My wife and I were watching a movie the other night called Find Me Guilty starring Vin Diesel. It is based on the true story of Jack DiNorscio and the trial United States v. Anthony Accetturo et al, which was at the time the longest trial in U.S. history. It was the trial of members of the notorious Lucchesse crime family. DiNorscio had just been convicted of another crime and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was given a chance to testify as a prosecution witness in order to reduce his sentence but refused. Unhappy with his lawyer, DiNorscio decided to defend himself in the RICO case.
The movie portrays DiNorscio as a funny and lovable character and it further portrays the other defendants as the heroes of the story. The telling of the story encourages you to root for DiNorscio and his pals to win the case. Then there is a very telling line from the lead prosecutor Sean Kierney, played by Linus Roache.
Kierney and his fellow lawyers are back in the office talking about how the jury is being swayed by the antics of DiNorscio. He has a long rant about how the defendants are not good people, that things are more expensive because of the corruption and ends with, “and, oh yeah, sometimes they kill people.”
It made me stop and think about how these defendants that are being painted in a positive light are guilty of fraud, embezzlement, bribery, drug trafficking, prostitution, assault, battery, rape and murder. They are not heroes or role models. I would not want any child that I know emulating them yet we glorify these types of people all the time in our entertainment. It is very easy to see that in our society good is now bad and bad is now good.
When the foundation of a building is eroded away it is not long before the rest of the structure collapses. With the erosion of our society’s foundation of values, ethics and laws how long is it before the structure of our society collapses?