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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lucchese mobster plans to file another appeal

A  Lucchese Crime Family underboss who lost his appeal in a federal court last week plans to appeal again to the same judges -- and could even take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, said his attorney.
Martin Taccetta, 63, will seek another hearing in front of the same Third Circuit judges who upheld his life sentence last week, said John Vincent Saykanic, his attorney.
The legal turn is the latest in a decades-long back-and-forth between the Lucchese underboss and prosecutors. Taccetta was convicted in 1993 of racketeering.
The case against him was spurred by the golf club beating death of Ocean County businessman Vincent "Jimmy Sinatra" Craparotta in 1984. Taccetta denying having any part of the murder, and was found not guilty.
Taccetta was let out of state prison in 2005, based on his arguments that his lawyer gave him bad advice about how long a racketeering sentence could be. The New Jersey Supreme Court disagreed in 2009, and put Taccetta back in New Jersey State Prison.
Taccetta's next move was to try to plead guilty to the homicide, which would have likely brought with it a shorter prison stay than the first-degree racketeering conviction.
The state Supreme Court, however, found that Taccetta made an offhand remark about being innocent in court in 2005, said Saykanic, the defense attorney. In so doing, Taccetta could not plead guilty to the original charges, Saykanic said.
"That's the whole case -- because he said that," said Saykanic, in an interview today.
The gist of the appeal is contending that New Jersey courts are depriving inmates of the ability to plead guilty, if they said they were innocent in court, and were going to perjure themselves.
"They're saying once you say you're innocent, you can't go back," said Saykanic in an interview today. "There's a very important policy at work here -- it affects the whole system of plea bargaining."
Taccetta, of East Hanover, was part of the longest trial in American history, according to reports of the time. The subject became a 1995 book called "The Boys from New Jersey," by former Star-Ledger reporter Robert Rudolph.



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