Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Death Row Inmate's Wife out of Law Job; the Capital Punishment Defense Specialist Was Just Hired by the Public Defender

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Death Row Inmate's Wife out of Law Job; the Capital Punishment Defense Specialist Was Just Hired by the Public Defender

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM

Just a few weeks after Duval County Public Defender Matt Shirk hired Rosalie Bolin - a death penalty mitigation specialist who is married to a Florida Death Row inmate - Shirk canceled her contract Tuesday.

Shirk said while her experience, prior successes and unique perspective on capital punishment would normally enhance his office's capital crimes unit, he also cited her "well-publicized and colorful personal life that has grabbed the attention of many in the 4th Judicial Circuit, including the news media."

"I believe that it is in the best interests of our clients that we work diligently on their cases and not allow tangential discourse to ever compromise the serious nature of a capital proceeding our office handles on their behalf," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Shirk told the Times-Union Wednesday night he didn't know Bolin was married to a Death Row inmate before his office hired her. Nor did he know of the issues in her personal life.

Bolin married convicted serial killer Oscar Ray Bolin after meeting him while working on his cases for the Hillsborough County Public Defender's Office 15 years ago. She left behind her 17-year marriage to a prominent Tampa criminal defense lawyer, her four children and her country club lifestyle.

Her relationship with Bolin cost her her job in Tampa and she opened her own investigator's office, coordinating mitigation in death penalty cases across Florida. …

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