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Hannity

Scott Peterson's Death Sentence

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," March 17, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Joining us tonight in a "Hannity & Colmes" exclusive, the author of No. 1 "New York Times" bestseller, "Witness," Amber Frey is with us. From San Francisco, Scott Peterson's half sister, author of another No. 1 "New York Times" best seller, "Blood Brother," Anne Bird. And here in New York the attorney for both women, well known Gloria Allred.

And in just a minute, by the way, we'll be joined by one of the jurors that will talk to both of these women from Scott's trial.

Amber, welcome back.

AMBER FREY, AUTHOR, "WITNESS": Hello Sean.

HANNITY: A little less hectic than the last time I saw you.

FREY: Yes.

HANNITY: This decision comes down yesterday. Your initial reaction?

FREY: I didn't hear — I didn't hear the verdict until later in the day, but I just — you know, I know that the judge had a lot to consider. And, you know, the 12 jurors gave — I don't know if you call it an opinion or, you know, but their verdict of death.

And I guess I wasn't really that surprised. I felt that it was very - - it is a very bold statement, if anything, but that...

HANNITY: We're going to speak to one of the jurors in a few minutes, and as far as I know this will be the first time you're on, actually, with one of the jurors on TV. I think, right?

FREY: Yes.

HANNITY: It will be interesting because jurors have said, without your testimony, there is no guilty verdict in this case.

This is a guy, as we have discussed in the past, full-court press.

FREY: Right.

HANNITY: Chocolate and strawberries which they bring up and the cooking at dinner. This guy really impressed. Calling, "Oh, I'm in France, Amber."

When you think back to this whole thing and you put it in perspective, does it hurt you that — or does it make you feel warm that you played a big part in what happened here?

FREY: Well...

HANNITY: Are you conflicted at all about it?

FREY: Am I conflicted as far as my participation with the Modesto Police Department? No. I feel that, you know, without that — without the tapes and without really — we didn't hear from Scott Peterson other than, you know, the tapes.

So I feel that was very important. And I'm — I'm thankful that that helped bring justice for Laci and Conner and the family and that — you know, just that you — one cannot get away with murder with, you know, the deceptions of his personality.

HANNITY: You're happy because you stood up for what was right?

FREY: I feel very — I feel — yes, I guess happy would be the word. I'm sorry.

BOB BECKEL, GUEST CO-HOST: Amber, let me ask you a question. I know you would have preferred, I think you said, life in prison without parole versus the death penalty. Can I ask you generally what your view on the death penalty is?

FREY: Well, I don't think I ever said that or made that statement.

BECKEL: Well, let me do a second question. What is your opinion on the death penalty?

FREY: I haven't verbalized that. I have mixed feelings about that. You know, I guess more so that there's, I guess, now 644 people on Death Row and that, more likely than not, he'll be — basically live his life out on Death Row but not actually be executed. So I just have a hard time thinking that's actually going to happen or really perceiving that, I guess.

BECKEL: We're going to talk to the sister here for a second, Ms. Bird. But let me ask you one more question. If you — Ms. Bird was asked to go see Mr. Peterson in jail and she did do that. And we'll talk to her about that. But let me ask you: if he asked you to come visit him, would you go?

FREY: If Scott asked me to come visit? I'm not sure that he would so...

BECKEL: Let's hypothetically say he would.

FREY: Hypothetically? You know, I really haven't been able to speak to him face-to-face or basically — a lot of things that were said to him were on tape and, of course, that's not face-to-face.

So in some ways it would be an opportunity without it necessarily being so public to be able to, I guess, give myself somewhat of a closure in a verbal sense.

I mean, I — people have asked me before if I've forgiven him. And I said you know, really that's the only way I was able to move forward in my life is to do so. But to actually have the opportunity, I — hypothetically, I may.

BECKEL: OK. Let me ask Anne Bird, who did actually get asked to come and visit with Scott Peterson after he discovered you were going to write a book. I believe that's right. What happened in that discussion with your brother?

ANNE BIRD, AUTHOR, "BLOOD BROTHER": You know, it was really odd. It was a very shallow conversation. And he talked about a Brussels spouts recipe. He talked about the Chapter 13 being graffitied out by a gang in Palo Alto, just very shallow.

BECKEL: Let me ask you — now that this is over and your brother, or your stepbrother has gotten the death penalty, if you had something you wanted to say to him, what would you say to him right now?

BIRD: You know, I'm just sad for him. I'm sad for his entire family. I'm sad for the Rochas, and I wish he would at least alleviate some of this distress for all the families involved and at least say something.

HANNITY: All right. Anne, just one quick question. When you heard the statements yesterday by the family, including "You're going to burn in hell" and "Not even Satan could take credit for you", what did you think of this? This is a man you described in your book as the golden child.

