Prospective Jurors Not Too Eager to Sit for Gotti

Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    John "Junior" Gotti is led by law enforcement officials.

    Mobster John "Juior" Gotti is heading to trial again -- but not many citizens are eager to sit on his jury.

    There were some colorful excuses and real expressions of fear in comments from the more than 300 men and women in the pool of prospective jurors for next week's murder and conspiracy trial of Gotti, the son of the late mob boss John Gotti, the New York Daily News reported.

    "I don't want to mess with John Gotti," one prospective juror said.

    "People involved with John Gotti have mysteriously 'disappeared,'" said another. Both were later bounced, the News said.

    "I do have a fear of the Mafia looking me up if the jury found him guilty," a third offered.

    These are just some of the excuses prospective jurors have floated to try to get out of serving on the jury in Gotti's fourth federal trial.

    The best one: "My brother-in-law chose to 'turn states (sic) evidence' against (the elder) Gotti and is currently in witness protection."

    This summer, Gotti pleaded not guilty to new murder charges in Manhattan federal court.

    Prosecutors filed a superseding indictment against Gotti alleging he took part in the drug-related murder of George Grasso in December 1988.  He was also charged in connection with the November 1991 drug-related murder of Bruce John Gotterup, prosecutors said.

    In a letter to Judge Kevin Castel, prosecutors said they do not plan to seek the death penalty if there is a conviction on the murder-conspiracy related counts.

    "Junior" Gotti is currently awaiting trial on racketeering charges that include allegations of murder, gambling, bribery, kidnapping, extortion and drug dealing. The previous charges included three murder-related counts. The new charges bring the alleged murder count to five.

    Three previous cases against Gotti ended in hung juries and mistrials in 2005 and 2006.