The trials of John Gotti Jr.
For Second Time, a Jury Fails to Reach a Verdict on Gotti
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: March 11, 2006
For the second time in six months, after more than a dozen witnesses, including turncoat mobsters — and despite the efforts of top prosecutors and investigators — a Manhattan jury failed to reach a verdict yesterday in the case of John A. Gotti, the son of the famous Mafia boss.
After just a day and a half of deliberations, a federal judge ruled that the jury was deadlocked and declared a mistrial, and Mr. Gotti went home.
The decision sent prosecutors back to prepare a third case against Mr. Gotti, and left open a straightforward, almost theological question at the heart of both cases: Can a mob boss, one with the last name Gotti, attain a state of redemption?
Over the last three weeks, prosecutors have told a story starring Mr. Gotti as the faithful son of John J. Gotti — or John Senior, as he has been familiarly called at trial — carrying out his father's legacy as head of the Gambino crime family.
In equally operatic fashion, the defense countered that the charges were all a mistake, that although Mr. Gotti, known as Junior, had once been seduced into emulating his father, he had forsaken "the life," as witnesses called it, of organized crime at least eight years ago, when he realized the toll it was taking on his wife and children.
The jury announced it could not reach a verdict in a note liberally spiked with capital letters for emphasis, saying its members had wrestled with their consciences and could neither convict nor acquit. The jury, the note said, was making "ZERO headway," it was "completely DEADLOCKED" and "no juror can find it in their conscience to change their mind, based on our interpretation of the evidence."
With that, Mr. Gotti was approaching the record of his late father, who earned the nickname the Teflon Don after he eluded conviction in three cases between 1986 and 1990, though he ultimately died in prison in 2002 while serving a life sentence.
Formally, the younger Gotti was charged with ordering the botched kidnapping and beating — which ended in the shooting — of Curtis Sliwa, the radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels; with loan-sharking; and with construction industry extortion, all as part of a broad pattern of racketeering dating to the 1980's.
Shit, the problem is simple.
Curtis Sliwa is an asshole.
No one cares he was shot, not enough to send John Gotti Jr. to jail.
The rest of the case is the usual mob case, but Sliwa really, really hurts the feds. Everytime he opens his mouth he looks like an asshole. And that makes it impossible to get a conviction.
The feds were under the misguided impression people liked Sliwa. They cannot stand him. And thus, John Gotti Jr. is watching cable and having a nice big feast tonight.
posted by Steve @ 12:47:00 AM