BIRD: Right. Actually, I heard that from you today for the first time. I didn't hear that before.

You know, I understand their anger. I would be just as angry. But it's also tough to hear.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: For more on Scott Peterson's sentencing yesterday, we're joined by Scott's former girlfriend, Amber Frey, and she's author of "Witness for the Prosecution of Scott Peterson." Anne Bird, Scott Peterson's half sister. She's author of "Blood Brother: 33 Reasons Why my Brother Scott Peterson is Guilty." And Gloria Allred, the attorney for both Amber Frey and Amber.

We'd also like to bring in Julie Zanartu, a juror in the Scott Peterson murder trial.

Julie, I'm sorry if I stepped on your name on that. But let me ask you, one of the other jurors, your fellow jurors was quoted as saying that it was the taped conversations between Amber and Scott Peterson that pushed that juror from life sentence to a death sentence. Was that your feeling? Did that impact on your decision?

JULIE ZANARTU, PETERSON JUROR: It did quite a bit. It did because of — we got to see how he really acted and not the persona that everybody thought he was this great guy next door, you know, which people thought he was for, I guess, most of his life. It just showed a different side of him.

BECKEL: Let me ask you. Normally in these situations, the jurors take a vote as you start off on these things and then go from there. I don't know if that was the case here. But if it was, in the penalty phase when you met, what was the initial vote on death versus life in prison?

ZANARTU: We didn't vote right away. The first vote we took, I believe, was 10-2, maybe.

BECKEL: Ten to two? And how long after that vote did it take to — for you all to come together on the death penalty?

ZANARTU: We had — it was like a Friday right before we were leaving, and we did it. And then when we came back on the following Monday, I think we all — we had it all hashed out by then by the end of the day, if I remember correctly.

BECKEL: Can I ask you one last question on that? What were the reasons that the two jurors initially decided for life imprisonment? What was that reasoning on that?

ZANARTU: Well, it wasn't an — it was an anonymous vote so I don't really know who they were. And then I think by Monday, it had changed. And some people were — it wasn't — it wasn't exactly 10-2. Some people abstained from voting, so I really can't say it was 10-2. There was just two for life.

HANNITY: You just heard what Julie just said, and how other jurors have said it was your work with the police department, those tapes that showed this pathological liar that had such an impact on their decision.

I mean, have you ever had a chance to address one of the jurors? Is there anything you'd want to ask Julie about — about what happened and what was going on? Or how does it make you feel that it was so pivotal for you?

FREY: Right. Certainly it reassures me that — that everything I went through during that time and up to this day, that it certainly brought justice for Laci and Conner and that, you know really — I'm at a loss for words for that, but it really is something.

HANNITY: Julie, you reinforced my faith in the jury system. And I've got to tell you, having people as thoughtful and conscientious like you on that jury means a lot to, I know, a lot of people in our audience.

Let me ask you, Amber, this question. In the words of Sharon Rocha yesterday, and yesterday, Gloria you were in the courtroom and you watched this unfold.

You know, "You threw them, meaning Conner and Laci, "away like garbage," she said. "Not even Satan could take credit for you. You are proof evil can lurk anywhere. And you don't have to look — have to look evil to be evil. How dare you murder her?"

The brother went on to say, you know, "You're evil. You're doing the readiness to commit evil."

Now this guy that you once were falling in love with, that you know everything that you know, is he evil?

FREY: Is he evil? Well, certainly, you know, so many people heard the conversations between him and I. And to hear also when the family members were talking to him and saying these things that I've heard he was just stone cold.

And the tapes, you know — he showed me another side to where he does show emotion and he does show — or he showed emotions in which case were not brought out in court or any time during that time, especially yesterday when — when this was going on. So...

HANNITY: Even the lies to you were so manipulative, so heartless, that full court press, I think. That, in and of itself — you were in the courtroom, Gloria. Your thoughts on what you saw?

GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: Yes. It was just an amazing thing, Sean. I mean, Sharon Rocha was really awesome. And you know, the family calling him a monster, a murderer, a coward, all of that.

HANNITY: And the judge.

ALLRED: And the judge saying he was uncaring, that he was callous. I think everybody there had that view except, of course, a few people supporting the defendant, of Scott Peterson. And I think that justice was done in this case and a big, big tribute to Amber, who is pretty self- effacing about it but she deserves it.

BECKEL: Gloria, we're going to have to get out of here. And also, Peterson has said nothing. We'll continue on the other side of the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: First, we continue with our coverage of the sentencing of Scott Peterson with Scott Peterson's former girlfriend, Amber Frey, Scott Peterson's half sister, Anne Bird, and the attorney for Ms. Frey and Ms. Bird, Gloria Allred. And Peterson juror Julie Zanartu is with us.

