"A Circle of Blood" -- The Story of Paul William Scott

"I was guilty in their eyes before my plea
Yes the governor made it clear with his decree
The lights grow dim they test the chair, the smell of death is in the air

But I'm innocent! And that's what's killing me"

Lyrics from the song, "A Prisoner's Lament," written by Bob Pauley about Paul William Scott. Recorded by country songstress Susan Stryker nineteen year s ago.

Preface to paraphrased Excerpts from "A Circle of Blood": The Story of Paul William Scott

By Robert A. Pauley

Writing Paul William Scott's story began for me the night young attorney Joe Wyckoff, who had just joined the ranks of Palm Beach county, Florida's public defenders, entered the Plush Pony Lounge on South Dixie Highway looking f or songwriter Bob Pauley (that's me). The year was 1979. Joe didn't know m e but was familiar with one of the songs I had penned for country singer Mel Tillis, "A Brandy Alexander." Joe had a fantastic story to relate that night, th en asked a burning question: "Could you write a song about this?" Or, more importantly, "Would you write a song about this, knowing it to be a matter of life and death?" Joe's boss, a public defender with few kind words for his most recent client, was about to let this innocent man be railroaded to his death.

The story Joe related was that of Paul William Scott, a homeless young ma n who spent his first twenty years trying to escape the Long Beach, California ghettos by coming to Florida to find his father. Paul had no sooner arrived in this southernmost state when he became a scapegoat-- wrongfully accused of the brutal bludgeoning deat h of a known homosexual in the plush suburbs of Boca Raton, Florida.

A soulful version of "Dixie" played in the background: "Oh, I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray! In Dixieland I'll take my stand...To live and die in Dixie...Away! Away! Away down south in Dixie!" Those mournful words ran g out the honest-to-God plight of drifter Paul William Scott, who loved Florida with all his heart -- while Florida didn't give a damn for Paul William Scott. To the state of Florida Scott, was nothing more than a meddling outsider and Florida does not take kindly to indigent outsiders. The legend of Paul William Scott in song became "A Prisoner's Lament" and was recorded by country songstress Susan Stryker nineteen years ago. Royalties from this tune with accompanying promotional efforts earned the money necessary to keep Paul William Scott alive for lo, these many years.


It's been two years since I've felt the light of day
When that judge said you've a lifetime boy to pay
The view here from my prison cell is but an empty wishing well
For me to wish this wasted life away

Cause I'm here for murder in the first degree
And yet a spark of hope still flickers inside me
For with that jury's final word I swear the truth was never heard
Do I die tonight or will they set me free

Oh, I could climb these walls to freedom and escape this deathly place
But then I'd know no one would listen, deaf ears still haunt my case
Past the guards' eternal rounds, the barbed wire and barking hounds
But what's the good of freedom if I can't show my face

I was guilty in their eyes before my plea
Yes the governor made it clear with his decree
The lights grow dim they test the chair, the smell of death is in the air

But I'm innocent! And that's what's killing me

Oh, I could climb these walls to freedom and escape this deathly place
But then I'd know no one would listen, deaf ears still haunt my case
Past the guards' eternal rounds, the barbed wire and barking hounds
But my name would still be whispered and I couldn't show my face

It's been two years since I've felt the light of day
When the judge said you've a lifetime boy to pay
The lights grow dim they test the chair, the smell of death now fills the air

But I'm innocent! And that's what's killing me
I'm innocent! And that's what's killing me
I'm innocent! And that's what's killing me

Copyright =A91980 Bob Pauley Music

"A Circle of Blood": The Story of Paul William Scott (Paraphrased excerpts)

By Robert A. Pauley

In 1979, an innocent man was sentenced to die on Florida's Death Row. In 1997, eighteen years later, evidence was revealed clearly proving his innocence. A circle of blood made by the champagne bottle -- the actual murder weapon -- had been concealed by the prosecution. Every last member of th e original jury now acknowledges being deceived, and agrees that Paul Willi am Scott must be released.


The following story is true. You'd swear this could never happen in a civilized country, least of all the United States of America, but it is happening right now! Paul is a man who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. "History is replete," I once read, "with examples of wrongfully convicted persons who have been pardoned in the wake of after-discovered evidence establishing their innocence."

Paul William Scott was an indigent drifter from California, back in 1978, who had come to Florida to visit his long-lost father. At age 21, Paul had spent most of his teen years in a California Youth Authority reformatory. In t he projects where Paul was raised, using drugs and stealing to obtain drugs was an accepted way of life. Since age 7, Paul was hooked on drugs, first legal (thorazine), then illegal (heroin).

Now, thought Paul, a new beginning -- a whole new life -- would be possible in the "promised land" of which his father had spoken many times before leaving his destitute family to the ravages of the ghetto. But then, thrown out on his ear for not allowing his father to molest his girlfriend, Bernadine, reality quickly destroyed that lifelong dream. Paul William Scott, the adult, was in for another rude awakening in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

After meeting Rick Kondian, an 18-year-old drug-crazy street hustler, Paul was invited to "earn twenty bucks" if he would accompany Rick to the house of a known homosexual, James Alessi, to do the man a "favor." Alessi had sexual plans for the evening with the two, which began with lacing their "smoke" (pot) with a little PCP, a dangerous hallucinogen known as "angel dust."

In Alessi's Boca Raton home, on December 5, 1978, that evening it was around 11:30 p.m. when the events which would forever change Paul's life unfolde d. Drug-wise Paul left the room immediately to lie down, knowing the effects of this potent mixture. Kondian unwittingly became dangerously high on the concoction. Alessi disappeared for a moment into his master bedroom, the n returned totally nude, intent on forcing himself sexually into Kondian's face. As a street-hustler, Kondian would accept the reverse of this situation for a fee, but would never perform the act of oral sex himself. Enraged, he resisted the encounter, and screamed into the other room for Paul's help.

