Florida Supreme Court refuses to reconsider James Dailey’s 1985 Pinellas murder conviction

Dailey, now 75, and co-defendant Jack Pearcy were convicted in the murder of Shelly Boggio

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday refused to reconsider a September decision that rejected an appeal by a Death Row inmate convicted of murdering a 14-year-old girl in 1985 in Pinellas County.

Justices, in a 6-1 ruling, denied a motion for a rehearing sought by James Dailey, whose case has drawn national attention. As is common, the court did not explain its reasons for denying the motion.

Justice Jorge Labarga was the only dissenter.

Dailey, now 75, and co-defendant Jack Pearcy were convicted in the murder of Shelly Boggio, whose nude body was found with multiple stab wounds floating in water near Indian Rocks Beach.

Attorneys from Florida and other states have fought to overturn Dailey’s conviction, contending that he is innocent of the murder. In part, that has been based on a signed declaration in 2019 by Pearcy that he —- not Dailey —- killed Boggio.
Also, the attorneys have targeted jailhouse informant Paul Skalnik, whose testimony helped lead to Dailey’s guilty verdict.

Attorneys for Dailey argued at the Supreme Court that a prosecutor during Dailey’s 1987 trial had allowed false testimony from Skalnik. Justices on Sept. 23 rejected an appeal, which led to Dailey’s attorneys filing the motion for rehearing.

“Rehearing and clarification are necessary because this court’s decision to sanction the state’s conduct —- its knowing decision to permit and then leverage its star witness’s perjury at James Dailey’s capital trial —- runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution and departs from this court’s own precedent,” the Oct. 8 motion for rehearing said.

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