for this jury to be impartial.
The penalty phase is like a miniature trial, absent most of the typical rules of evidence. Unlike the guilt phase of a trial, it allows jurors to hear pleas for leniency and heartfelt recollections of the victim.
This phase will begin with opening statements from both sides, followed by testimony from friends and family members and closing arguments, before the jurors are once again sequestered for deliberations.
"Witnesses are pretty much allowed to say whatever they want," said Robert Talbot, a University of San Francisco School of Law professor who has observed the trial. "Laci's family will be talking about the impact on their lives without Laci there and not having a grandchild. The Petersons are going to attempt to show there is something of value in him that shouldn't be destroyed by the death penalty."
Talbot said defense lawyers also are allowed to "argue lingering doubt," playing to jurors who may still be somewhat uncertain about the prosecution's case.
The Peterson penalty phase will be unlike most murder trials, where the convicted person has a history of violence, anti-social behavior or a childhood marred with abuse.
"You're not going to have any of that here because there isn't poverty in his background and there isn't parental abuse or a criminal record. He seemed to have a pretty good childhood," Talbot said.
No testimony is expected from one of the prosecution's star witnesses, Peterson's former mistress, Amber Frey (search). Wiretapped telephone calls between Peterson and Frey played for jurors portrayed the 32-year-old former fertilizer salesman as a habitual liar and a cad.
Speculation that Frey would be a defense witness because of her apparent opposition to the death penalty is unfounded, said Frey's attorney, Gloria Allred (search).
"I don't think that would be helpful to Peterson," said Allred. "I think that would be ridiculous."
FOX News' Trace Gallagher, Catherine Donaldson-Evans and The Associated Press contributed to this report.