The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

The Registry Attorneys will be continued by the Justice Administration Commission.

These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
ScottPaul 071615RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
9/18/2007FSC07-17343.853 Appeal filed
3/17/2008FSC07-1734Initial brief filed
5/2/2008FSC07-1734Answer brief filed
7/18/2008FSC07-1734Reply brief filed
9/3/2009FSC07-1734Oral Arguments held
10/15/2009FSC07-1734Denial of 3.853 Motion affirmed
1/27/2010FSC07-1734Mandate issued
12/14/2005CC79001673.853 Motion
6/7/2006CC79001672nd Amended motion
8/14/2006CC7900167Motion denied
10/26/2007CC7900167Status Conference

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
FintaStephen J.Ft. Lauderdale, FLP.O. Box 2277333335-2773954/527-5565Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Finta79-167CFBrownPalm BeachSouth07/21/1008/17/10

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

Scott, Paul William (W/M)

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly. This information, however, is subject to change and maynot reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied onfor statistical or legal purposes.


SCOTT, Paul William (W/M)

AKA: Steven William Prince; George Curtis Cook, Jr.; RayJustice; Alberto Justice.; Rex Cole

DC #    071615

DOB:   05/09/56


Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Case #79-167

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Vaughn J. Rudnick

Trial Attorney: Gordon Barrs – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Robert M. Leen

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Stephen J. Finta – Registry


Date of Offense: 12/04/78

Date of Sentence: 12/14/79


Circumstances of Offense:


On the evening of 12/04/78, the defendant, Paul Scott, andhis codefendant, Richard Kondian, murdered James Alessi in his home.  Awitness, Charles Soutullo, claimed he was asked to participate in a scheme torob and murder the victim, but refused.  The victim, who knew both men,picked up Scott and Kondian and later returned with them to his home.


Alessi’s nude body was found on a sofa in his home on12/05/78.  He was covered with blood and his hands and feet were tightlybound with electrical cord and telephone wire.  Alessi had been beaten inthe head, chest and on the arms.  One blow to the head was so severe thatit caused a compressed skull fracture.  The cause of death was determinedto be a result of the head injuries.


Evidence indicated a violent struggle took place andattempts were made by the victim to free himself.  Throughout the home,there were broken articles and bloodstains were on the walls, furniture,curtains and floors.  Scott’s fingerprints were found on various itemsthroughout the home, including the neck of a broken vase and a bloodstainedknife found on the sofa where the victim’s body was found.


After beating Alessi to death, Scott and Kondian rummagedthrough his house.  They later entered his florist and jewelry shop with akey and seized most of the gold jewelry.  They also stole Alessi’scar.  Scott was apprehended in Sacramento, California, one month after themurder.  At the time of his arrest, Scott had in his possession a goldenbear charm that was identical to the one that belonged to the victim. Kondianwas in Rhode Island when he learned of the warrant issued for his arrest. Hesurrendered to the Rhode Island police on 12/06/78.


Additional Information:


At the time of this offense, Scott was an absconder fromparole supervision in California for second-degree murder.


Codefendant Information:


 Kondian, Richard Jr. (Palm Beach County, Case#79-0167)


On 02/06/80, Kondian was sentenced to 45 years for murder inthe second degree. Kondian was paroled on 02/08/94.  He is presently undersupervision in Rhode Island, and his parole is not scheduled to expire until11/28/23.


Trial Summary:


01/05/79         Scott was arrested in Sacramento, California.

01/08/79         Scott was returned to Palm Beach County, Florida.

01/17/79         The defendant was indicted on the following:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder (James Alessi)

10/10/79         Scott was found guilty by the trial jury of first-degree murder as charged inthe indictment.

10/24/79         Upon advisory sentencing, the trial jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted for thedeath penalty.

12/14/79         Defendant was sentenced as follows:

                                   CountI:           First-DegreeMurder (James Alessi) – Death


Appellate Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #58,588

411 So. 2d 866


01/31/80         Appeal filed.

03/11/82         Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of death.

09/13/82         Motion for rehearing denied.

10/20/82         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #63,736

433 So. 2d 974


05/31/83         Petition filed.

