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updated 8/16/2004 6:58:02 PM ET 2004-08-16T22:58:02

As we anticipate the cross-examination of Amber Frey by Scott Peterson’s attorney (this could happen as early as Tuesday) let me tell you about the issues that could potentially be brought up that I don’t care about.

I don’t care about:

  • Amber’s motive for making the tapes.
  • Whether or not she is vindictive or is she is scorned.
  • Her sexual past,
  • Or her maternal choices for her child.

None of these concerns go to the only relevant question: Was what we heard on the tapes between her and Peterson authentic?

What we heard was an almost pathologically-dishonest Scott Peterson attempting to keep his relationship with Frey afloat, even after Laci disappeared.

The fact that she did not tell him she was working with the police is irrelevant. Peterson’s refusal to answer any specific possibility incriminating questions has to make you wonder whether he even suspected the police were already listening in.

Regardless, all that really matters is what Peterson said on those tapes. If Mark Geragos can somehow demonstrate that Scott Peterson did not ever mean to say his wife was dead two weeks before she “went missing,” then he should do it.

Or if he can try to show that Peterson’s predictions about spending more time with Amber in January were just coincidence, then I look forward to that as well.

Or if the defense has some evidence to show that Amber was actually involved in the murder, as they have implied, then that is certainly legitimate cross-examination that could undermine the sanctity of what we heard on the tape.

But I fear that Amber Frey is going to go through an old-fashioned smear job. We see it in high-profile trials all the time—from Martha Stewart’s to O.J. Simpson’s— it happens to those who dare to take-on well-funded defense teams.

Amber Frey made some bad choices both for herself and for her daughter. But this is not a morality tribunal. It’s a criminal trial.

Scott Peterson, not Amber Frey is the defendant. So when listening to the cross-examination, I will be sure to keep asking myself: How does this change what Peterson said?

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