Stupid Prosecution of the Week

A 96 year old mobster pleaded guilty in Florida today. It's a total trophy conviction (no one, thankfully, is anticipating he will go to jail.)

Albert "The Old Man" Facchiano used a cane in court and needed a special headset to hear the questions from U.S. District Judge James Cohn.

...."Is your mind OK?" Cohn asked Fracchiano, who will be 97 on March 10, in court at one point, a question Facchiano appeared to have trouble hearing. "Oh, yes," he eventually responded. "I can't hear, but I can understand, your honor."

Why did he plead guilty? The Government intended to try him in both New York and Florida. His lawyer says he couldn't have withstood both trials.

What a waste of criminal justice resources.

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    Sometimes you need a scorecard... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:34:13 PM EST
     ...here to figure out which position this place will tilt on very similar issues.

      Yesterday, the no true bill against the old woman in the Till case was posted and, without any suggestion in the original post that the opinion was dubious, a quote labeling it an injustice was included (despitr the fact no one yet has provided any source from which we could conclude there was evidence sufficient to indict).

      Today, we have an old man who voluntarily pleaded guilty-- and regardless of what his lawyer says undoubtedly based that decision at least in part on an evaluation of the evidence--- to serious crime and while it's not called an "injustice" it's termed a waste of resources.

       If the symbolic value of pursuing a case against the old woman warranted the expenditure of judicial resources, can't the same argument be made here with the mobster?

      What's wrong with demonstrating to mobsters that getting old doesn't place them above the law any more than the same thing to violent racists?

    72 is not 97 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:47:21 PM EST
    The woman in the Till case was only 72.

    OK (4.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:03:12 PM EST
    So what's the age at which immunity from prosecution should be granted? We've narrowed it down to somewhere between 72 and 97.

      Roughly split the difference split the difference at 85?

       Do we use just chronological age or should we use experts to testify that a given or person has been more or less ravaged by the effects of age than the norm?

       Or, do we just go with lets give a pass to the onnes in case we personally don't care about but hound the ones we think are really bad till we can stand o'er their graves 'til we're sure that they're dead.


    moreover (none / 0) (#6)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:19:13 PM EST
      the alleged crime in the till case was from half a century ago, while our friendly mobster admitted to quite recent crimes.

    Oh Well (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:30:01 PM EST
    Guess you do need a scorecard. Although I am not sure that will help you make sense of all the seeming contradictions here.

    Wow.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:39:23 PM EST
    A 97 year old mobster?  He must be very good at what he does, it's rare for mobsters to reach retirement age....thats a long time to dodge the fuzz and rivals.

    Apples and Oranges (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:48:32 PM EST
    Once again, no justice for Emmett Till.
    is not the same as
    a quote labeling it an injustice
    where "it" refers to the fact that there was no indictment for Carolyn Bryant.

    She was 72 he was 96. Money Laundering and Witness tampering compared to a brutal crime by White Supremetists. See any differences?

    Her husband admitted to the crime.

    "Her husband admitted to the crime. " (none / 0) (#8)
    by bx58 on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:30:31 PM EST
    Let's string up Laura Bush right now...You are tough.

    Did I Miss Something (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:44:33 PM EST
    The war crimes trial, impeachment, or conspiracy hearings?

    Evidentially a prosecutor thought that there was evidence to bring Carolyn Bryant in front of a GJ.

    String up Laura? Is that a reference to lynching?

    I think it is illegal to threaten a President's wife.


    Even for squeaky... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:36:24 PM EST
      he/she's on a roll today. Is there a prize of which I have not been informed for the most inane poster which is judged on quantity and content?

      If so, squeaky's pulling away from the pack, which takes some doing.


    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:47:40 PM EST
    From at least 2000 to 2003, Facchiano supervised people who committed extortion, robberies, money laundering and bank fraud, according to prosecutors.

    jeralyn, from your post, a reasonable person would assume this was for crimes alleged in the long ago past. imagine my surprise, on reading the article, that the alleged crimes, allegedly committed by the alleged 97 year-old alleged mobster, allegedly occurred within the past few years. allegedly.

    clearly, this guy is still a danger to society, even at his purported advanced age. props to him for still being in the game! now he can do the time. for all we know (and i don't, because the story didn't say), that money was laundered for use by terrorists, or drug cartels.

    i don't think the prosecution of mr. facchiano in any way diminishes the importance of getting justice for emmit till, or any other victim of crime, by anyone else. why you would think this a waste of scarce, allocable resources mystifies me.

    Allegedly.....All Allegedly (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 05:11:33 PM EST
    As you pointed out.  The guy is only pleading guilty because (I assume) he won't go to jail and he is to old and frail to fight prosecutions in 2 states.  

    You may see a danger to society, I see the state bullying an old man into pleading guilty.  It's unsavory.


    No! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 05:30:14 PM EST
     It's not allegedly any more --he did plead guilty.

      That means the court found there was a factual basis and federal courts require the defendant to admit  to all the essential elements of the offense unless it is an Alford plea which is very rare and this story gives absolutely no reason to think it was not a knowing, intentional and voluntary plea and that the mobster did not admit to the crimes.

      If he is avoidijng the substantial punishment a younger man would receive for the same thing -- that is at least enough consideration for his age.


    Legally speaking, fair enough..... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 05:58:18 PM EST
    Generally speaking, people plead guilty to things they did not do all the time.  Cut a deal and limit the risk, expedience, various reasons...

    Generally speaking, I wouldn't put it past a couple 50ish mobsters heavy in the game pinning a rap on a 97 year old "boss".  And the state being happy to ablige.

    I'd love to find out who the actual extorters and robbers are, the guys who claim a 97 year old gave them orders, and see what deals they got.


    That's overstating (none / 0) (#16)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 07:27:54 AM EST
      This isn't a case based on a single discrete act it arises from a continuing criminal enterprise. It defies reason to think a couple of other mobsters conned the entire system into thinking he was involved over a long period of time if he wasn't There is absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER to think he is not guilty of the offenses to which he admitted guilt and many others both chargeed and uncharged.

      It's also quite probable that he profited and other peope lost as a result of his crimes. In addition to incarceration sentences can and do contain terms designed to eliminate the profit and recompense the losses through fines and restitution. This is also considered "justice" by most reasonable people.

      If a 110 year old man stole your money would you want some of it back? Would you expect the government to assist you in having your money returned? I doubt many would say, "he's old don't bother with prosecuting him."


    Your barking up the wrong tree there.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 08:17:05 AM EST
    with me Decon.  I never call the cops, ever.  As a rule I just don't do it.  My house has been robbed, I've been mugged, I've been assaulted....never called a cop.

    If I were robbed by someone of any age, I'd get my property back myself or just chalk it up as a loss.

    I guess I just have less of an opinion of the justice sysytem in this country, this guy could just as easily be a patsy as opposed to Don Corleone.


    Besides (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 01, 2007 at 10:45:56 AM EST
    kdog and others who would never call the cops, there are many who would be too embarassed to admit that they were robbed by a 110 year old man. Also many who would be impressed enough that someone that old got over on them.

    I agree with Decon (none / 0) (#15)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 09:32:26 PM EST
    He obviously won't got to jail, but the resources used in this case serve to inform those like him that they will be pursued to the grave for the crimes they commit. Justice is justice. His were not victimless crimes. Ask his victims if he is too old to prosecute. See what they say.