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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vinny Gorgeous faces ugly life in Colorado Supermax prison if he avoids death penalty

View of cell block at Colorado Supermax prison where Vinny Gorgeous may reside someday.
View of cell block at Colorado Supermax prison where Vinny Gorgeous may reside someday.
There's a special hell on Earth awaiting Vinny Gorgeous if a federal jury sentences him this week to life in prison instead of the death penalty.
Former Bonanno crime boss Vincent Basciano would spend the rest of his days at the super-maximum-security prison in Florence, Colo. And deep within its concrete walls, there is a place reserved for a notorious fraternity of inmates in the federal penal system - Cell Block H.
"It's the most secure, most controlled, most confined unit in the prison," said former U.S. Bureau of Prisons warden Joe Gunja. "It's designed for the worst of the worst inmates."
Lawyers for Basciano this week will argue to the same jury that convicted him of ordering the murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo that he won't be a threat to anyone at Supermax.
Basciano qualifies for the H-Unit because he has been jailed under special administrative measures for nearly five years. The U.S. attorney general imposed the SAMs after authorities found an alleged hit list drafted by Basciano with the names of a federal judge, a prosecutor and mob rats.

It's mostly terrorists who are held under those conditions, so Basciano's neighbors would be World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef; the so-called 20th hijacker on 9/11, Zacarias Moussaoui, and shoe-bomber Richard Reid.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis has called the H-unit "infamous," and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Dennehy says it's "the worst section of the worst prison." Terrorist Eric Rudolph, who is serving life at Supermax for bombing the 1996 Summer Olympics, has written that inmates there are cut off from the outside world and other inmates.
Basciano would be locked down 23hours a day, shackled and escorted by at least three guards when he leaves the cell. He would have no physical contact with other inmates or visitors and severely limited communications with immediate family.
Prison spokesman Mark Collins said about 5% of the 490 inmates are held under SAMs. Inmates never see each other, he said, but can "communicate orally between cells."



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