This one I really don’t understand.
Judge Jack Weinstein denied the early release of Dominick Pizzonia, a.k.a. Skinny Dom, even though the judge admits himself, “He sounds like he’s about to die.”
Skinny Dom has already served 4 years of a 15-year sentence for illegal gambling and racketeering. He has kidney cancer, and already has had one kidney removed. There is a fear the cancer will spread to his other kidney.
`You might ask why can’t they put Skinny Dom on house arrest, until a new kidney can be found for him? Well, Skinny Dom is 69, and with cancer in his body already, he would not be near the top of any list for a kidney transplant — home, or in prison.
The only chance Skinny Dom has to get relief is to get a “compassionate release” from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. And that’s what his lawyer Joseph Corozzo has no choice but to try to accomplish.
It would be a lot easier, and much more compassionate, if the judge had granted Skinny Dom an early release. But considering the US government’s vendetta against organized crime figures, especially Italians, my best guess is that Skinny Dom’s request for a “compassionate release” will fall on deaf ears.
This article appeared in Mafia Today and was originally in the New York Daily News.
July 28, 2011
A Brooklyn judge yesterday shot down a cancer-stricken mob hit man’s desperate plea for early release from prison so he can get on a list for a kidney transplant.
Gambino captain Dominick (Skinny Dom) Pizzonia, who worked for the late mob kingpin John Gotti, got the bad news in a call from the cancer ward of a North Carolina prison hospital.
“I can’t release you,” Judge Jack Weinstein said in the teleconference.
“If I could, I would do it for you, but I can’t.”
Pizzonia, 69, asked to be let out after he learned last year he had advanced cancer of the urethra and his left kidney was removed.
The gangster fears the cancer may spread to his remaining kidney, and he has served only about four years of a 15-year term for racketeering and illegal gambling.
“They can’t give you a kidney here, nothing,” Pizzonia explained yesterday in a weak voice. “I’m worried about that.”
“Out there you get better care and I can get on a list for a kidney, God forbid. Maybe I can get time off or house arrest.”
The judge appeared visibly moved by Pizzonia’s appeal but explained that he does not have the power to alter the sentence under such a scenario.
Weinstein suggested that Pizzonia contact his trial lawyer, Joseph Corozzo, and seek a “compassionate release” from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
“I really am sorry you’re having all this trouble,” Weinstein said. “Good luck to you and I hope you have a better day today.”
When Pizzonia was off the line, the judge said grimly: “He sounds like he’s about to die. They’re not going to give him a kidney.”
Pizzonia was once a feared member of Gotti’s crew. He operated a social club called Cafe Liberty in Ozone Park, Queens, and participated in some of the crime family’s most spectacular rubouts, although he was never convicted of murder.
He was reportedly part of the hit team assembled by Gotti to whack then-Gambino boss Paul Castellano outside Sparks steakhouse in midtown.
In 2007, he beat the rap for the double murder of Thomas and Rosemarie Uva – a married “Bonnie and Clyde” stickup duo who had twice robbed Pizzonia’s social club – and the killing of mob associate Frank (Geeky) Boccia.
Federal prison rules say an inmate can be an organ donor for an immediate family member and an organ recipient if it is deemed medically necessary.
It’s unclear where the donated organ would come from.
“I am going to petition the Bureau of Prisons for any and all available relief,” Corozzo told the Daily News.