A federal appeals court has affirmed the convictions for the five defendants from the so-called Family Secrets trial against the Chicago Outfit as reported by Ann Pistone and Chuck Goudie for WLS.
However, Judge Diane Wood -- a liberal hack who is on President Obama's short list for the Supreme Court -- would have reversed the convictions against one-time boss James Marcello and hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. on double jeopardy grounds. In expressing her complete ignorance on how the Mafia is structured she contended that because Marcello and Calabrese previously were charged with conspiracy for their roles with subsidiary street crews they could not later be charged with conspiracy for their roles with the parent Chicago Outfit even when many of the underlying crimes were different.
Judge Wood simply fails to comprehend that a Mafia organization such as the Chicago Outfit is a parent organization under which multiple crews operate, and the conspiracy pursuant to which a mobster operates with the parent group is separate and distinct from the conspiracy pursuant to which he operates with a subsidiary crew. Indeed, as Judge Richard Posner aptly concluded in writing the majority decision affirming the convictions, Calabrese and Marcello "conspired to commit murder, as members of the Outfit, not as members of street crews": "The Outfit is more than the sum of its street crews."
Last February during oral argument on the appeal Judge Wood snidely remarked from the bench that she found it "troubling to dredge up murders that occurred when most of the prosecutors were still in diapers" as then reported by Chuck Goudie for WLS: "Then she asked 'What's next? Go after the murders of Al Capone?'"
The Family Secrets trial involved 18 murders. And for Judge Wood's information, "in its 100 years, the Outfit had committed more than 3,000 murders, yet before this [the Family Secrets trial] only 12 convictions had been secured" as reported by Ed Pilkington for The Guardian. Judge Wood's purported concern about federal prosecutors bringing some ubercase encompassing all the mob hits in Chicagoland history make her sound more like an intemperate fool than a reasoned jurist.
Maybe in the future the clueless Judge Wood simply should recuse herself from Chicago Outfit cases.