I missed this but last Thursday in preparation for his sentencing today Judge Young made the following pronouncements. He said: “Mr. O’Brien was the organizer and leader of criminal activity and abused a position of public trust.” He added that O’Brien was guilty of “massive corruption.”
By the way this gang that O’Brien organized consisted of two other people in the probation department both of whom had no criminal records. One was a woman and the other a guy now in his seventies. So the leader that Judge Young was talking about had two followers.
The concept of being a leader usually connotes a bigger following than that. The lowest leadership position I’ve known prior to this was a leader of a Marine fire team but he had three people following him. I’ve never heard of someone being a leader of so few people. When I think leader and organizer I think of someone like a Mafia boss not someone like Grouch Marx.
The reason for making O’Brien into a leader and organizer is so that Judge Young can give O’Brien an enhanced sentence of up to two more years than that provided by the sentencing guidelines. According to them O’Brien should get three years but Young can now almost double it to almost six. Of course the prosecutors having pulled off this scam where they have turned patronage into a crime want him to do about six years because he showed no remorse. I’m not quite sure how he’d do that other than pleading guilty but he couldn’t do that because he doesn’t believe he committed a crime.
You have to remember there was no demonstrable harm caused by O’Brien’s actions. No one was murdered or extorted. No one had any money stolen from them or lost by fraud. No drugs were distributed. There was no showing that O’Brien’s use of patronage damaged the work of the probation department. He hired some people who the federal prosecutors think he shouldn’t. They had better candidates in mind. But there was no showing that had O’Brien hired who the prosecutors wanted things would have been better.
O’Brien didn’t put a penny in his pocket. The only money involved was that O’Brien got a bigger budget. That allowed him to put more probation officers to work. The results showed a drastic decline in crime under his leadership. In fact, by any metric the probation department did fine while he was in charge.
When Judge Young suggests as another reason for him sentencing O’Brien to five years or more that there was “massive corruption” he is just spouting nonsense. This was a simple case of patronage played out on a larger scale. If patronage is not a crime then there was no corruption.
We’ve seen this before where the judges play games by making findings such as Judge Young did in order to punish people beyond the sentencing guidelines who really don’t deserve it. In the case of Catherine Greig, the judge in her case found two additional factors to add on to her sentence so that she received at least four additional years more than the guidelines called for. She got 8 years.
Both O’Brien and Greig had one thing in common. Prior to their convictions in federal court neither one had ever been convicted of another crime during their prior fifty plus years of life. Now tell me something isn’t wrong when these people are going to do more time in prison than people who have been engaged in murders or who are members of the Mafia and are life-long criminals.
Kevin Weeks who was Whitey’s right hand man did five years for five murders. Sure he cooperated but he still lived a life of crime and was facing twenty or more years in prison on other charges aside from the murders that involved drug dealings and extortions.
But it gets worse. I really does:
Here are some of the Mafia leaders and their sentences meted out in the federal courts recently. It appears the federal courts save their outrage for those who live crime free lives while pandering to those in the Mafia.
Luigi “Louie” Manocchio, an admitted former boss and underboss of the New England Mafia was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison for his leadership of and participation in a racketeering and extortion conspiracy.
Raymond R. “Scarface” Jenkins, an admitted associate of the Mafia was sentenced to 37 months in prison for his admitted participation in a conspiracy to extort $25,000 from a Rhode Island individual and his wife.
Anthony L. Dinunzio, the acting leader of the New England Mafia, was sentenced to serve 78 months in federal prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy to extort protection payments from adult entertainment businesses in Rhode Island. Under the agreement, prosecutors said they would recommend a sentence in the range of just over five years to up to 6 ½ years.
Alfred “Chippy” Scivola, Jr., 71, of Johnston, R.I., an admitted member of the New England Mafia was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 46 months in federal prison for his participation in a racketeering and extortion conspiracy
Carmen “The Cheeseman” DiNunzio, reputed former underboss of the New England Mafia charged in federal court for bribery and in the state court for extortion. A life-long criminal got only six years.
I’m sure you get the point. There’s certainly something topsy-turvy in our Boston federal court that their ire is so misplaced. Had O’Brien not been Irish but Italian he may have taken another road and been better off.