Brownstone Appellate Law Firm Files Brief to Overturn Conviction in Dalia Dippolito Case

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Brownstone Law Firm Files Initial Brief in Dalia Dippolito Appeal

Brownstone Appellate Law Firm, led by attorneys Robert Sirianni, Michael Brownlee, and Andrew Greenlee, file the initial brief challenging the conviction and sentence in Dalia Dippolito case.  In their brief, appellate lawyers at Brownstone contend that Dalia Dippolito was wrongly convicted in Palm Beach County.  To Read the Brief and Appellate issues click here DIPPOLITO Initial Brief

Ms. Dippolito appeals her conviction on the charge of solicitation to commit first degree murder.  The State alleged that Ms. Dippolito paid an undercover officer to murder her husband.  At trial, the defense maintained that her husband, a reality television fanatic, engineered the plot to take his own life to garner media attention that would allow him to pursue opportunities in reality television.

During the course of the investigation, law enforcement conducted video surveillance of the solicitation.  Law enforcement also took the unusual step of inviting a reality television show, COPS, to document the events as they unfolded.  The Boynton Beach Police Department staged a fake crime scene and invited the COPS crew to film Ms. Dippolito’s reaction as she was informed (falsely) that her husband had been killed.  The video footage went viral on the internet, and, as a consequence, the case garnered an extraordinary amount of media attention in advance of litigation.  The jury found Ms. Dippolito guilty as charged.

Ms. Dippolito raises four issues on appeal:

The trial court denied an unopposed request to conduct individual voir dire of prospective jurors.  Then, after a potential juror informed the venire of a Palm Beach Post report that Ms. Dippolito tried to poison her husband with antifreeze, an allegation previously deemed inadmissible, the trial court denied motions to strike the panel and for mistrial.  Did the court abuse its discretion?

At trial, the State presented the perpetuated deposition testimony of Mohamed Shihadeh, a key witness who was not only available to testify, but was arrested for DUI in South Florida in the middle of trial.  Did the admission of his perpetuated testimony violate Ms. Dippolito’s rights under the Confrontation Clause?

Is Ms. Dippolito entitled to a new trial where the trial court introduced prior bad act evidence featured at trial that was not inextricably intertwined with the charged crime and was not supported by clear and convincing evidence?

During closing, the State improperly commented on Ms. Dippolito’s right to a fair trial and right to remain silent.

 

 

Topics:  Abuse of Discretion, Confrontation Clause, First Degree Murder, Prior Bad Act, Solicitation, Voir Dire, Wrongful Conviction

Published In: Constitutional Law Updates, Criminal Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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