Joseph Massino is First Boss to Rat Out Mafia
In a New York courtroom, Joseph Massino made mafia history by being the first mob boss to ever testify in court against an underling.
Massino's testimony, which he hopes will reduce his time in jail, provided the jury with evidence about the Bonanno crime family, as well as defendant Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano's involvement in the murder of Randolph Pizzolo.
Joseph Massino is currently serving two consecutive life sentences stemming from racketeering and murder charges, reports Reuters. Since entering prison in 2004, he has actively cooperated with law enforcement.
In one instance, he recorded a jailhouse conversation between himself and his successor, Vinny Gorgeous, during which Reuters reports the defendant had discussed ordering Pizzolo's murder.
By testifying during Vinny Gorgeous' murder trial, Joseph Massino is hoping that he will be given a sentence reduction even though The New York Times reports one has not been promised.
Upon new information, judges have the discretion to alter sentences, but this seems doubtful in Massino's case. The Times also reports that the judge who sentenced Massino is presiding over the current trial, which means that he is privy to all of the sordid details being discussed.
Joseph Massino is also serving two consecutive life sentences which were handed down after he pled guilty to eight murders. It's hard to pinpoint any evidence that would mitigate over 30 years of continuous crime and murder.
So although testifying may net him some jailhouse privileges, the likelihood that Massino will ever be released from prison is virtually nil.
- Mafia legends 'turning in graves' as ex-Bonanno boss rats out Vinny Gorgeous at trial (NY Daily News)
- Sentencing (FindLaw)
- Racketeering/RICO (FindLaw)
- Geriatric Mob Boss, 93, Gets 8 Years in NY Prison (FindLaw Blotter)
- Death Penalty for Mob Boss Too Expensive, Judge Says (New York Criminal Law Blog)
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