Clemecy Sought in Murder Case
by Meg James

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

TALLAHASSEE - Saying they have new evidence in the 16-year-old murder of a Boca Raton florist, prominent West Palm Beach lawyers on Wednesday asked Gov. Lawton Chiles and the Cabinet to grant clemency to man sentenced to death for the killing.

While Paul William Scott was at James Alessi's home the night of the murder, Scott was not the person who fatally bashed Alessi over the head, the attorneys and a forensic expert told the Executive Clemency board.

And, they said, a bottle of champagne - and not a statue of a bear that was presented as evidence during Scott's trial - was probably the murder weapon.

But what's central to Scott's appeal for clemency, the lawyers argues, it that Scott is awaiting the electric chair while his co-defendant, Richard Kondian, has been released from prison.

"This case cries out for justice." West Palm Beach attorney David Roth, who once represented Kondian, told the board.

Attorney Jon Moyle, who argued Scott's case before the Clemency Board, said, "It's simply unjust to have this disparity of sentencing." The state Supreme Court rejected Scott's most recent appeal in November. During that appeal, attorneys for Scott presented a sworn statement from Kondian in which he confessed to the murder.

Chiles and the Cabinet agreed to consider the petition. But Secretary of State Jim Smith told Moyle that courts, not the clemency board can weigh evidence in the case.