He’s the guy who was convicted a couple of weeks ago of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci, and his son, Conner, who was only three weeks away from being born.

But hey! According to Scott’s lawyers, he’s a nice guy underneath. Here’s what the New York Post reports this morning:

“Scott Peterson’s hardened upbringing makes him appear callous — but he’s really a selfless, loving person whose ‘life is worth saving,’ a defense lawyer told jurors yesterday.”

The jurors, in Redwood City, Calif., are hearing the second phase of the trial of the 32-year-old Peterson, convicted on Nov. 12 of disposing of his wife and kid on Christmas Eve, 2002, so that he could spend more time with his mistress. The jurors have the task of deciding whether to recommend the death penalty for this selfless, loving person. So lawyer Pat Harris told them:

“‘You are going to hear from a lot of people — a number of friends who volunteered [to testify] — co-workers, coaches, employers, teachers. . . We will prove to you that this is a life worth saving.

“‘We’re not going to portray him as a saint, but you are going to hear a lot of good things.”

No, Scott Peterson sure ain’t no saint. But his lawyers are between the proverbial rock and the hard place. They seem to want to argue that Peterson was the product of a rotten upbringing so he couldn’t help himself, which is the usual ploy when you’ve got a multiple killer you want to save from the chair. Then again, the lawyers also wanted to put Peterson’s dad on the stand, so they couldn’t exactly say that Peterson’s upbringing was too rotten. So the lawyers decided that Peterson’s upbringing was just “hardened”–and not “emotional” enough. So here’s what Harris said:

“‘We’re all products of our parents, none more so than Scott Peterson,’ said Harris. ‘They are not an emotional family.”

So Scott’s dad, Lee Peterson, duly reminisced about the killer’s boyhood:

“‘He was a perfect baby,’ Lee Peterson said. ‘He woke up smiling, and went to bed smiling.’

“Lee Peterson said his son was a good student who competed in youth golf tournaments.

“Scott ‘wanted to play golf professionally,’ but when he got to Arizona State University, he realized he wasn’t talented or competitive enough to go pro.

“‘He lost several matches because, I believe, he didn’t want to hurt the other guys’ feelings,’ Lee Peterson said.”

Then Lee Peterson duly reminisced about why things might have gone wrong:
“…Lee Peterson…testified that he told his children that they should stand tough in the face of adversity.

“‘When something bad happened, you were supposed to pick yourself up, figure out what was wrong and go fix it,’ Lee Peterson, 65, testified.

Yeah, like kill it, dump its body into the San Francisco Bay, and then dye your hair blond and try to flee the country with a wad of cash. Fortunately, as Post correspondent Howard Breuer reports, the jury wasn’t having much of the perfect baby and would-be pro golfer pro who didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Breuer writes:

“Jurors seemed bored by the testimony. Most of them returned from a late-morning break with coffee, and frequently looked at their watches.”

I can’t wait to hear what Scott Peterson’s coach has to say.