06/03/83         FSC denied petition.


United States District Court, Southern District –Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC #83-8293

686 F. Supp. 1488


06/03/83         Petition filed.

06/06/83         Permanent Stay of Execution to allow time to seek relief in State Court.

12/11/87         Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed.

05/26/88         Petition denied.

06/05/88         Stay of Execution vacated.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #79-167


02/16/84         Motion filed.

03/13/84         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 65,060

464 So. 2d 1171


03/26/84         Appeal filed.

01/10/85         FSC affirmed the Trial Court’s denial of the 3.850 Motion.

04/04/85         Motion for rehearing denied.

05/14/85         Mandate issued.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC # 79-167


12/27/85         Motion filed.

07/23/86         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #69,341

513 So. 2d 653


09/17/86         Appeal filed.

08/20/87         FSC affirmed the Trial Court’s denial of the 3.850 Motion.

10/28/87         Motion for rehearing denied.

12/07/87         Mandate issued.


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Appealof Habeas Denial

USCA #88-5536

891 F. 2d 800


06/05/88         Appeal filed.

12/14/89         USCA affirmed the denial of Scott’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 89-7732

498 U.S. 881


06/08/90         Petition filed.

10/01/90         USSC denied petition.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #76,831

634 So. 2d 1062


10/26/90         Petition filed.

11/04/93         Petition denied.

04/12/94         Motion for rehearing denied.

04/12/94         Mandate issued.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #79-167


12/18/90         Motion filed.

03/06/91         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #77,756

634 So. 2d 1062


04/18/91         Appeal filed.

11/04/93         FSC affirmed the Trial Court’s denial of the 3.850 Motion.

02/24/94         Motion for rehearing denied.

04/12/94         Second Motion for rehearing denied. Mandate issued.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #79-167


10/31/94         Motion filed.

11/08/94         Motion denied.


United States District Court, Middle District ofFlorida – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, (Rule 60(b) Motion)

USDC #94-1094 & #94-2367


10/31/94         Appeal filed, Transferred to US District Court, Southern District.

11/07/94         USDC denied the Rule 60(b) motion and granted a Certificate of Probable Cause.

11/10/94         USDC vacated Certificate of Probable Cause.


United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit –Habeas Appeal

USCA #94-5313

38 F. 3d 1547


11/02/94         Appeal filed.

11/14/94         USCA affirmed the District Court’s denial of the Habeas Petition.

11/17/94         Rehearing denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #84,686

657 So. 2d 1129


11/09/94         Appeal filed.

03/16/95         FSC reversed the Trial Court’s denial of 3.850 Motion and remanded for thepurpose of an evidentiary hearing.

07/20/95         Motion for rehearing denied.

08/21/95         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #84,687

657 So. 2d 1129


11/14/94         Petition filed.

03/16/95         Petition denied.

07/20/95         Motion for rehearing denied.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 94-8888

515 U.S. 1145


04/13/95         Petition filed.

06/19/95         Petition denied.

08/22/95         Mandate issued.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion, On Remand from theFlorida Supreme Court

CC #79-167


04/23/96         Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #88,551

717 So. 2d 908


07/22/96         Appeal filed.

03/26/98         FSC affirmed the Trial Court’s denial of the 3.850 Motion.

06/15/98         Motion for rehearing denied.

07/16/98         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #98-6081

525 U.S. 972


09/14/98         Petition filed.

11/02/98         Petition denied.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #79-167


06/23/03         Motion filed.

10/21/03         Motion denied.


Circuit Court – 3.853 Motion

CC #79-167


12/14/05         Motion filed.

03/20/06         Motion amended.

06/07/06         Second amended motion.

08/14/06         Circuit Court denied motion.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.853 Appeal

FSC# 07-1734

46 So.3d 529


09/18/07         Appeal filed.

09/03/09         Oral Arguments held.

10/15/09         Denial of 3.853 Motion affirmed.

01/27/10          Mandate issued.




05/12/82         Death Warrant signed by Governor Bob Graham.

06/06/83         United States District Court granted a Stay of Execution.


