“Find Me Guilty”
RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) laws are a mess of corruption, which, by now, should not surprise anyone. The legal statues of RICO are so broad, wide, and nonsensical that Rudy Giuliani is now overwhelmed with the RICO power grab he helped create. As we have discussed on The Consider Podcast, The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. (Psalm 9:15)
Every judge, prosecutor, police, warden, and legal official will be judged in the same way they conducted themselves.
Decades ago, as a U.S. attorney, Rudy Giuliani revolutionized the use of RICO laws to fight crime — but now he finds himself on the other side of his legal legacy.
The movie “Find Me Guilty” was Attorney Rudy Giuliani’s case, which he lost. This is a wide spectrum legal movie. Human elements, prosecutor bullying, mobs, jail, and the need to prosecute criminals come crashing down at a jury trial. Most of the movie script is from the transcript of the trial, which can make this an enlightening experience.
The jury came to the correct verdict, but for the wrong reasons. Or, maybe they didn’t. I do not fully know and would have really liked to talk to someone who sat on the jury.
Movie Find Me Guilty (2006)
• Vin Diesel as Giacomo “Jackie Dee” DiNorscio
• Peter Dinklage as Ben Klandis
• Linus Roache as Sean Kierney
• Ron Silver as Judge Finestein
• Alex Rocco as Nick Calabrese
• Raúl Esparza as Tony Compagna
• $13,000,000 (estimated)
Gross US & Canada
• $628,000 Mar 19, 2006
Opening weekend US & Canada
• $2,636,637 Gross worldwid
• Sidney Lumet
• Bob Yari
• Sidney Lumet
• Vin Diesel
• Robert Greenhut
• T.J. Mancini
• Robert J. McCrea
• Sidney Lumet
The film “Find Me Guilty” (2006) by Sidney Lumet, is based on the true story of a lower level Italian- American mobster, Jackie DiNorscio, who was arrested in drug dealing case and sentenced to 30 years in jail in 1985. The case took an unexpected turn when Jackie asked the judge if he could defend himself without a lawyer’s assistance. His trial ends up being the longest mafia trial in U.S. History.
The film begins as Jackie DiNorscio (played by Vin Diesel), is attacked by his cousin but he survived. Afterward, Jackie was arrested along with a large group of other co-conspirators for drug trafficking and sentenced to 30 years in prison after facing the longest trial in American history, for 21 months!! During this trial, each defendant had his lawyer. When an aspiring prosecutor brings DiNorscio back to court, he decided to defend himself. The prosecutor Sean Kierney (played by Linus Roache) offered an immediate release to Jackie if he agrees to testify against the mafia families but he refused to betray his former associates and friends. After the beginning of the trial, DiNorscio told the judge Finestein (played by Ron Silver) that he would defend himself without the help of a lawyer. Initially, no-one believed him, but he managed to turn the tide of the case with his powerful presence and knowledge of the law.
‘Find Me Guilty’ is directed by Sidney Lumet, a man with immense knowledge of classic courtroom dramas. He directed “The Verdict.” and “Serpico” with some realistic testimony scenes, as well as, “12 Angry Men,” which was mostly shot within a jury room. But, one thing is different. In this film, the defendants are thieves, killers, drug dealers, and pimps. Still, everyone feels they are not guilty.
It’s great to see Vin Diesel playing a different role, far from his usual exhilarating heroic roles. As the main character, Vin Diesel cracks jokes all through the trial, even though his life is at risk. He does stand out for his risky, dynamic, funny performance in this film and his great talent makes his role even brighter. You will see some well-known faces in the movie Linus Roache, Peter Dinklage, Alex Rocco, Annabelle Sciorra, and Ron Silver. You would like to see Peter Dinklage, of Game of Thrones, in a different kind of role.
All the actors showed extraordinary performances and Sidney Lumet has done a great job by bringing this courtroom story to screen. Nevertheless, the longest American trial’s screenplay seems to be manipulative for presenting an obstinate prosecutor as an ‘evil man’ and creating empathy in people for the “nice” gangsters. One more problem with this film is its excessive length and that it shows the courtroom for a large part of the movie. Overall, Find me Guilty is humourous in parts and worth watching. Highly recommended, if you love watching gangster courtroom dramas and are curious to know Jack DiNorscio’s true story.
AI Bias Information
RICO Laws: Unraveling the Complexities of America’s Fight Against Organized Crime
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO, is a powerful tool in the United States’ ongoing battle against organized crime. Enacted in 1970, this federal law provides prosecutors with the means to target criminal organizations and hold them accountable for their illicit activities. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of RICO laws, examining their origins, scope, penalties, and impact on both organized crime and other areas of law enforcement. Join us as we delve into the depths of RICO and uncover its significance in the fight for justice.
A Historical Overview of RICO Laws
The Birth of RICO: Combating Organized Crime
In response to the growing influence and power of organized crime syndicates, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in 1970. The primary objective of this legislation was to dismantle criminal organizations by targeting their leaders and members collectively, rather than individually prosecuting each member for separate crimes. Prior to RICO, prosecutors faced significant challenges in effectively tackling organized crime, as they lacked the legal framework to address the broader criminal enterprises at play.
Under RICO, prosecutors gained the authority to charge individuals involved in an enterprise engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity. This pattern of activity required the commission of at least two predicate offenses within a specified time frame. These predicate offenses encompass a wide range of serious crimes such as arson, bribery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, extortion, gambling, homicide, kidnapping, mail fraud, money laundering, robbery, wire fraud, and witness tampering.
