Nothing Good about these Fellas

John Gotti Jr. recently scored another victory in court when the jurors could not agree on a verdict and asked to be freed from the case.  Gotti was on trial for the 1992 botched kidnapping of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. The legendary crime fighter was left near death after a shooting which prosecutors said an angry Gotti ordered after Sliwa's radio show attacks on his father, John Gotti Sr.

It's always amazed me that we live in a country with so many freedoms, including the freedom to be a mobster. The senior Gotti, one of the most notorious Mafia chiefs since Al Capone, and his crew of butchers had a reputation for jury tampering, allowing the boss of the former Gambino family to earn the nickname, 'Teflon Don.' Jurors, selected from the areas in which these killers operate, were terrorized into voting against conviction, thereby resulting in hung juries. Who can blame them? They're aware of their vulnerability after the trial is over, so why should they stick their necks out for a system that can't protect them?
 
Yes, there'll be another trial and another jury to intimidate, while the system of justice pretends to live up to its name. But the fact is that gangsters have become romanticized through movies and television, perpetuating the image that they're really Goodfellas. On the contrary, they are blood—sucking leeches without a scintilla of compassion for the people who obey the law and work for a living.

In The Godfather, Marlon Brando played the seemingly benevolent role of a Mafia leader with an abiding love for his family, while he was ordering the execution of other people's families. When Michael Corleone tells the corrupt senator, 'we're all part of the same hypocrisy,' he was talking about the masquerade engaged in by those who enrich themselves at the expense of the na´ve public. John Gotti paraded around Manhattan wearing $5000 suits and driving a $100,000 Mercedes with no visible means of support, while laughing at the working stiff who was paying for the hoodlum's lifestyle with his union dues, home construction costs, and a plethora of other illicit money grabs.
 
I used to see these worthless bums standing outside the so—called 'social clubs' like a bunch of hungry jackals looking for a free meal. Too lazy to hold down a job, they steal for a living while pretending to be macho men with principles. Every wannabe wise—guy will try to convince you that mobsters are just like everyone else; they love their wives and children, they believe in God and they only kill or maim when necessary in the course of 'business.' That is utter nonsense! These thugs swim in a cesspool of violence, vengeance and greed. Family and religion, like every other lie they perpetuate, are merely useful props in their malevolent charade.

Organized crime exists in a capitalist society because money rules and laws are made to ensure that when people with money get caught they have more options than their indigent counterparts. How they obtained the money is of no consequence. Whether it's Enron's execs ripping off the stockholders or mobsters selling narcotics to our kids, the money they accumulate buys them more freedom to enjoy their ill gotten gains. That creates a mentality which believes that justice should be for sale like other commodities. After all, a poor man can't afford a yacht or a Rolls Royce, so why should he be able to afford the most expensive attorneys? How should we feel about a society that believes a person charged with a crime has a better chance for acquittal if he gets a high—priced lawyer? If that's a true statement we're not merely disadvantaged by a lack of wealth, we're physically endangered.

A prime example is the system of bail. Why would money be the guarantor of someone's freedom, unless the rich set it up that way? Benny the burglar steals a TV set, gets collared and dragged into court for arraignment and trial without every leaving his cell because he can't afford the $500 bail. Kenny the CEO steals $100 million, wipes out thousands of pensions and destroys hundreds of lives while enjoying over 4 years of freedom before his trial date is set because he can put up a couple of mil for bail. The irony is; the money he puts up is the purloined loot he's being charged with stealing.

A rhetorical question; who's more dangerous to the public, Benny or Kenny?

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

John Gotti Jr. recently scored another victory in court when the jurors could not agree on a verdict and asked to be freed from the case.  Gotti was on trial for the 1992 botched kidnapping of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. The legendary crime fighter was left near death after a shooting which prosecutors said an angry Gotti ordered after Sliwa's radio show attacks on his father, John Gotti Sr.

It's always amazed me that we live in a country with so many freedoms, including the freedom to be a mobster. The senior Gotti, one of the most notorious Mafia chiefs since Al Capone, and his crew of butchers had a reputation for jury tampering, allowing the boss of the former Gambino family to earn the nickname, 'Teflon Don.' Jurors, selected from the areas in which these killers operate, were terrorized into voting against conviction, thereby resulting in hung juries. Who can blame them? They're aware of their vulnerability after the trial is over, so why should they stick their necks out for a system that can't protect them?
 
Yes, there'll be another trial and another jury to intimidate, while the system of justice pretends to live up to its name. But the fact is that gangsters have become romanticized through movies and television, perpetuating the image that they're really Goodfellas. On the contrary, they are blood—sucking leeches without a scintilla of compassion for the people who obey the law and work for a living.

In The Godfather, Marlon Brando played the seemingly benevolent role of a Mafia leader with an abiding love for his family, while he was ordering the execution of other people's families. When Michael Corleone tells the corrupt senator, 'we're all part of the same hypocrisy,' he was talking about the masquerade engaged in by those who enrich themselves at the expense of the na´ve public. John Gotti paraded around Manhattan wearing $5000 suits and driving a $100,000 Mercedes with no visible means of support, while laughing at the working stiff who was paying for the hoodlum's lifestyle with his union dues, home construction costs, and a plethora of other illicit money grabs.
 
I used to see these worthless bums standing outside the so—called 'social clubs' like a bunch of hungry jackals looking for a free meal. Too lazy to hold down a job, they steal for a living while pretending to be macho men with principles. Every wannabe wise—guy will try to convince you that mobsters are just like everyone else; they love their wives and children, they believe in God and they only kill or maim when necessary in the course of 'business.' That is utter nonsense! These thugs swim in a cesspool of violence, vengeance and greed. Family and religion, like every other lie they perpetuate, are merely useful props in their malevolent charade.

Organized crime exists in a capitalist society because money rules and laws are made to ensure that when people with money get caught they have more options than their indigent counterparts. How they obtained the money is of no consequence. Whether it's Enron's execs ripping off the stockholders or mobsters selling narcotics to our kids, the money they accumulate buys them more freedom to enjoy their ill gotten gains. That creates a mentality which believes that justice should be for sale like other commodities. After all, a poor man can't afford a yacht or a Rolls Royce, so why should he be able to afford the most expensive attorneys? How should we feel about a society that believes a person charged with a crime has a better chance for acquittal if he gets a high—priced lawyer? If that's a true statement we're not merely disadvantaged by a lack of wealth, we're physically endangered.

A prime example is the system of bail. Why would money be the guarantor of someone's freedom, unless the rich set it up that way? Benny the burglar steals a TV set, gets collared and dragged into court for arraignment and trial without every leaving his cell because he can't afford the $500 bail. Kenny the CEO steals $100 million, wipes out thousands of pensions and destroys hundreds of lives while enjoying over 4 years of freedom before his trial date is set because he can put up a couple of mil for bail. The irony is; the money he puts up is the purloined loot he's being charged with stealing.

A rhetorical question; who's more dangerous to the public, Benny or Kenny?

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com