Scott Peterson Transported To San Quentin Prison Death Row
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Convicted murderer Scott Peterson is escorted by two San Mateo County Sheriff deputies as he is walked from the jail to an awaiting van March 17, 2005 in Redwood City, California.
By Host, "The Abrams Report"
updated 5/10/2005 3:34:00 PM ET 2005-05-10T19:34:00

Scott Peterson is apparently still thinking of his wife, Laci, as he prepares to go to death row.  He's at an adjustment center at San Quentin Prison now, waiting to be introduced into the prison population. But as he waits, he is staring at two photos of Laci in his prison cell, one of which was taken on their wedding day.  

San Quentin's spokesperson Vernell Crittendon, tells Dan Abrams how Scott Peterson is doing— and what he's reading. Transcript of the interview is below.

DAN ABRAMS, 'THE ABRAMS REPORT' HOST: Question one— How does he get the pictures? 

VERNELL CRITTENDON, SAN QUENTIN PRISON SPOKESPERSON: Well he has a number of pictures, as many of the inmates do inside the prison, mailed in by loved ones and family members, but he just opted to put those two up on the wall...

ABRAMS: And they are screened, right?  I mean you know could he—can he chose anything he wants to put up there? 

CRITTENDON: Well certainly he could.  Of course as you say, there is some screening, so there would be no photos that are allowed in that would be indecent. 

ABRAMS: And those are the only pictures up in his cell? 

CRITTENDON: Those are the only ones that I saw on the wall earlier in the week when I was visiting him, yes. 

ABRAMS: Has he had any family visits? 

CRITTENDON:  Well yes, he's had family and loved ones and friends and investigators that have been coming up to visit him, and he's been visiting rather regular.

ABRAMS: How often is he allowed to have visitors? 

CRITTENDON: Well he can have visitors seven days a week.  Legal visits are Monday through Friday and then he can have loved ones come up and visit Thursday through Sunday, so he's had some visits pretty regular...

ABRAMS: Same rules once he's transferred to death row? 

CRITTENDON: Once he's moved over to the main housing, he'll still have the same policies as far as visiting, yes. 

ABRAMS: I was stunned, Vernell, when I saw the names of the books that he's got.  He's got this one book, all right, it's called “From the Pit to the Pulpit”, a story of a life spent in the crime zones of America, 18 years spent in the hardest California state prisons.  That one is not a surprise.  The other one is called “My Uncle Oswald” and we got a description from the publisher.  It's apparently a brief novel dedicated solely to the diaries of the greatest fornicator of all times.  That's one of the books he has, right?

CRITTENDON: That was one—he had requested that particular book, that's correct. 

ABRAMS: Are you allowed to have whatever book?  Can he order smut? 

CRITTENDON: No, you cannot.  But we have a wide selection of books that are available in our library and that was one of the books that he had actually requested, so yes.

ABRAMS:  And, you know, it says “Uncle Oswald anticipates the concept of the noble sperm bank by some 40 years, flimflamming crowned heads, great artists and eccentric geniuses into making donations.”  but are there any restrictions?  How do you draw the line as to what you can look at and what you can't when it comes to sexually suggestive material? 

CRITTENDON: Well, once material is showing any type of private body parts, those types of books will not be—or magazines will not be allowed into our prisons. 

ABRAMS:  The people working with Peterson, I mean are they generally saying he's behaving, he's willing to do as told, et cetera? 

CRITTENDON: Oh yes, he's very cooperative with the staff.  He's also being found to be very cooperative and being able to get along with the other inmates that are there in the adjustment center on death row.  He doesn't interact physically with them.  But when he's out in his exercise yard inside of his little enclosure, there are a whole series of enclosures, so he's able to look right through the serrated metal fencing and can see the other inmates just a few feet away and is able to have some dialog with them. 

ABRAMS:  Last time you were on the program, we were talking about a guy sort of known as the “Sausage King” because of his sausage business, he's also in there for murder.  You were saying that there was some sense that maybe he and Peterson were going to be you know buddies or effectively the type of person who he's be paired up with once he gets to death row.  Still the case? 

CRITTENDON: Well that is my estimation of the background I have on Stuart Alexander, is I find that it would be quite possible that they could be on the same exercise yard together when they move over to the building where they'll be spending the rest of their lives while on death row. 

ABRAMS: How long until he moves to death row? 

CRITTENDON: I think that you'll probably have that concluding within about three weeks, but not more than five weeks from now.  We should have that process completed, and have identified those 70 to 90 inmates that Scott Peterson will spend the rest of his life on death row with. 

ABRAMS: And how much interaction can he have with those other people on death row once he gets there?

CRITTENDON: Well with that body of people that we identify, he'll go to exercise with them.  He's also go to any religious programs that he wishes to attend with that group. Other than that, all of his life will be spent alone in a 41-foot square foot cell.

ABRAMS: Does Peterson have a TV? 

CRITTENDON: Yes, shortly after he went to our classification committee, his loved ones did mail in a 13-inch television, which he has now in his cell. They've also mailed in for him to get a small portable C.D. player so he can listen to music. 

ABRAMS: And he'll be able to—can he watch anything he wants on TV?

CRITTENDON: Well we only provide free television. Those that you can capture off the airwaves, they won't get such fine shows as this, though, Dan. 

ABRAMS: No, I'm sorry to hear that. Crittendon, good to see you. Thanks for coming back on the program. 

'The Abrams Report' airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV.


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