10/19/90         Second Death Warrant signed by Governor Bob Graham.

10/29/90         Florida Supreme Court granted a Stay of Execution.


09/30/94         Third Death Warrant signed by Governor Lawton Chiles.

11/18/94         Florida Supreme Court granted a Stay of Execution.




03/31/83         Clemency hearing held.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of theSentence:


The delay in this case is a result of the number of appealsfiled.  The defendant’s direct appeal was filed in 1980.  He hassubsequently filed numerous motions in circuit court and Habeas Petitions withthe State Supreme Court. The appeals all appear to have been handledexpeditiously, and in the appropriate court, however; there were numerousappeals for the courts to consider.


Case Information:


On 01/31/80, Scott filed a Direct Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  In his direct appeal, Scott argued several issues. First, he argued that the evidence provided by the State was insufficient toprove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and did not exclude a reasonablehypothesis of innocence.  He also contended that evidence did not support afinding of premeditation, robbery or burglary.  Scott argued that erroroccurred when the court sustained the State’s objection on the basis ofirrelevance to the question asked of a State witness by defense counsel. Scottalso argued that the court gave erroneous jury instructions on thefelony-murder rule and that jury selection occurred on a Jewish religiousholiday, excluding a segment of the community from selection.   Heargued that the court erred in finding that the murder occurred during the commissionof, or attempt to commit robbery and/or burglary, and was for pecuniary gainand was cruel.  Scott’s final arguments were that a journalist waserroneously excluded from providing testimony and that Florida’s death penaltystatute is unconstitutional.  The court found no merit in Scott argumentsand affirmed his conviction and sentence of death on 10/20/82.


Scott then filed both a Petition for Writ Habeas Corpus on05/31/83.  The petition was denied on 06/03/83.


On 06/03/83, Scott filed a federal Petition for Writ ofHabeas Corpus in the United District Court. The District Court granted a Stayof Execution to allow Scott to seek relief in state court on 06/06/83.  On05/26/88, the petition was denied and the stay of execution was vacated on06/05/88.   


Scott then filed his first 3.850 Motion in Circuit Court on02/16/84. This motion was immediately denied without prejudice, because theTrial Court claimed the defendant did not properly swear to the motion.


On 03/26/84, Scott filed a 3.850 Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Scott’s3.850 Motion on 01/10/85.


Scott then filed the corrected 3.850 Motion on 12/27/85. Themain issue raised was ineffective assistance of counsel. The trial court deniedthis motion on 07/23/86.


On 09/17/86, Scott filed a 3.850 Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  The court affirmed the denial of Scott’s 3.850 Motion on08/20/87.


Scott filed a Habeas Appeal in the United States Court ofAppeals, 11th Circuit on 06/05/88.  The court affirmed the denial ofScott’s Habeas Appeal on 12/14/89.


On 06/08/90, Scott filed a Petition for Writ ofCertiorari.  The petition was denied on 10/01/90.


The Governor signed Scott’s second death warrant on10/19/90.  The Florida Supreme Court granted a stay on 10/29/90 to allownew postconviction counsel the opportunity to file a second 3.850 Motion. 


Scott filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus on10/26/90.  The petition was denied on 11/04/93.


Scott subsequently filed another 3.850 in Circuit Court on12/18/90. Scott asserted that relief should be granted on account thatallegedly new statements had been made by his codefendant and a witness hadrecanted his testimony.  The trial court denied relief on 03/06/91 withoutan evidentiary hearing.


On 04/18/91, Scott filed a 3.850 Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  In the appeal, Scott made several claims.  First, heclaimed that error occurred in the Circuit Court ruling on his second 3.850Motion without holding an evidentiary hearing.  Next, he claimed thatnewly discovered evidence established his innocence.  He also contendedthat his codefendant’s sentence of 45 years rendered his disproportionate, hewas erroneously denied an opportunity to present exculpatory evidence and hewas denied effective assistance of counsel.  Scott’s final claims werethat the prosecutor improperly argued inapplicable aggravating factors, and hissentence was unconstitutionally founded on arbitrary, capricious, andimpermissible evidence.  On 02/24/94, the court found Scott’s appeal to bewithout merit and affirmed the denial of his 3.850 Motion.


