Daily outrage: Florida state ordered to pay for daily cover-up of defendant’s tattoos

WHO: John Allen Ditullio

WHAT: The 23-year-old is on trial for allegedly breaking into a neighbor’s trailer and stabbing two people, killing one of them. While in confinement, the self-described neo-Nazi had a 6-inch swastika tattooed under his right ear, barbed wire inked down the right side of his face, and an extreme personal vulgarity scrawled on one side of his neck. Now, the Tampa-area judge ruled that Florida must pay a cosmetologist up to $150 a day to conceal the tattoos with makeup for courtroom sessions.

WHY: Ditullio’s lawyer successfully argued that the tattoos are potentially offensive and could influence a jury’s opinion in the death penalty case. Prosecutors call the stabbings a hate crime, saying the surviving victim was attacked because she has a black friend and her teenage son is gay.

WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA: “The defendant did initially choose to communicate to the world through the tattoos on his body,” University of Florida law professor Michael Siegel said. “Now he’s asking for protection from his own decisions.”

OpinionOther Opinion

Just Posted

A man walks past the main entrance to the Hotel Whitcomb at Eighth and Market streets on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Closing hotels could disconnect hundreds from critical health care services

‘That baseline of humanity and dignity goes a long way’

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The remnants of trees burned by the Dixie Fire near Antelope Lake, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. (Christian Monterrosa/The New York Times)
California’s wildfires invisible effect: high carbon dioxide emissions

This summer California fires emitted twice as much CO2 as last year

Latinos are dying at a lower rate than white and Black people in California. However, Latinos have had the sharpest increase in the death rate in the last month, rising from 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people in August to 4 per 100,000 in September. (iStock)
Who’s dying in California from COVID-19?

In recent months, those who are dying are younger

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Most Read