Legal Advice From A Patriot
When The Trial comes—and it surely will, space limitations preventing a listing here of the docket of crimes and misdemeanors culled from the president’s amusing whines about hoaxes and witch hunts plaguing the first 28 weeks of The Administration to End All Administrations – as a patriot and a friend of the court I am suggesting his lawyers use the Stupidity Defense.
What is that, you might ask? Not if you live in New Jersey.
We in the shining hill of jurisprudence proudly know it as the Johnny DiGilio Defense.
I am not speaking of the old insanity defense, which the president’s legal team may also be wise to explore, given their client’s bizarre behavior in the presence of a Twitter page waiting to be filled with the ravings of a seeming madman
Studied by legal scholars at the University of Chicago law school, its basic line of legal disputation is that the defendant is not capable of having done the things prosecutors are alleging on the grounds of mental incapacity.
Or as we say in New Jersey, the defendant is too STOOPIDIT!
The first recorded use of the novel argument took place in 1988 in the trial of John Joseph DiGilio Sr. (aka Johnny Dee).
A folk hero in Hudson County, the fiefdom of Frank (Boss) Hague, Johnny Dee was born (1932) and raised in Bayonne, where he grew up in the shadow of the Exxon refinery, an environment where street games included playing urban golf. Kids dug holes in the dirt, enriched by refinery residue believed to lead to increased intelligence in such subjects as organized crime..
Young DiGilio was a tug boatman and professional boxer in his early years. (In 1954, a New Jersey State lightweight champion) before graduating to a career in illegal gambling, loan sharking, labor racketeering and extortion as a made man in the Genovese family. By 1986, he was enshrined as number 39 on Fortune magazine’s list of the Top 50 most powerful Cosa Nostra members in the USA.
In 1988, Johnny Dee was further honored by being indicted by the Feds on charges of racketeering, and conspiring with gang members’ control of piers, construction and multi-interlocking industries in the Bayonne area environ, and thereof.
Defying his family bosses, Johnny Dee elected to serve as his own lawyer. He made it clear he would not be resorting to the classic insanity defense, though he brought in a psychiatrist to reinforce the defendant’s radical defense strategy.
He could not be guilty of the charges, the therapist argued, because he lacked the intelligence required for organization and communication skills.
His defense: his mind was too simple, exacerbated by his early career in the ring (231 rounds as a professional, winning 28 matches, losing 10, with three KO’s).
As if to prove a point, the defendant periodically jumped up from his seat and began shadow boxing.
During the trial he scored further points by dumping hundreds of cassette tapes made by the FBI in a garbage pail.
The good news for New Jersey legal fight fans is Johnny Dee got off. He won acquittal for being too stupid.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies such as the Bayonne Police Department were furious. A great injustice had occurred.
In retribution, the FBI began monitoring the acquitted’s every move. Aside from taping all phone conversations, they followed him around town in a laundry truck. Residents recalled the FBI truck’s fake windows. His daily life required organizational and communications moxie, the FBI theorized, and, furthermore, would prove Johnny Dee was the boss of Bayonne.
In the second trial, this time Johnny Dee dropped the stupid defense. He called witnesses to counter the government’s allegations.
“I am the boss of Bayonne,” the chief of the Bayonne PD swore.
Then the accused brought in the Mayor of Bayonne.
“I am the boss of Bayonne,” the Mayor swore.
The heirs of Boss Hague, the defacto boss, found it most amusing.
So did the media, which covered the trial like the pollution in the air. One highlight was the prosecutor bringing back the original psychiatrist who had alleged Johnny Dee was too stupid. He amended his expert testimony. A headline in the Newark Star-Ledger read:
PSYCHIATRIST TESTIFIES DiGILIO NOT AS STUPID AS THOUGHT…
As the landmark case wend its way through the courts, Johnny Dee announced he was suing the FBI for $2 million for harassing an innocent Italian boy, instead of working in Alabama to convict the KKK.
Johnny Dee’s bosses warned him to cease and desist. They feared it would, as they say in New Jersey, piss off the FBI. They’d become serious about prosecuting the organization.
The litigious mobster may have beaten the Fed rap. But a higher tribunal may have ruled differently.
The next thing fans of New Jersey justice knew Johnny Dee disappeared from the streets of Bayonne and environ.
On May 26, 1988, his body with two bullet holes in his head was discovered in a bag floating on the Hackensack River in Carlstadt, N.J.
I got to thinking of this little bit of legal history that may be overlooked by the president’s defense lawyers—and I do hope he intends to pay them, unlike his construction workers—reading about the president’s right hand son-in-law, Jared Kushner, coming to the aid of The Don.
One of our state’s smartest legal minds, a graduate of Yale Law, Kushner offered what the media called a “new defense” on why the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia: The Trump campaign was too disorganized to pull off something like that.
“They thought we colluded but we couldn’t even collude with our local offices,” Kushner told Congressional interns during a private meeting at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington.
Johnny DiGilio lives!
August 8, 2017