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United States v. Licavoli

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
725 F.2d 1040 (6th Cir. 1984)


Facts

James Licavoli (defendant) was an organized-crime leader. Anthony Libertore, John Calandra, Ronald Carabbia, Pasquale Cisternino, and Kenneth Ciarcia (defendants) were all members of the organization. In 1976, all six defendants killed Danny Greene with a car bomb and were tried for the murder in state court. Cisternino, Carabbia, and Ciarcia were convicted, while Licavoli and Calandra were acquitted. In a separate chain of events, Ciarcia asked a federal employee to gather information about investigations into Ciarcia, Libertore, and Licavoli, in exchange for payment. All six defendants were charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery and were tried in federal court. Ciarcia pleaded guilty, while Libertore was convicted. All six defendants were then tried in federal court for conspiring to participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C § 1962. Under RICO, a defendant must have committed more than one act of racketeering activity chargeable under state law in order for a state crime to be considered a predicate act under RICO. Racketeering activity includes any act or threat involving murder. All six defendants were found guilty of violating RICO and appealed, arguing that murder and conspiracy to murder were not both chargeable under state law and therefore could not serve as predicate offenses under RICO. Licavoli and Calandra argued that conspiring to murder Greene and murdering Greene could not both serve as predicate acts, because Licavoli and Calandra had been acquitted in state court. Libertore and Ciarcia argued that bribery could not serve as a predicate offense, because Libertore and Ciarcia had already been convicted of the offense.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Merritt, J.)

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