A third death warrant was signed by Governor Lawton Chileson 09/30/94.  The Florida Supreme Court granted a stay of execution on11/18/94.


Scott filed his fourth 3.850 Motion on 10/31/94.  Scottclaimed there was newly-discovered evidence and the State violated the Bradyrule. (Brady V. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83.)  Scott alleged that the Stateviolated the rule by not disclosing a statement made by a cellmate of RichardKondian, his codefendant. The inmate claimed he told an officer that Kondianadmitted to killing the victim. Scott also claimed that another inmate relatedto police that Kondian stated he was angry with Scott for “running out on him”and not participating in the murder.  The motion was denied on 11/08/94.


On 10/31/94, Scott also filed a Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus in the United States Circuit Court.  On 11/07/94, the court deniedthe Rule 60(b) and granted a Certificate of Probable Cause.   TheCertificate was denied on 11/10/94. 


On 11/02/94, Scott filed a Habeas Appeal in the UnitedStates Court of Appeals.  The court affirmed the denial of Scott’s HabeasPetition on 11/14/94.


Scott filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on11/09/94.  On 03/16/95, the Florida Supreme Court concluded that the trialcourt erred in failing to hold an evidentiary hearing on these issues andremanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing.


On 11/14/94, Scott filed a Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus in the Florida Supreme Court.  The petition was denied on 03/16/95.


Scott then filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in theUnited States Supreme Court.  The petition was denied on 06/19/95. 


On 04/23/96, Scott’s remanded 3.850 Motion to the CircuitCourt was denied.


Scott appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the FloridaSupreme Court on 07/22/96.  In his 3.850 Appeal, he claimed that the courterred in allowing the assistant state counsel to serve as both prosecutor andwitness and erred in denying his seven motions to disqualify the judge. He also claimed that error occurred in the scheduling of the evidentiaryhearing, holding the hearing without him present and denying his motions tocontinue the hearing and to depose certain witnesses.  Scott also claimedthat the trial court erroneously excluded certain evidence from the evidentiaryhearing and that he was denied effective assistance of counsel.  The courtdisagreed with all of Scott’s claims.  On 03/26/98, the court affirmed thedenial of Scott’s 3.850 Motion.


On 09/14/98, Scott filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorarito the United States Court.  The petition was denied on 11/02/98.


On 06/23/03, Scott filed another 3.850 Motion in the StateCircuit Court.  The motion was denied on 10/21/03.


Scott filed a 3.853 Motion in the State Circuit Court on12/14/05 and amended the motion on 03/20/06.  Scott amended the 3.853motion a second time on 06/07/06.  On 08/14/06, the Circuit Court deniedthe motion.


On 09/18/07, Scott filed a Notice of Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court regarding the 3.853 motion denied by the Circuit Court. Oral arguments were held on 09/03/09. On 10/15/09, the Florida Supreme Courtaffirmed the denial of the motion. A mandate was issued on 01/27/10.

Institutional Adjustment:


DATE            DAYS             VIOLATION                                  LOCATION      

--------           ----                ----------------------------                -------------------

12/14/80         30                  DISOBEYINGORDER                   FSP

03/10/81         0                    POSS OF NEGOTIABLES              FSP

12/07/82         0                    ATTEMPT TOCONSPIRE              CENTRAL OFFICE     

02/08/83         0                    DISORDERLY CONDUCT CENTRAL OFFICE     

06/14/85         0                    DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS              INDIAN RIVER C. I. 

05/10/89         30                  POSS OFWEAPONS                      FSP

06/17/91         0                    DISOBEYING ORDER                   FSP

03/07/93         0                    POSS OF WEAPONS                      FSP

05/12/94         0                     POSS OFNARCOTICS                   UNION C. I.        

11/10/99         0                    UNAUTH USE OF DRUGS UNION C. I.        

12/07/99         0                    POSS OF CONTRABAND              UNION C. I.        

09/20/02         0                    LYING TO STAFF                           UNION C. I.        




Report Date:   12/01/00         WHS

Updated:         04/12/11         EMJ