It is one thing to tell a jury that the people on trial contributed to a multi-billion dollar, multi-decade Ponzi scheme that destroyed a whole bunch of lives, but to reference The Godfather starring Marlon Brando? HOW DARE YOU.
Lawyers for five former aides to Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff argued Tuesday to have their convictions overturned, claiming comments prosecutors made in summations about the civil rights movement improperly played to jurors’ emotions during the 2014 trial. Assistant US Attorney Randall Jackson had invoked civil rights lawyer Constance Baker Motley, who was the first black woman to serve as a federal judge, when asking the mostly minority jury during his rebuttal to find the courage to convict the Madoff cronies. During arguments Tuesday before a panel of Second Circuit appellate judges, Andrew Frisch, attorney for Madoff’s former operations chief Daniel Bonventre, called Jackson’s comments “noxious” and prejudicial to his client getting a fair trial...Attorneys for the five workers — Bonventure, Joann Crupi, Annette Bongiorno, George Perez and Jerome O’Hara — have also railed against other Jackson comments during summations, including references to the “Godfather” movie.