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The One That Gotti Away

According to this New York Times article, US May Be Ready to Say Enough (9/28/06), it looks like the feds are ready to give up on Gotti. For the third time in the past year, the judge in the racketeering case of mob boss John Junior Gotti declared a mistrial after the jury sent a note saying it was deadlocked. Two previous juries were deadlocked as well, also resulting in mistrials. The jurors agreed that Gotti had been involved in the kidnapping of radio talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, but that finding was not sufficient to convict him of racketeering. Gotti's defense attorneys took the position that Gotti severed his mob ties long ago.

Though the trial has cost the federal government millions, according to the New York Times article, repeat prosecutions nevertheless favor the government, which can draw on virtually unlimited public funds.  By contrast, many defendants, Gotti included, run low on cash after defending themselves in serial trials.

Still, it's probably a safe bet that the government will rest after this trial:

Victor Hou, the assistant United States attorney who delivered closing arguments in Mr. Gotti’s second and third trials, has been with the office since 2001. Fourth trials are extremely rare, lawyers said. “I think the conventional wisdom among defense lawyers is three strikes and you’re out,” Mr. Pomerantz said.

No wonder they say "three times the charm."

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 28, 2006 at 05:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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