Mob trial

Jury selection is under way in Chicago’s biggest organised crime trial in years.

Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo and four other men face various charges arising from an FBI investigation into unsolved murders allegedly linked to the the city’s organised crime family, the Outfit.

Among the 18 killings is that of Tony “The Ant” Spilotro, who was killed as part of a feud within the mob. His case inspired the Scorsese film Casino, in which Joe Pesci played the Spilotro character.

But that’s not what interests me. I’m intrigued by the fact prosecutors think they can get a viable jury. To quote AP:

Prospective jurors were asked about family members, their previous knowledge of the case, whether they worked in law enforcement or had been arrested for crimes, and if they thought they could be fair.

They also were asked whether the fact that most of the defendants are of Italian descent and that they would have to listen to profanity on tape recordings would influence how they considered the case.

Do they think they can be fair? Is there ever a better chance to say no? “Uh, no I can’t be fair in this case.” “Why not?” “I don’t want to die.”

Jesus wept. I’m not sure if it’s a crime to lie during jury selection, but wouldn’t this be worth it?

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