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Judge Imposes Death Penalty for Peterson

A California judge Wednesday finalized the death sentence for Scott Peterson (search), telling the convicted double-murderer his actions were "callous and cruel."

Earlier, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi (search) denied a defense request for a new trial.

Wearing a black suit and waist shackles, Peterson entered the courtroom around 9 a.m. PST. His parents and the family of his wife Laci Peterson (search) were present for the hearing.

Laci Peterson's father said Judge Delucchi's decision gave him a sense of closure.

"Our family is going to make it. We are stronger because of this and Scott got what he deserved," Ron Grantski told the press after the hearing.

After thanking his family's supporters along with the prosecution and sheriff's office, Grantski added that he hoped the entire country would adopt a law named for his daughter and the grandchild he never knew.

"We are fortunate we have this law. It was a double murder that he killed our grandson and our daughter," Grantski said. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (search), or Laci and Conner's law, makes harming a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman a crime.

Laci Peterson, 28, was eight months pregnant when she was killed two years ago. Scott Peterson, 32, was convicted last November of killing Laci and her unborn son, Conner.

Emotions ran high in the courtroom as her family confronted her murderer.

"You made a conscious decision to kill them ... you threw them away like garbage," Sharon Rocha said.

"I miss her so much, having lunch with her, hearing her giggle," Rocha told Peterson. "I will never meet my grandson."

Brent Rocha said he suspected Scott Peterson of murder soon after his sister disappeared and bought a gun with the intention of killing him.

"You still go on as if nothing's happened," Rocha told his former brother-in-law. "You always had this arrogance about you."

The family members' testimony prompted a shouting match that led to Scott Peterson's father storming out of the courtroom.

Scott Peterson's mother, Jackie, interrupted, although her voice was inaudible.

"What a liar!" Scott Peterson's father, Lee, yelled from the audience before the judge admonished him. Lee Peterson left the courtroom, and his wife Jackie soon followed.

Scott Peterson, who sat relatively motionless throughout the hearing, declined an opportunity to address the court.

Many jurors cited Peterson's appearance of indifference and arrogance after they recommended the death penalty for him in December.

"Apart from shaking his head 'no,' I didn't see any reaction," said Mike Church, an alternate juror who was in the courtroom for Wednesday's hearing. "He sat as he did during the rest of the trial, looking stoic, unemotional and almost resentful."

Media Circus Not Over

The disappearance of the sunny, expectant mother on Christmas Eve more than two years ago touched off a media circus that exploded with each made-for-TV development.

Several books have already sprung from the case, the most famous authored by Scott's former mistress and key witness in his trial, Amber Frey. A cable network produced and aired a movie about Laci's murder before Scott had even been convicted.

And even the jury became a focal point during the trial. In June, as the prosecutors' case was not looking good, juror Justin Falconer (search) told the press he did not believe Peterson was guilty after he was ordered off the trial.

And verdict deliberations were twice interrupted in November when Delucchi dismissed two more jurors.

Sacramento's KCRA-TV has reported that several jurors were teaming up to write about their experience during the trial.

Wednesday's hearing does not spell the end for the Peterson case. In California, appeals are automatic for capital murder cases, and the jury drama may be helpful to the defense.

In July, jurors went on a trip to see Peterson's fishing boat. Prosecutors maintained that the boat could withstand capsizing if a body was thrown overboard.

"I personally think it's OK that the judge allowed the jury to get into that boat, but you never quite know how the court of appeals will view it," FOX News legal analyst Stan Goldman said.

"There's the complication that the judge wouldn't let the defense demonstrate its own version of how the boat might have tipped over, so it could end up being an argument somewhere in the Ninth Circuit court when this thing starts going through the federal system," he said.

In a motion for a new trial filed on Feb. 25, defense attorney Mark Geragos also alleged the prosecution withheld evidence and that dismissal of the two jurors during deliberations was inappropriate.

As for Peterson himself, some legal experts predicted he would become a target in San Quentin State Prison (search), where he is to sit on death row.

"His experience at San Quentin is going to be miserable," said criminal defense attorney Yale Galanter. "This is the type of guy who will need protective custody. I don't think Scott Peterson will do well there at all."

FOX News' Claudia Cowen and Jane Roh contributed to this report.