From Mob Prosecutions to Broader Applications
Initially, RICO laws were primarily utilized to combat organized crime families, including the notorious Mafia. The first RICO trial took place in 1979, where a gang of postal burglars and a Nevada fence were prosecuted under the RICO Act. This trial set a precedent, demonstrating the effectiveness of RICO in dismantling criminal enterprises beyond traditional Mafia organizations.
As the years went by, federal prosecutors began employing RICO laws in a broader range of cases, extending its reach to street gangs, corrupt politicians, and white-collar criminals. This expansion showcased the adaptability and potency of RICO laws in addressing various forms of organized criminal activity.
Understanding the Core Elements of RICO
The RICO Enterprise: Key to Prosecution
Central to the successful prosecution of RICO cases is the concept of an enterprise. An enterprise can be legal or illegal, encompassing a wide range of entities such as corporations, criminal organizations, associations, partnerships, and even government bodies. To establish a RICO violation, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant was connected to the enterprise through one of four specified relationships: investment, acquisition or maintenance of control, conduct or participation, or conspiracy.
The Pattern of Racketeering Activity: Uncovering Illicit Behavior
To bring a RICO charge, prosecutors must prove that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity. This pattern requires the commission of at least two predicate offenses within a ten-year period. These offenses must be related, sharing common purposes, results, participants, victims, or methods of commission. The continuity of criminal conduct is a crucial element in establishing a pattern.
Criminal and Civil Consequences of RICO Violations
A conviction under RICO carries severe penalties, both in terms of criminal sanctions and civil liability. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for up to 20 years per racketeering count. Additionally, the defendant may be required to forfeit all proceeds derived from the pattern of racketeering activity, as well as any interest in the enterprise itself. This forfeiture provision aims to cripple the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations and deter future criminal conduct.
On the civil front, RICO allows individuals who have been harmed in their business or property by racketeering activity to file a civil lawsuit. Successful plaintiffs can recover treble damages, three times the amount of actual or compensatory damages incurred. This civil component provides victims with a means to seek restitution and hold criminal enterprises accountable for the harm they have caused.
Landmark RICO Cases: Shaping the Legal Landscape
United States v. Anthony Salerno, et al. – The Mafia Commission Trial
One of the most significant RICO cases in history is the United States v. Anthony Salerno, et al., commonly referred to as the Mafia Commission Trial. This trial, led by renowned prosecutor Rudy Giuliani in 1985, targeted the heads of New York’s Five Families, the most influential Mafia organizations at the time. By utilizing RICO laws, Giuliani charged the defendants with extortion, labor racketeering, and murder-for-hire, aiming to dismantle the entire infrastructure of the Mafia.
The trial resulted in the conviction of three Mafia bosses, who were sentenced to 100 years in prison. This landmark case showcased the power of RICO in dismantling organized crime syndicates and sent a clear message that no criminal organization would be immune to prosecution.
United States v. Scotto – Taking Down Union Corruption
In another notable RICO case, United States v. Scotto, the focus shifted from traditional organized crime to corruption within labor unions. Anthony Scotto, the head of the International Longshoremen’s Association, faced charges of racketeering, accepting unlawful labor payments, and income tax evasion. The prosecution employed RICO laws to expose the pervasive corruption within the union and hold Scotto accountable for his illicit activities.
This case demonstrated the versatility of RICO, extending its reach beyond typical criminal enterprises and targeting corruption in influential organizations. It served as a warning to those who exploited their positions of power for personal gain, regardless of their affiliation.
RICO Laws Beyond Organized Crime: Widening the Scope
Street Gangs: Disrupting Criminal Networks
RICO laws have proven effective in addressing the menace of street gangs, which often operate as criminal enterprises. By utilizing RICO, prosecutors can target the leaders and members of these gangs collectively, dismantling their criminal networks and disrupting their operations. This strategy has been successful in reducing gang-related violence and promoting community safety.
Political Corruption: Holding Officials Accountable
Corruption within the political sphere poses a significant threat to democracy and the rule of law. RICO laws have been employed to combat political corruption, ensuring that public officials are held accountable for their illicit activities. By targeting politicians engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity, prosecutors can root out corruption and restore public trust in the political system.
White-Collar Crime: Unveiling Corporate Misconduct
RICO laws have been used to prosecute white-collar criminals involved in complex financial schemes, such as fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering. By treating these crimes as part of a pattern of racketeering activity, prosecutors can uncover the full extent of corporate misconduct and bring those responsible to justice. RICO’s broad scope allows for the dismantling of intricate criminal enterprises that often span multiple organizations and industries.
State RICO Laws: Strengthening the Fight Against Crime
Recognizing the effectiveness of RICO at the federal level, many states have adopted their own RICO statutes to combat organized crime and other forms of criminal activity within their jurisdictions. As of 2014, 33 states, including Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands, have enacted state RICO laws. These laws closely mirror the federal RICO statute, providing state prosecutors with additional tools to address criminal enterprises operating within their borders.
Conclusion: RICO’s Enduring Legacy in the Fight for Justice
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act stands as a formidable weapon in the fight against organized crime and other forms of criminal activity. Since its inception, RICO has evolved beyond its initial purpose, becoming a versatile tool employed in cases ranging from Mafia prosecutions to political corruption and white-collar crime. Its power lies in its ability to target criminal enterprises as a whole, dismantling their operations and holding all involved accountable for their actions.
As RICO continues to adapt to new challenges in an ever-changing criminal landscape, its legacy endures. Through the application of RICO laws, the United States remains committed to combating organized crime and upholding the principles of justice, fairness, and the rule of law. With each successful prosecution, the influence of criminal organizations is weakened, and the foundations of a safer society are fortified.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require legal assistance or have specific questions regarding RICO laws, consult with a qualified attorney
- Exodus 23:2
“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.”
Note: Nothing concerning The Consider Podcast should be taken as legal advice.
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