John Schwartz has this story in the NYT with the above headline:
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- When John Ditullio goes on trial on Monday, jurors will not see the large swastika tattooed on his neck. Or the crude insult tattooed on the other side of his neck. Or any of the other markings he has acquired since being jailed on charges related to a double stabbing that wounded a woman and killed a teenager in 2006.
Mr. Ditullio's lawyer successfully argued that the tattoos could be distracting or prejudicial to the jurors, who under the law are supposed to consider only the facts presented to them.* * *The court approved the judicial equivalent of an extreme makeover, paying $125 a day for the services of a cosmetologist to cover up the tattoos that Mr. Ditullio has gotten since his arrest.
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The cosmetologist asked that she not be identified by her full name out of fear of reprisal and lost business. "We mostly do weddings," she said.
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Charlene Bricken, the mother of the young man Mr. Ditullio is accused of killing, Kristofer King, said she was outraged that the defendant would receive a court-approved makeover. "Did somebody tie him down while he was in jail and put these tattoos on him?" she asked angrily.
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Mike Halkitis, the division director for the state attorney's office in New Port Richey, where the trial will be held, said that he fought the "absurd" request for a cosmetic cover-up last year, and that taxpayers should not have to pay for it.
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Mr. Halkitis suggested that the judge had ruled to allow the cosmetic assistance with an eye to higher courts in the event that Mr. Ditullio receives the ultimate penalty -- "that there can't be a judge that overturns the death penalty on the basis that they should have whited the tattoos."