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

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano wants to suck it up and be a man even if it kills him

The former crime boss's macho mentality was evident in court yesterday when he shouted out his refusal to be portrayed as a helpless victim.
His life may hang in the balance when the penalty phase of his capital-murder trial starts and his defense lawyer yesterday suggested his legal team wants the jury to hear that as a boy, Basciano was beaten by his father.
That might make jurors more sympathetic and wonder whether childhood traumas may have led the mobster to a life of crime.
BASCIANO - Fighting for life.
Fighting for life.
But the former Bonanno crime family boss dug in his heels against becoming a touchy-feely victim.
"It never happened, judge!" he bellowed during the Brooklyn federal court hearing about what lawyers will be able to tell the jury.
The defense team brought up the issue because the jury returns Tuesday to begin the penalty phase to decide whether Basciano should be executed by lethal injection or sentenced to life in prison after his conviction for ordering the murder of a mob associate.
"I want to note for the record that Mr. Basciano objects to it -- he's making all kinds of hand gestures in that regard," Judge Nicholas Garaufis remarked.
It wasn't the first time during Basciano's murder trial that the mobster has played an unusually active role in his own defense.
The month-long proceedings have produced countless examples of Basciano jotting notes to his attorneys, whispering about witness testimony, and clashing with his lawyers about issues he believes are important.
Inmates who become so-called jailhouse lawyers are nothing new, but observers of the Basciano trial say the mobster has taken the art to an unusually high level.
"He's fighting for his life -- literally -- in this trial," said James Kousouros, a veteran defense attorney who represented Basciano at a previous trial for a different mob murder.
"Here's a guy who has been in [prison] isolation for the past four years. He's very heavily invested," Kousouros said.


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