Episode 10:
State of Florida
James Dailey


Time Served: 33 Years
Status: On Death Row

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Abuse of Power:
Jailhouse Snitch Testimony

“I just think Paul Skolnick was a con man and he conned that jury and he conned prosecutors into believing him that James Dailey actually confessed to him.” –Josh Dubin, Defense Attorney

On the morning of May 6, 1985, the body of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio was pulled from the Intracoastal Waterway in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. A knife found nearby was traced to Jack Pearcy, a local man who told police that he and his friend James Dailey had killed Boggio — and that James was the mastermind of the crime. James was arrested and taken to trial in 1987, despite a complete lack of physical evidence or motive, and was sentenced to death, primarily on the word of three jailhouse snitches. In an article from Pamela Colloff and the New York Times, one of the jailhouse snitches who testified against James is said to be a con artist guilty of sending “dozens to jail, and four to death row.” The other two jailhouse informants admitted to receiving lesser charges for saying that James confessed to them. In perhaps the biggest revelation during James’ appeal process, his accuser Jack Pearcy admitted to murdering Boggio alone. Jack was due to testify at James’ hearing for the first time ever but, when the time came to speak in front of a judge, Jack was speechless. James remains on death row after a stay of execution granted on October 23, 2019, while his lawyers prepare for his next hearing.


Date of crime: 5/5/85

Crime: Murder

Sentence: Death

Interview Subjects:

  • Josh Dubin, Defense Attorney
  • Martin Dyckman, Sun Sentinel Editor

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Sun Sentinel

NY Times