High court rejects appeal from Florida death row inmate

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In this May 23, 2019 file photo, the U.S. Supreme Court building at dusk, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a Florida death row inmate whose conviction was based in part on the testimony of a controversial jailhouse informant.

The justices did not comment Monday in refusing to hear the case of James Dailey, who was convicted in the killing of 14-year-old Shelly Boggio in the Tampa area in 1985.

Lawyers for Dailey say he was convicted on circumstantial evidence and the word of a jailhouse informant whose testimony has sent dozens of people to prison, including four who were sentenced to death, according to an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times.

In addition, the other person convicted in Boggio’s killing now says he was solely responsible for her death. That man, Jack Pearcy, is serving a life sentence in prison. Only Dailey was sentenced to death, despite a lack of physical evidence tying him to the crime.