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Find Me Guilty is a 2006 courtroom crime drama based on the true story about the longest Mafia trial in American history. Mobster Giacomo "Jackie" DiNorscio (played by Vin Diesel) faces a series of charges even though he has a prior 30 year conviction, but he decides to stand trial instead of ratting out his family and associates. A wrench is thrown into the system when DiNorscio attempts to defend himself and act as his own lawyer at trial. It was directed by Sidney Lumet, and also stars Peter Dinklage and Linus Roache. Much of the courtroom testimony was taken from the original court transcripts.

Plot

It's the late 1980s and low-level mobster Giacomo "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio has just been shot by his junkie cousin Tony Compagna, but refuses to press charges against him to police. Jackie soon gets arrested and is sentenced to thirty years on an unrelated drug bust.

Tony, afraid of reprisals from the extended mob family run by Nick Calabrese, agrees to be a government witness for district attorney Sean Kierney, who intends to bring down dozens of organized crime figures all at once. Kierney tries to bribe Jackie to be a government witness as well, but it's not in the gregarious Jackie's nature to be a rat.

That sets into motion a massive court case where Jackie, Nick and dozens of other mobsters are tried together for a countless number of crimes in front of presiding Judge Sidney Finestein. Upset with his current lawyer, who couldn't even keep him from doing a 30-year stretch, Jackie turns down an offer to be represented by lead defense attorney Ben Klandis and decides to represent himself in court, despite having no legal background or any real knowledge of how to proceed.

Jackie's mischievous and vulgar manner amuses the jury on occasion but persistently irritates the judge, lawyers, witnesses and defendants, including his friends from the mob.

As weeks turn into months, the court case evolves into a marathon affair. Jackie turns the courtroom into something of a three-ring circus. Ben begins to believe that maybe Jackie could be effective, but Nick Calabrese is furious and Judge Finestein repeatedly threatens the charismatic mobster with contempt of court.

Jackie's estranged wife, Bella, visits him in jail, where he is becoming increasingly frustrated. Guards spy on him and prosecuting attorneys remove his favorite chair, causing considerable pain to Jackie's injured back.

He apologizes to the court and tries to mind his manners in the end. The jury came to a decision after 14 hours of deliberation.

Cast



Trivia

  • Joe Pesci was originally courted for the role of Jack DiNorscio.
  • Giacomo DiNorscio died on November 14, 2004, during the film's production.
  • During production, one of the working titles of the film was "Jackie Dee".
  • T.J. Mancini obtained official transcripts from the actual trial and used them for the court-room scenes.
  • Vin Diesel gained over 30 pounds for his role and spent two hours a day in makeup to resemble DiNorscio.


Box office

The movie had very poor box office performance; on its first weekend, it grossed only $608,804 (439 theaters, averaging $1,386 per theater). It grossed $1,173,643 in the domestic market, and $1,457,700 overseas, for a total of $2,631,343. The film's budget was 13 million dollars, and it was considered a box office bomb.

Actual events

In August 1985, authorities in New Jersey indicted Anthony Accetturo, Martin and Michael Taccetta, and eighteen of the men who ran the New Jerseymarker faction of the New York based Lucchese crime family. It was the first time in New Jersey history that an entire organized crime family had been indicted in one prosecution. However, this crime family proved to be only a faction of the Lucchese crime family, only operating in New Jersey. But due to the crew's membership and 20 defendants, US law enforcement recognized the crew as its own crime family.

The case went to trial in November 1986, based on a 65-page indictment. It started in March 1987 at the federal courthouse in Hobokenmarker. It ended on August 26, 1988. The U.S. Clerk’s Office in Hoboken confirmed that officially The United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al. was the longest criminal case on record in the federal courts of the nation.

The jury found a verdict of not guilty in favor of all the defendants. The trial followed a ten year investigation and generated 240 volumes and 850 exhibits of evidence. It cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and was the result of a 76 count Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) indictments, yet it became the longest in history.

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