The Peterson Tape You Didn't Hear in Court

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," August 24, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Joining us from Redwood City with more are KFI radio's Laura Ingle and former San Francisco assistant DA Jim Hammer, who were inside court today.

Laura, first to you. I understand that you have some news about at least another tape, not the one that was presented in court today.

LAURA INGLE, KFI RADIO REPORTER: Right. This came during cross- examination today, when Mark Geragos and Amber Frey had a little bit of a combative moment, where he was asking her about listening to some of these tapes after they had been made. Specifically, this is a call on January 8, 2003. Within this call, Scott Peterson says to Amber Frey, “You know, I've been advised by my lawyer that I can't talk about this case.”

Something to that effect. She couldn't recall it. Mark Geragos played this wiretap in court in front of jurors.

Apparently, what we have just heard here in Redwood City is that that tape was not supposed to be played in front of the jury today. The prosecution had a major problem with that tape being played. It had been discussed it wasn't going to be. They all went back into judge's chambers. And this happened right after the lunch break and we came back and Mark Geragos suddenly had no more questions for Amber Frey. And now this appears to be the reason why, because he was cut short on that. And we know this was done behind closed doors has been sealed, so we don't know for sure what happened, but just getting that word coming out of the courthouse tonight that that's, in fact, what went down.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Jim, the viewers who listen to this must think, “Why in the world shouldn't the jury hear all the tapes, since they're the fact finders.”

Yet there are technicalities in which one side can play some tapes and the other side can't. It's unfair, though.

JIM HAMMER, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: You're right. And what's doubly ironic is that the California constitution has something called the "truth in evidence" provision, which in the constitution says that every bit of evidence should come in.

Nonetheless, there is this hearsay rule, which says generally, people don't get to play their own statements unless they want to take the stand and suffer cross-examination. I don't think Scott Peterson wants to do that.

But in the end, in fairness, Scott Peterson got the jury to hear over and over and over again his denials of involvement in this crime. I think there's no doubt in the jury's mind that, at least to Amber Frey, he denied involvement every single time in this crime, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: But of course, since the very beginning, the tapes are the tapes, and why not let the jury sort through them and make a decision, except for time reasons. Obviously, you don't want to bore the jury to death.

HAMMER: Which has already happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which has already happened.

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