ONE OF THE KEY PLAYERS in the 1986–1988 real-life mob trial that inspired the film Find Me Guilty has done pretty well for himself in the intervening decades.
He is Sam Alito, who went from wannabe Mafioso ball-buster to Supreme Court justice in 18 years.
In 1987, Alito was named the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, a year after prosecutors had decided to take on the Lucchese family in what would become the longest and one of the most entertaining criminal trials in the U.S. The trial lasted 21 months and involved 20 defendants and testimony from more than 90 witnesses. Yet it took the Garden State jury only 14 hours to reach a verdict.
Alito, if he can stand hearing some of 350-pound Jackie Dee’s best lines again, could take in a matinee at the Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, about eight blocks or so from his office, with showtimes at 12:45 and 4:20 p.m.
To keep from spoiling the plot, he should wait until the movie ends to share with the crowd the comments he made after the jury gave its verdict. “Every penny was well spent,” Alito told United Press International. “How much do the people of New Jersey think it’s worth to eliminate organized crime? It’s obviously a big disappointment. I certainly don’t feel embarrassed and I don’t think we should feel embarrassed.”
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And we’re not embarrassed either, though if we served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, well, that could be another movie.