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

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vinny Gorgeous enjoys slow pace at death penalty trial

Now this is a cell break.
Jury selection continues at a snail's pace in the capital-murder mob trial of reputed Bonanno boss Vincent Basciano -- and the well-dressed wiseguy known as "Vinny Gorgeous" seems to relish every moment.
A month into the painstaking and often tortuous process at Brooklyn federal court, only 59 prospects have been chosen. That's out of a pool of 1,000, nearly twice as many as most high-profile Mafia trials, court experts said.
But, animated and smiling, Basciano confers with his legal eagles -- George Goltzer, Richard Jasper and Ying Stafford -- occasionally and discretely whispering in their ears.
THE BOSS:  Reputed Bo nanno family boss Vincent Basciano is plenty amused by jury selection in a Brooklyn court.
THE BOSS: Reputed Bonanno family boss Vincent Basciano is plenty amused by jury selection in a Brooklyn court.
And why not? Every day the selection process drags on is another day away from his solitary confinement in prison.
With all the intensity of a coach sending in plays to the quarterback, he'll often grab a pen, jot messages on Post-it notes and then pass them to various members of his legal team.
And all the while, he looks sharper than anyone else at the defense table -- or anywhere else in the courthouse.
His suit, shirt and tie match with fashion-conscious precision. And he brings his own expertise, as former owner of the "Hello Gorgeous" beauty salon in The Bronx -- where he earned his mob tag -- to his gelled, combed-back 'do.
When the daily proceedings begin, Basciano settles back into the best seat in the house for often gripping entertainment, like the time a bemused Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who often poses hypothetical questions, was interrupted by a prospective juror who proposed a hypothetical of his own.
"If I planned to kill my wife . . . ," the man began before the judge cut him off.
"Let's leave your wife out of it," Garaufis advised.
His trial was scheduled to begin today, but opening arguments now appear to be at least a week away.
Before being interviewed by the judge, candidates for the Basciano jury first must complete a 60-plus-page questionnaire that asks about a wide range of issues, including their views on crime, the Mafia and capital punishment. The identities of the jurors are kept secret as a precaution against potential tampering.
Eventually, the serious business of justice will begin. Basciano is standing trial on charges that while in prison he ordered the rub-out of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo, who was killed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2004.


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