This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 15, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Scott Peterson is cooling his heels tonight on death row San Quentin. And ironically, less than 100 yards from the San Francisco Bay where his wife and son's remains washed ashore. He was convicted of murdering his 27-year-old pregnant wife Laci and his unborn son, Conner. His fate, both guilt and death, was determined by a jury.
As you know, both the deliberation process is secret, but once the case is over jurors can talk and tonight they do. We have the inside story. Joining from New York are three jurors who served on the Scott Peterson trial. Greg Beratlis, juror No. 1; Richelle Nice, juror No. 7, and John Guinasso, juror No. 8. Also joining us is journalist Frank Swertlow.
All our guests do-wrote the book, "We the Jury, Deciding the Scott Peterson Case."
Greg, let me go first to you, writing this book was it sort of cathartic, meaning, that you sort of got to lay out everything that happened behind the scenes?
GREG BERATLIS, FMR SCOTT PETERSON JUROR: Yeah, just getting our feelings across of what we went through for that six month ordeal.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was it hard, Greg, going through this six month ordeal?
BERATLIS: You know, I think during it, you don't have time to think to think about that. You're listening to all the information, the evidence, you're going by what you're hearing, and you're kind of engulfed in that, but afterwards, yeah. I mean, you pay a toll.
VAN SUSTEREN: Rochelle, how about you? Did you pay a toll serving on this jury?
RICHELLE NICE, FMR SCOTT PETERSON JUROR: Yeah, I did.
VAN SUSTEREN: In what way?
NICE: I had a major break down last December. I'm not going to say it was all due to the trial, but it was explained that I had a weak foundation and that was the topper, that crumbled my foundation.
VAN SUSTEREN: John, and you?
JOHN GUINASSO, FMR SCOTT PETERSON JUROR: It was tough. Just basically the autopsy pictures and the testimony that was discussed is something that is not ordinary to most people. So, I still carry it with me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Frank, you wrote this book with them. You had an unusual vantage point, you were out in the audience with others. What was it like covering this trial for you?
FRANK SWERTLOW, JOURNALIST: You know, Greta, every time I reread the first chapter it brings tears to my eyes. This was — you sit in the courtroom, you begin to contemplate good and evil. Why would a man who looked like him, and I think the jurors will all agree, that when they first saw him he was the all-American boy. He couldn't have done it. And yet, from that point on, until the end, it is just a horrifying story of why one man decided not to take the option of divorce, but to murder his wife and son. And it's just, I cry. I really do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Richelle, did — throughout the trial, I mean, in the beginning did you like Scott Peterson and then in the end not like him?
How did your emotions go?
NICE: I mean, I think I went in there I didn't like him or dislike him. I needed to go in with a clear mind and to through the facts and listen to the case and decide at the end.
VAN SUSTEREN: Greg, did you ever have eye contact with Scott Peterson?
BERATLIS: What little I could. I mean, Scott kind of looked mostly forward during the whole trial. He didn't — he looked across over in our direction once in a great while, but generally he just — he kind of just stared forward almost like what you see on the screen right now. Even during any of the evidence that was brought up or any of the witnesses.
VAN SUSTEREN: John, we used to say, and I know you didn't follow the press, because jurors weren't supposed to, but we used to always comment in the media about his sort of swagger when he came into the courtroom. Did he seem — did Peterson seem to have an attitude or a swagger with the jury or was that just the media's view of it?
GUINASSO: No, he did, it was a confidence swagger. He walked in every day the same way and sat at the table a lot of times with not much emotion, but did glance around periodically.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you know, John, that his family, parents were in the courtroom?
GUINASSO: I didn't know who they were until they took the stand I had the feeling that they were family in the front row, but I didn't know who was his father or his mother, et cetera.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there one word, John, to describe your view of Scott Peterson now?
VAN SUSTEREN: That certainly says it all. But I want all of you to standby. I'm going to take a quick break. We have much more behind the scenes of the Scott Peterson trial.
And later, when we hit the road, how does one of our own staffers manage to stay thin on a diet of Coke and Cheetoes? A new diet secret? We couldn't make this stuff up if we tried. It's all in tonight's "Behind the Record." And remember, do not complain about the camera work on this and hang on to your seat.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tonight, as Scott Peterson sits on death row, there is so much more about his trial we are now learning. Some of the members of the jury have gone public, writing a book to give you the inside story.
Still with us, three of those jurors, Greg, Richelle and John. They all join us as well as the author, Frank, who — a co-author who wrote on the book, he's he a journalist.
Richelle, one word to describe Scott Peterson, not guilty because I know that's obviously the one, but in your — when you hear his name, what do you think?
VAN SUSTEREN: Dark? How about you, frank?
VAN SUSTEREN: John, Sharon Rocha was in the courtroom. Were you aware of her presence and did your heart go out to her? Because I know that many of us, in the media, were sitting there and, you know, we were so much aware of her presence.
GUINASSO: Yes. I was aware of her presence. As you know, did I sit in the front row and she was to my left in the gallery, and it was hard to
— when I did glance at her, look at her because she had a tissue to her eyes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Greg, when you actually went into the deliberations on the guilt/innocence phase, did you — were you certain, right when you went in there. I mean, was there any sort of level of question in your mind as to guilt?
BERATLIS: Yeah, well, you know, you got to realize we were in six months listening to all the testimony. And then trying to just justify the things that we had heard or did we hear it differently or anything. I needed to hear other people's take on what was — what transpired. Nobody to bounce any ideas or what you had heard or what you perceived to be testimony and I just — you know, I had to process all of that. That's why, you know, we went into deliberation — people ask me now, did you take a vote? And no, we didn't take a vote from the beginning. We took all the information, wrote it down and we processed it and we spent that time in there processing it.
We got to realize, I mean, like I said, we were in there for six months listening to testimony. Nobody so-to-say well, is this what they meant or is that what they were saying? But, you know, we got in there, we talked about it, we went through a process, we developed our own process — they don't give you a book how to do it, and we did the best with what we had.
VAN SUSTEREN: Richelle, what was an easier decision for you? Guilty or death?
NICE: An easier decision? Neither one of them was easier. But, if you have to pick, the death sentence was definitely the hardest.
VAN SUSTEREN: Frank, how did the judge do?
SWERTLOW: I thought the judge was great. I mean, it was amazing that he kept his composure. He was calm. He was deliberate. And he was very much, particularly in dealing with Mr. Geragos, very, very decisive.
VAN SUSTEREN: John, on a one to 10, 10 being great, one being not-so great, how do you rate the jury system, the overall — not your experience, but the idea of juries making these discusses.
VAN SUSTEREN: Nine? All right, that's pretty high. I'm a big fan of the jury system. Anyway Greg, Richelle, John, Frank, thank you. The name of the book is "We, the Jury" and it's on sale, now. Thank you all.
NICE: Thank you.
SWERTLOW: Thank you.
BERATLIS: Thank you.
GUINASSO: Thank you.
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