Should John Gotti Jr.'s nickname be "Teflon Jr."? Because, for the third time in a year, a mistrial has been declared in the federal government's racketeering case against the infamous mob family figure. The jury sent Judge Shira Sheindlin a note saying, "We have been unable to come to a unanimous decision on all counts." From the NY Times:
The hung jury represents a significant loss for the government, which had been intent on convicting Mr. Gotti, not just for his crimes — but because of his notoriety — which has increased after he avoided conviction in the first two trials, which ended in September 2005 and March 2006. The first jury to hear the Gotti case deliberated for eight days and the second for one and a half days.
His father, John J. Gotti, the former boss of the Gambino organized crime family, was given the nickname the “Teflon Don” for being acquitted at three state and federal trials from 1984 to 1990. The elder Gotti was eventually convicted of murder and racketeering in 1992, and died in prison in 2002.
Asked if the government plans to try Mr. Gotti a fourth time, the prosecutor Victor Hou said, “that’s above my pay grade.”
The big thing the jurors needed to consider was whether or not Gotti was still in the mob. There's a five year statute of limitations on racketeering, and Gotti's lawyers had been arguing that he left the mob in 1999 while prosecutors said Gotti was still involved because he was receiving money from mob concerns. And Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa, who Gotti allegedly tried to kidnap and kill back in 1992, had some choice comments (see the NY Times article).
Gothamist on the first mistrial and Junior Gotti's anger towards relatives.
Photograph of John A. Gotti Jr. outside the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan by Louis Lanzano/AP