It was the longest criminal trial in U.S. history: After years of federal investigation, 20 members of the Lucchese crime family are brought to court on 76 different charges. The U.S. Government is prepared to take down one of the mob's biggest crime families. Until one defendant decides to do the unthinkable: defend himself. Giacomo "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio is a member of New Jersey's notorious Lucchese crime family. Already in the midst of serving a 30-year sentence, Jackie is offered an opportunity to shorten his time by testifying against many of his closest friends. Disgusted with the legal system bureaucracy, and refusing to betray his "family," Jackie stands trial as defendant and attorney. "I'm no gangster, I'm a gagster," insists Jackie as he overcomes the complicated politics of the courtroom, and comfortably takes over the spotlight. With his outrageous sense of humor, raw determination and unconditional loyalty, Jackie never fails to surprise the judge, the jury, or his skeptical fellow defendants. Lasting 21 months during 1987-88, the Lucchese trial became the longest in U.S. criminal history. It has continued to stand out over the years as an epic moment in courtroom history: 20 defendants, 20 defense attorneys (one for each defendant), eight jury alternates (due to the anticipated length of the trial and the fear of bribery), and unusually extensive summations (one defense laywer's closing statement ran for five days). Jackie's desperate personal journey culminates in one of the most shocking verdicts in American judicial history, so shocking that the lawyers involved in the case are still arguing about it 20 years later.


Sidney Lumet