Before and After

CLEARWATER, Fla. — When John Ditullio goes on trial on Monday, jurors will not see the large swastika tattooed on his neck. Or the crude insult tattooed on the other side of his neck. Or any of the other markings he has acquired since being jailed on charges related to a double stabbing that wounded a woman and killed a teenager in 2006.

Mr. Ditullio’s lawyer successfully argued that the tattoos could be distracting or prejudicial to the jurors, who under the law are supposed to consider only the facts presented to them.

The court approved the judicial equivalent of an extreme makeover, paying $125 a day for the services of a cosmetologist to cover up the tattoos that Mr. Ditullio has gotten since his arrest. This is Mr. Ditullio’s second trial for the murder; the first, which also involved the services of a cosmetologist, ended last year in a mistrial. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.  – NY Times

Study Questions

  • Why isn’t the defendant’s current appearance considered one of the facts presented to the jury?  Clearly appearance matters – hence counsel’s move for the makeover (and the state’s vociferous objection).  Does it say something about him that he went ahead with the tattoos even though he hadn’t been to trial yet?
  • Wouldn’t a band-aid, head scarf, and turtleneck sweater be just as effective?  How about Mickey Mouse ears?  Or maybe a smurf mask.  Or Shrek!  That’s it – big, lovable Shrek!
  • Evidence introduced at the first trial indicates the defendant lived in a neo-Nazi compound and espoused neo-Nazi beliefs.  (Actually, it was a trailer home.  Everybody knows that the superior race favors trailer homes.)  The woman surviving the attack reported that the defendant had threatened her for having Black visitors, and her teenage son (who was killed) because he was gay.  Given these data, isn’t the swastika something the jury should know about?
  • Nobody seems to understand what the message on his neck actually says.  If found guilty, should he receive additional penalties for wearing misspelled words?
  • How many would compromise on this issue and just have the sonofabitch flayed alive, removing the skin as well as the tattoos?  Everybody?  Does it matter that he’s innocent until proven guilty?  I didn’t think so.  No, I didn’t think it would.
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7 Responses to Before and After

  1. Diesel Fitter says:

    “Nobody’s gonna look at anybody’s neck, man.” — Tommy Chong, Up In Smoke

  2. Joe Balls says:

    Creep. I read the whole article. My favorite part is where he sent a nasty Christmas card to the woman he beat up and whose son he killed. Allegedly. He doesn’t need a makeover, he needs a makedead.

  3. Missing Lincoln says:

    A plain white hockey mask would do the trick.

    • Miiami Harold says:

      Agreed.
      Or perhaps a tall white hood.

      • Mr Schwinnckle says:

        A tall cone shaped white hood, white robe, and a burning cross, and double wide in the western parts of Broward County, or Davie. I grew up here in the early 80s when burning crosses made the new in the Hollywood Sun Tattler newspaper.

        And please Squats, dont bring Mickey Mouse or Shrek into this. They are the good guys from Florida.

  4. "Esq." A Lawyer says:

    Crazy unless you keep firmly rooted in your mind that the man is innocent until, well, you know. Repulsive? Moronic? Sadistic? Absolutely disinterested in anything or anybody outside of himself? Maybe, but if that were illegal, everyone in Congress and on Wall Street would be locked up. Which might not bother most people, either.

    His lawyers’ job is to do whatever they can to ensure a fair shake for their client. The judge doesn’t want to do anything that would provide grounds for an appeal. Our system is designed to maximize protection of the innocent. You probably know all this, but it’s often hard to keep it down even when you accept it.

    Yaddy yaddy yaddy…..Squathole, your last 2 sentences are dead on.

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