Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prosecution's case against Junior Gotti wasn't credible, juror says

Irreparably split on Junior Gotti's past, his jurors were united Tuesday on his future - after four defeats, the government should just leave him alone.
"Enough is enough," said Juror No. 8, who asked to remain anonymous.
"If they try him again, it'll be an abuse of prosecution," said juror Paul Peragine, standing outside the Manhattan federal courthouse in a black overcoat.
"Their case wasn't credible," added Peragine, who voted for a full acquittal. "Their witnesses weren't credible."
Those witnesses, as in three previous racketeering prosecutions of Gotti, included a full roster of mob informants - some testifying for the fourth time against the one-time Gambino boss.
There was one brand-new face, former Junior pal-turned-star prosecution witness John Alite, a drug dealing killer who blamed his ex-friend for eight homicides.
None of the government witnesses had a shred of credibility - particularly Alite, the jurors said.
"They all had an agenda," Juror No. 8 said. "The government did not have one hardworking citizen."
For 11 tortuous days, the jury struggled intensely over Gotti's fate. Loyalties shifted, votes changed, and three times they declared a deadlock.
The votes finally stood 6-5 for conviction on racketeering, with one undecided; 7-5 for acquittal on one murder charge; and 6-5 for acquittal with one undecided on a second murder count.
There was some black humor during the trial: One juror joked about finding a dead bird on his stoop.
"It was a long trial, and we were split down the middle on almost everything," Peragine said. "People shifted their vote back and forth. But it has to be over now."
The bogus testimony during the 11-week trial meant the jurors never really focused on Gotti's claim of quitting the mob in 1999.
"We were in general agreement that he was in the mob during his early days," said Juror No. 5, a middle-aged, white man with glasses.
"None of their witnesses were credible. These trials are expensive, and if they haven't gotten it by now, they shouldn't go again."



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