U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Drew Peterson appeal

October 1

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow was pleased but not surprised to learn today that Drew Peterson’s petition to appeal his case to the U.S. Supreme Court has been denied.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday announced it has denied Peterson’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari. The denial means the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal of Peterson’s case, a decision that effectively ends the direct appeal of any issues in his case. The defendant still has the option of pursuing other post-conviction relief in the courts.

Drew Peterson’s conviction already has been unanimously upheld on direct appeal by the Illinois Third District Court of Appeals as well as the Illinois Supreme Court. Both the Third District Court of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court, after thoroughly reviewing all issues raised by the defense on appeal, scrutinizing the entire trial record, and hearing oral arguments, found no error in the trial court record.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruling also included a detailed review of State’s Attorney Glasgow’s lawful use of hearsay statements from Peterson’s murdered third wife, Kathleen Savio, as well as his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. The State’s Attorney entered these statements into evidence at trial under the legal concept of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing, which allows prosecutors to use certain hearsay statements from witnesses if the defendant deliberately made those witnesses unavailable to prevent them from testifying.

State’s Attorney Glasgow used those hearsay statements against Peterson at trial under rules affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Giles v. California and by the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Hanson.

“The statements I lawfully used as evidence to convict Drew Peterson at his murder trial were both relevant and probative,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “Peterson thought the threats he made to Kathleen Savio – that he would kill her and make it look like an accident – had died with her. And he thought the statements he had made to his young fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, had vanished along with her in 2007. But by applying the constitutionally sound concept of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing, Kathleen was able to testify from the grave against her murderer, and Stacy was able to refute Peterson’s alibi for Kathleen’s murder.”

The State’s Attorney continued: “The many successes in the appeals process have been vindications of my decision to pursue a prosecution that initially had been criticized by many legal professionals and those in the media. More importantly, they have been victories for the families of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson against a notorious murderer who always felt he could act outside and above the law.”