John Gotti Wants Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Former mob boss says newspaper headlines turned jury against him

Accused mobster Junior "John" Gotti, may be on trial for racketeering and murder charges (again), but he still wants a fair shake – and he doesn't think he's getting one.

The ex-gangster scribed a four-page, single-spaced letter to Manhattan Federal Judge Kevin Castel charging the arbitrator with badgering his attorney over extensive cross-examinations, according to a published report.

Gotti also claims front-page news headlines earlier this month blasting him for allegedly threatening to kill the prosecution's key witness may have influenced jurors to such a degree that the judge should call for a mistrial and they should start the whole thing over.

On Oct. 9, the Daily News reported that Gotti had mouthed the words "I'll kill you" to witness John Alite, a former Gotti associate, during a break in testimony the day before.

"Just a happenstance glance at this cover story by any juror warrants a mistrial," Gotti wrote in the letter to Castel, reports the Daily News.

Furthermore, Gotti accused Castel of consistently cutting off defense attorney Charles Carnesi and appearing annoyed "at least on three occasions" with how much time Carnesi spent cross-examining the prosecution's witnesses. He said that was impolite.

"I am facing a potential sentence of life imprisonment, that is release only upon death," Gotti wrote, reports the News. "To ask for a 'time limit' as if my attorney's questions are an inconvenience to the court is nothing short of insulting and prejudicial."

Carnesi said he didn't know the contents of the letter, which was dated Oct. 20 and dictated to co-defense attorney John Meringolo, reports the News. The correspondence was given to the judge yesterday as the prosecution wrapped up its arguments. Gotti's defense will commence today.

Apart from acknowledging that he received Gotti's letter, Castel didn't appear concerned about it one way or another, reports the News. He did tell Gotti to run all communication with the court through his lawyers from now on.

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