The Peterson trial: Your questions answered

NEED TO KNOW
  • Drew Peterson is on trial for killing third wife, Kathleen Savio
  • His fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, has been missing since 2007
The Peterson trial: Your questions answered

Editor's note: Jury selection in the Drew Peterson trial began in late July. In Session on truTV has covered the case from the beginning. Below are some questions that readers have posed, along with the answers to those questions.

Why aren’t there cameras in the courtroom?

Illinois recently passed a law allowing cameras in the courtroom. However, the law leaves the decision up to individual counties. Will County, Illinois, still bars cameras from the courtroom as of right now.

Why don't we know who will testify ahead of time?

A witness list has not been released to the public. However, before court starts in the morning a spokesperson from the District Attorney’s office usually gives  the media a heads-up as to who is expected to testify that day.

Who is taking care of Peterson’s children?

Drew Peterson’s eldest son, Stephen, is raising Peterson’s children. Read more from In Session’s Beth Karas, who chatted with Stephen on his front porch a few weeks before the trial.

What happened to Peterson’s first two wives? Are they testifying?

HLN has covered Peterson’s first two wives -- Carol Hamilton and Victoria Rutkiewicz -- in detail. In Session legal experts say it is unlikely that they will testify, because their testimony would be irrelevant to the trial.

Where can I learn about all of the facts of the case from day one?

HLNtv.com has compiled all its Peterson coverage in one place; Also you can check out In Session's Facebook page.

Why was there more than one autopsy?

Originally, Kathleen Savio’s death was ruled an accidental drowning in 2004. However, after Stacy disappeared, investigators reopened the case, and exhumed Savio’s body for another autopsy. Dr. Larry Blum found during the second autopsy that Savio’s death was a homicide. A third autopsy, paid for by Fox News, also concluded that Savio’s death was a homicide.

Is the jury sequestered?

The jury is not sequestered in this trial.

Why is the prosecution not allowed to mention Stacy Peterson’s disappearance?

It can be brought up only to explain why others acted the way they did. For example, why someone who didn’t say something or do something in 2004 when Savio’s death was ruled an accident, but acted differently in 2007, when Stacy went missing. In 2007, when Stacy went missing, the authorities reopened the investigation into Savio’s death. Otherwise, it might look like people just sat on their hands for three years without doing anything. And there can never be any reference to the possibility that Stacy is dead; she can only be referred to as “missing.”

What is the difference between a mistrial without prejudice and a mistrial with prejudice?

A mistrial without prejudice means the defendant would get a new trial. A mistrial with prejudice means the defendant cannot be retried, and he or she would walk free.

If you have more questions about the Peterson murder trial? Join the conversation on In Session's Facebook Page.

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