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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Judge scolds and punishes racist juror at Vinny Gorgeous death penalty trial

An incensed federal judge sentenced a racist Brooklyn woman to indefinite jury duty on Tuesday after she trashed the NYPD and minorities.
"This is an outrage, and so are you!" Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis told the woman, holding up her bile-filled juror questionnaire.
Juror No. 799, an Asian woman in her 20s who said she works in the garment industry, was up for jury duty in the death penalty trial of Bonanno crime boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano.
It didn't take long for her to start looking worse than the defendant.
Asked to name three people she least admired, she wrote on her questionnaire: "African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians."
When the judge asked why she answered the question that way, she replied, "You always hear about them in the news doing something."
She also declared that cops are all lazy, claiming that they sound their sirens to bypass traffic jams.
Garaufis flipped forward several pages in her questionnaire.
He landed on the page where she had said she had a relative who was a member of the Chinese Ghost Shadows gang in the 1980s, convicted of murder and still in prison.
"Why didn't you put 'Asians' down also?" the judge asked sarcastically, referring to her list of least-liked people.
"Maybe I should have," she said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Taryn Merkl requested that the woman be disqualified from the Vinny Gorgeous case because of her "inappropriate" comments. The motion was granted.
It is not unheard of for people to try to get out of jury service by making ridiculous statements concerning their views.
It was unclear Tuesday whether that was this woman's motive.
And if it was, it didn't work.
Indeed, the woman was going to be seeing a lot of Brooklyn Federal Court.
"She's coming back [today], Thursday and Friday - and until the future, when I am ready to dismiss her," Garaufis said.
One thousand prospective jurors have filled out questionnaires for the Basciano case, approaching the Eastern District of New York record of 1,089 summoned for the late Gambino boss John Gotti's trial 20 years ago.
Nearly half of the jurors are struck before they even get to court for questioning due to language barriers, fear of the Mafia or their extreme views for and against the death penalty.
The panel members that do get selected for the trial will be anonymous and transported to the courthouse by U.S. marshals to thwart any possibility of jury tampering.


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