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First think, then ink

December 6, 2010 - Rob Weaver
This is one instance that redefines the phrase about having the courage of one’s convictions ... conviction being the key term.

The following report, via The Associated Press courtesy The Tampa Tribune, ought to prompt discussions in lunch rooms and around water coolers today:

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — A second murder trial is beginning for a neo-Nazi whose tattoos are being covered by a cosmetologist so jurors can't see them. John Allen Ditullio is charged in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Kristofer King and accused of wounding Patricia Wells inside her mobile home in 2003. Ditullio has a large swastika, barbed wire and a vulgarity tattooed on his face and neck. A judge ruled the tattoos could sway a jury's opinion and ordered them covered.

Given that information, one might think the Ditullio should stand trial without the makeup. After all, isn’t he trying to make a statement with the tattoos? Perhaps he never was admonished never to get a tattoo where it might be seen by a judge.

But the judge in this case (Ditullio’s retrial was to begin Monday) did offer this rationale: Any tattoos Ditullio had before his arrest won't be covered — such as a small cross under his right eye — but since his March 26, 2006 arrest, the neo-Nazi has added tattoos to his body that are prominently displayed and not easily concealed.

What bothers me is that the state is paying a cosmetologist up to $150 a day during Ditullio's trial to cover the tattoos. Really? Isn’t there a cheaper way to handle this — a Phanton-of-the-Opera mask and a turtleneck, perhaps?


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Blog Photos

The defendant, before and after the make-up job.