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No Verdict Yet For Peterson

The judge in Scott Peterson's murder trial ruled Thursday against allowing video or still cameras in the courtroom for the verdict, citing concern for the families of both the defendant and his slain wife.

Also Thursday, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi ruled that transcripts from the many private meetings with attorneys held in the judge's chambers throughout the trial will remain sealed.

"The defendant's right to a fair trial trumps the public's need to know," Delucchi said in making his rulings.

Meanwhile, jurors deliberated Peterson's fate for a second day before breaking up around 4 p.m.

Peterson faces two counts of murder in the deaths of his wife, Laci, and the fetus she carried. Prosecutors claim Peterson killed his wife around Christmas Eve 2002, then dumped her weighted body into San Francisco Bay. Her badly decomposed remains and those of the fetus were discovered four months later, not far from where Peterson claims to have been fishing alone the day she vanished.

Defense lawyers claim someone else abducted and killed the Modesto woman, then placed the bodies in the water.

The issue of television coverage pitted both the prosecution and defense against the news media.

"The public has not seen what has happened in this trial in a way that only can be seen over television," argued media attorney Rochelle Wilcox during the open court hearing Thursday.

The judge previously had agreed to allow television coverage of the verdict, but reversed his ruling after attorneys on both sides of the case filed a joint motion opposing it.

Prosecutor Dave Harris told the judge that cameras would "focus in on someone's grief, someone's anguish and that has nothing to do with teaching what the legal system is all about."

Delucchi told Wilcox that he thought the media were "interested more in this verdict as a spectacle rather than for the public's confidence in the judicial system."

The verdict will, however, be captured on a live audio feed, the judge ruled.

The judge also denied Wilcox's motion to unseal the transcripts from in-chambers meetings.

"It's well-established that these proceedings are required to be public," Wilcox said. "The public needs to understand that the process is fair. ... It needs to be open and it needs to be visible."

"I keep hearing about the public's need to understand," Delucchi countered. "But you know what this case is about. ... You know about the ongoing publicity ... and you know the court has to balance the defendant's right to a fair trial against the public's need to know."

Delucchi said many of the in-chambers meetings have been about evidentiary issues that the jury should not hear about, and that the transcripts should remain sealed in case some jurors ignore the judge's rules to avoid media coverage of the trial.

Given the length of time it took the lawyers to present their cases, and the nature of the evidence, especially the prosecution's evidence, we shouldn't be surprised that the jury didn't immediately come back with a verdict, said CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we get a verdict Friday. The jury is sequestered and after a trial that already has taken five months you can imagine that jurors don't want to spend another weekend in limbo," he said.

"If we do not see a verdict before the end of the week, I suspect prosecutors will begin to get a little nervous,'' said Cohen.