Alessi, age 28, was a huge person, 6'4", drug-crazed and intent on having sex with the diminutive Kondian, but Kondian, even intoxicated by the drugs, was not about to let this happen. Responding to Kondian's yell for help, Pau l entered the room to assist a tumultuous battle. The much smaller and overpowered duo began to hit Alessi with anything within reach, including a vase, a flower pot and a chair. As Paul swung the chair, Alessi turned from Kondian to Paul and flung him across the room. Seeing this, Kondian took a heavy oval-shaped glass paperweight and knocked Alessi senseless.

Paul ran for the door, only to find Alessi had locked it from the inside with a keyed dead-bolt. He then ran for the rear door, across the pool deck a nd through the screened enclosure to make his exit. This was the end of Pau l William Scott's involvement with James Alessi, which had been solely to assist Rick Kondian in a desperate battle of self-defense. Had the story ended there, on a level playing field, Paul Scott would have been questioned by the police and promptly released.

Later that evening, by now around 3:30 a.m., Kondian had recruited two "pals" to return to the scene of the crime to do two things. The first was to remove all fingerprints and evidence from the scene, the second was to relieve Alessi of his jewelry (both from there and from Alessi's florist shop in Boca Raton).

James Alessi, still addled, was lying on the floor by the living room couch, his hands and feet bound earlier by Kondian with electrical cord from lamps about the house. As Kondian's friend began to remove a large diamond ring from Alessi's finger, Alessi regained consciousness. Seeing Kondian there, wiping prints from their drink glasses, Alessi shouted obscenities at him and became violent. Kondian was handed an unopened bottle of Dom Perignon champagne from a nearby wine rack, and he began to pound it on Alessi's skull until he breathed no more.

Richard Kondian's left hand was torn badly from the wire of the cork of that bottle. Two of Kondian's friends witnessed this -- the murder of James Alessi -- some three and a half hours after Paul William Scott had left the premises. The trio returned to Paul Scott's motel room to tell him things had gone badly. In a state of panic, Kondian and Scott, their girlfriends, and on e of the "pals" left Ft. Lauderdale in Alessi's car, which Kondian had stolen, and traveled north.

In Orlando, Florida, the third man pawned Alessi's diamond ring and took the check from the pawn shop to a nearby Bank of America and cashed the check for $700. With this, Kondian and his girlfriend boarded a bus for Cranston, Rhode Island. Paul, Bernadine, and the man boarded another bus for Sacramento, California. This "third man," having gone to Reno, Nevada, to save his o wn hide because of another robbery, told the authorities of Paul's whereabou ts in California and of the Florida murder for which he was sought -- knowing Paul to be innocent. He had not told the authorities of his involvement in the crime, because the police were totally unaware of his presence that night in Boca Raton, Florida. Later, Paul explained to me, "I'm not a snitch, Bro'

Paul William Scott never once told authorities of the two witnesses to the murder--until now, reluctantly, nearly 20 years later. With his thieves "code of honor," there is nothing worse in Scott's mind than a "snitch."

The other unidentified man died in a Florida prison, leaving a signed confession that was to clear Paul Scott of any part in that grisly murder. This note was confiscated by the prison authorities, and denied to Scott. Kondian readily admits he "killed a fag," his parents money ($45,000) obtained for him a "plea-bargained" sentence of 15 years which he has since served Paul Scott, who had an IQ of only 69, was not so lucky. Having no money, no friends, no ability to speak out for himself, the indigent drifter from California received the death penalty for the murder of James Alessi. "To o many tattoos," friends were told by the assistant public defender, as an obviously innocent man was being railroaded to the electric chair for something he had not done. That was almost 20 years ago -- a lifetime of pure hell for a man who is innocent of this crime for which he has been convicted.

Friends of Paul Scott have tried over the years to free him and, much lik e Jean Valjean of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables," Scott is still merciless y manipulated by the authorities. Paul will face death in the electric cha ir very soon if the governor does not act to prevent it. From all indications, no such preventive measures are planned. Attorneys assigned for Scott, appointees of the governor, are presently involved in a scandal over havi ng a "betting pool" to determine which of their clients will be executed next.

To them, it is only a game played by affluent lawyers who don't give a damn for their assignees. For Paul William Scott the end is dangerously close at hand. Does it matter that he is absolutely innocent? Can this actually be happening in the la nd of "liberty and justice for all"? And, as these attorneys so dedicated to ending Paul Scott's life piously intone that "all men are created equal," the truth is, they know it is not so.

For reasons hard to imagine other than embarassment for the blunders they undeniably made, the circle of attorneys, judges and lawmakers of Florida continue to press for the death of Paul William Scott. They will not be content, it seems, until that high-voltage chair of theirs has taken the final beat from Paul William Scott's brave heart, unless we can cheat the chair of its wrongful prey. May God have mercy upon their souls!

There are no wealthy murderers on death row. Why? There are innocent indigents on death row, however, and Paul Scott is only one of them. The almighty dollar determines who is executed and who goes free, regardless of the elegant oratories we hear to the contrary. We need to act now, concerned citizens, don't let this innocent man be killed by the state of Florida--please!

There are those out there who know Paul Scott is innocent, and fight desperately to win his freedom. There are those out there Hell-bent on seeing him burn in Florida's electric chair--damn the facts. There's more, much more -- To help, or for information on my book, "A Circle of Blood" which describes the facts in 350 pages of story, song and picture, please contact Bob Pauley: BPauley@compuserve.com

Support: Paul William Scott 071615 / P3111S A-1 / Post Office Box 221 / Union Correctional Institution / Raiford, Florida 32083

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