Like father, like son. The fourth attempt by prosecutors to convict former mobster John Gotti Jr. ended in mistrial Tuesday with a hung jury. It took the feds three trials to convict Gotti's late father, John Gotti, the infamous don of the Gambino crime family. Gotti Jr. was charged with racketeering, conspiracy, and murder. But columnists say the case against him was simply too weak to convince a jury. Commentators say the feds should think twice about going after him a fifth time. The evidence, they say, just isn't there. Why it's high time for the prosecution to rest.
- The Juries Aren't Convinced Jeralyn of the Talk Left blog says the feds need to accept that the juries have spoken. "The Government ought to give John Gotti, Jr. a rest," he writes. "Enough already. At least one on the jury believes he had withdrawn from the mob when the murders were committed."
- This Is Becoming Embarassing Scott Greenfield, a lawyer of the Simple Justice blog, says it's time to close the case. "It's time to put this to rest," he says. "Four tries is more than enough. They should have stopped after two. The Southern District has not only embarrassed itself by its persistence, but would be unable to obtain a credible verdict in any event. Try someone enough times and the law of averages suggests that eventually you will get a conviction. But that won't convince the rest of us."
- The Government's Key Witness Was a Dud Newsday's Anthony Destefano says prosecutors "should think long and hard about the use - and usefulness - of key witness John Alite" before they try Gotti again. "In the minds of some of the 12 anonymous jurors, mob wannabe Alite was a dud."
- People Want the Drama to End The New York Times's Alan Feurer reports that the trial was "steeped in Oedipal drama" and "sometimes seemed like a proceeding for the Oprah Winfrey era." Feurer describes the unsavory scene. "With its easy emotionalism and narratives of painful personal growth, it was not unlike the now-familiar spectacle of a disgraced politician confessing his sins -- and then announcing his campaign for re-election."