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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mobster Vinny Gorgeous has earned the death penalty, prosecutor says

Federal prosecutors told a jury today that the former boss of the Bonanno crime family should be executed for ordering a mob murder while he was already serving a life sentence behind bars.
"Vincent Basciano has earned the most serious sentence American justice can impose - death," Assistant US Attorney Jack Dennehy told the jury in Brooklyn federal court.
Basciano - known as "Vinny Gorgeous" should be executed because he is "a man for whom prison walls will be no obstacle," Dennehy argued.
It was while he was in federal prison that Basciano passed the order to his fellow Bonanno mobsters to kill a low-level mob associate.
'Vincent Basciano has earned the most serious sentence American justice can impose - death,' prosecutors told the jury today.
"Vincent Basciano has earned the most serious sentence American justice can impose - death," prosecutors told the jury today.
Allowing Basciano to live will permit the wiseguy to continue his "cold-blooded and remorseless life in the Mafia" while continuing to orchestrate crimes during his incarceration, Dennehy said.
"This defendant won't stop - he won't leave the Bonanno crime family behind in prison," the prosecutor said, telling the jury that the gangster poses "a future danger to society."
Basciano's aim to tighten his grip over the leadership and eased by his "murderous rise in the Bonanno crime family" were reasons that he ordered the murder of Randolph Pizzolo, a low-level mob associate, who was gunned down in 2004 in an industrial section of Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Basciano's orders to green-light the Pizzolo hit clearly demonstrates that "Vinny Gorgeous" has "earned the ultimate punishment - the punishment of death," Dennehy said.
The wiseguy's defense attorneys countered that Basciano has already paid a high price for his crimes.
"Mr. Basciano will be imprisoned for the remainder of his life," Richard Jasper, the defense attorney, told the jury. "You don't have to kill him."
Basciano's life as a swaggering, flamboyant mobster known for his flashy wardrobe and overwhelming personality is already effectively over, given that "every day he wakes up in prison for the rest of his life until he dies on God's time," Jasper said.
"No suits, no shirts, no ties - no Vinny Gorgeous,'" Jasper said.
The attorney told the jury that they have an immense power in their hands - "the power to give life...it's going to be one of the most important decisions you've ever made."
Jasper argued that one day in the future jurors will recount their experiences during the 1 1/2 month long mob trial, and when asked by their children or grandchildren about their actions, they "will be able to to tell them that you chose life."
Today marks the first day in the so-called penalty phase in Basciano's capital murder trial, which is expected to last perhaps two more weeks.
The jury will decide whether Basciano should be punished with life imprisonment or execution - he's already serving a life sentence in prison for an earlier mob murder.
Last week, the jurors convicted the former Bonanno boss of ordering the rub-out of Pizzolo, who was considered to be insubordinate and a renegade, finding him guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, murder in aid of racketeering, and an illegal gun charge.


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