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NCJ Number: 106458 Find in a Library
Title: Principled Compromise: The New York State Organized Crime Control Act
Journal: Criminal Justice Ethics  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter/Spring 1987)  Pages:50-60
Author(s): D L Feldman
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 11
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper traces the legislative history of New York State's 1986 Organized Crime Control Act, patterned after the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), with attention to principles that guided the Assembly and prosecutors to agreement.
Abstract: In drafting New York's 'little RICO' law, prosecutors wanted the powerful tools available in other jurisdictions to effectively protect New Yorkers against the physical, financial, and criminal harm inflicted by criminals. The Assembly leadership, allied with civil libertarians, wanted to limit the potential for prosecutorial abuse and protect the State's tradition of fair trial. This analysis of compromises that resulted in the law's enactment focuses on a key issue, appropriate joinder of defendants. A review of traditional joinder limitations concludes that pre-RICO joinder law did not work well in protecting society from organized crime. The significance of the 1970 RICO Act is discussed, as well as its shortcomings. The article describes negotiations between prosecutors and the Assembly to resolve the prosecutorial efficiency versus fair trial conflict. The New York law in its final version has much more specific requirements than RICO, including knowing participation in a criminal enterprise and three acts of 'enterprise corruption,' two of which must be felonies. 1 chart and 66 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
Index Term(s): Joinder and severance; Law reform; New York; Organized crime
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