All right. Anne, let me ask you about this, because this is your brother. You went to see him this last time before. You see the way he's being described in the courtroom, as Gloria was describing, yesterday. The word "evil" being thrown around. And this was the guy you described in your book as the golden child.

BIRD: Right.

HANNITY: You know, how do you reconcile this person that everybody put on a pedestal with the person that was described in court and the person that you now believe to be this murderer?

BIRD: Right. How do I reconcile the feelings about that?

HANNITY: Yes. In other words you believed in this person, almost like Amber. Amber believed in him at one point. You were enamored with him as your — when you first met him.

BIRD: Right. You know, he — you know, I feel, when I read Amber's book, that we almost went through something so similar, you know, to be so severely duped by someone, to be so trusting and caring and to kind of see this other side.

And the only thing that I've seen that describes this personality is a sociopath, you know. And that's been a really tough personality to try and grasp, because I've never come into contact with one before. You know, it's a person who just has no guilt and no...

HANNITY: Conscience?

BIRD: ... almost no emotion and no conscience. It is so difficult — I don't think you can spot a person like this.

But he definitely — he lied. You know, he lied to Amber. He lied to me.

HANNITY: Lied about everything.

BIRD: And both Amber and I trusted him around our children. That's how trusting he is.

HANNITY: Amber...

BIRD: And that's devastating.

HANNITY: That's a good point. You did trust him. I asked you about this the last time you were here. And early on, you trusted him. I mean, you got involved in a very serious relationship right at the get go with this guy.

Has it changed you? Has it changed your judgment? I mean, this — one of the things Sharon Rocha said, it doesn't matter what you look like.

FREY: Right.

HANNITY: How has this altered your opinion of people that you meet for the first time?

FREY: Probably a little more cautious. It doesn't necessarily have to narrow down to the male gender, I mean, just a little more cautious in general.

HANNITY: Yes.

ALLRED: And let's remember, too, of course, that Sharon Rocha and her whole family trusted Scott.

HANNITY: For a long period of time.

ALLRED: And many members of the Peterson family trusted him at well. And I might add, I have a tremendous admiration for Anne, as well.

HANNITY: Sure.

ALLRED: Because she has the courage to tell the truth as she sees it about her own brother. That could mean the end of her relationship with other Petersons.

HANNITY: That's true.

BECKEL: That leads to a good question, though. Anne, your husband was suspicious about Scott Peterson early on when he moved in with your family.

BIRD: Right.

BECKEL: As a matter of fact, from the very beginning, as I understand it. And yet you never agreed with that. You held out a long time.

Now, some people have said that Peterson is the classic example of a sociopath. I'm not a psychiatrist and I won't guess at that. But did he really have you that snookered as it were?

BIRD: You know, I really believe so. You know, also at this time I was getting all these phone calls from Jackie, you know, saying, you know, "Please take care of him. He's absolutely devastated."

You know, and I'm thinking he's in shock, he's traumatized. You know, he can't find his wife, who is pregnant. So I kept feeling terrible for him.

BECKEL: Can I bring go back to — can I bring out our juror here and ask a question? In the — in the decision to find Peterson guilty, what was the single, in your — in your own deliberations, what was the single most important piece of evidence that made you decide that he was guilty?

ZANARTU: Exactly where he was fishing was where the bodies turned up. That was the bottom line.

BECKEL: So that was the biggest — now let me ask you a question. Were you there the other jurors, when some jurors decided to test out this boat and bounce around on the boat, and the Peterson's defense has said that was introducing new evidence. Was that — were you involved in that at all?

ZANARTU: Well, we were all in the basement. I did not get in the boat myself, but two of the jurors did and just sort of moved around and looked. And I just walked around and looked at it and we had — looked at the motor and just looked at — because I'm not a boat — I don't know much about boats so, you know, I was just looking.

BECKEL: Julie, let me ask you and Anne one final question. If you had something to say to Scott Peterson tonight, if you wanted to, and let's assume that you might want to, what would you say to him?

ZANARTU: Are you asking me?

BECKEL: Yes, ma'am.

ZANARTU: I would just ask him why did he do it and how did he think he was going to get away with doing that and nobody would even notice that he's just going to run off with a new girlfriend and forget about it?

BECKEL: And Anne, could I ask you, what would you say to your brother if he had a chance tonight?

BIRD: Yes, he was married to, you know, one of the nicest people I've ever met, and I just don't understand. I feel like I need some sort of explanation, although I don't think I'll ever get it.

HANNITY: Amber, last question. Same thing? Last thing you'd say to him?

FREY: Probably, I would agree with just what Anne said, you know, why? I mean, just from what I've heard about the relationship, you know, why was there other — another woman?

HANNITY: OK. Gloria, good to see you. Thank you.

ALLRED: You, too, Sean.

HANNITY: Amber good to see you. Thank you.

Ann, thank you.

And Julie, thank you, too. Appreciate it.

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