Federal prosecutors told lawyers for Mafia kingpin Joseph Massino in New York that they intended to ask for the death penalty in the 1999 killing of Gerlando Sciascia, a captain in Massino’s crime family.
Massino lawyer David Breitbart said the decision was a “parting gift” from U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, who has announced his resignation. “It seems absolutely absurd,” Breitbart said.
Massino was convicted in July of orchestrating a quarter-century of murder, racketeering, arson, extortion and other crimes and is awaiting sentencing.