CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Saturday, November 13, 2004

U.S. Seeks Death Penalty For "Last Don"

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have announced that they will seek the death penalty for Bonanno Crime Family boss Joseph Massino.  After the Bonanno's nearly collapsed in the 1980s following the infiltration of FBI Agent Joe Pistone, depicted in the film "Donnie Brasco," Massino orchestrated the family's comeback.  In the process, he committed murder, extortion and arson--or at least a jury believed so when it convicted him of these charges and more in July.

Prior to his recent conviction, Massino had been the only head of of one of NYC's five crime families not to be under federal charges, earning him the nickname "the Last Don."

The feds will seek the death penalty specifically for Massino's role in the 1999 murder of Gerlando Sciascia, a captain in the family who worked under Massino.

For more, click here.

Mark Godsey

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