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Drew Peterson's attorneys prepare appeal

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Attorneys prepare to appeal Drew Peterson's conviction for the murder of his third wife and they have just over two weeks to put together a complicated case.

January 14 is the deadline to file an appeal. Because there are thousands of pages of court documents, Peterson's attorney was hoping the court would allow him to go beyond a page limit for the appeal. But, that request was recently denied.

It's been almost a year since Peterson was sentenced to 38 years for killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. At 59 years old, Peterson says he will likely die in jail, unless his appeal is successful.

"He's anxious to get out, he's confident he's gonna get out of there," said Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg.

Greenberg is in the process of putting together an appeal due January 14, but he said it is going to be a challenge because the court is giving him a 50-page limit. With over 11,000 pages of court records, including 3,000 of trial transcripts, Greenberg has asked three times to go beyond the limit, but the 3rd District Appellate Court has rejected the requests.

"There was so much wrong with the case I can write 500 pages, they tell me 50 I'll have to fit it in," Greenberg said.

Greenberg says the appeal is based on two issues. First, Greenberg believes Pastor Neil Shori should never been allowed to testify based on privileged information.

Second, a big part appeal is based on ineffective counsel. Former Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky's decision to call Kathleen Savio's divorce attorney Harry Smith to the stand proved to be a huge mistake and some jurors said Smith's testimony was the tipping point to a guilty verdict. However, some experts argue ineffective counsel won't hold water because Peterson was represented by several attorneys, including Greenberg.

"When you're talking about ineffective assistance, it's the consequences of counsels actions that matter, it doesn't matter if he had one attorney or six attorneys," Greenberg said.

The Will County State's Attorney is confident drew Peterson's conviction will withstand any challenges.

Peterson is locked up at Menard Correctional Center.

Greenberg says his client remains in protective custody, which means Peterson is by himself in a cell for 23 hours a day.

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drew peterson, local, sarah schulte
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