Scott Peterson was convicted of first and second degree murder this afternoon for killing his wife and unborn son. All the evidence against him was circumstantial, but few people seemed to have any doubt about his guilt. There were no eye witnesses, no murder weapon, no blood stains, no DNA. Nevertheless, the circumstances of the crime pointed convincingly towards Mr. Peterson, and possibly even more important in the eyes of the jury, he was a real scumbag.

The worst parts of the crime are, of course, the murders, but secondarily don't forget just how badly Mr. Peterson has screwed his family. They sold everything they owned, mortgaged their homes, and emptied their retirement and college accounts to hire Mark Geragos to put on a million-dollar defense for their son and brother, and he let them annihilate their lives in a futile attempt to get him off when he knew he was guilty. Now they'll never touch him again, and never see him except through maximum security prison glass.

Rather than simply flee his family -- as thousands of selfish and pathetic fathers do every year -- Scott Peterson found an even lower road to travel, and I hope he fries for it. He thought he could, for his own convenience, murder the ones who loved and depended on him; he was too smart to ever get caught. When he was picked up, with dyed hair and $15,000 in cash, he then conned his family into ruining their own futures to cover his despicable acts. What clearer picture of depravity can there be? Saddam Hussein writ small, but no less evil for it.

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