'Gorgeous' Dodges Death Sentence

Former New York mafia boss Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano dodged the executioner and was sentenced instead to life in a high security prison after conviction on murder charges, the AP reports.

A jury in New York federal court took less than two hours to reject the death penalty for Basciano on Wednesday, Bob Nardoza at the US Attorney's Office in Brooklyn said.

"They voted life, not death," he said.

The same jury had already found Basciano guilty in the murder of a fellow wise-guy. After a blood-soaked career that took him to the top of the Italian-American Bonanno crime family, Basciano faced a potential death sentence.

In US law, a jury, not the judge, decides capital punishment. Anything less than a unanimous vote leads to automatic life in prison without parole.

Basciano, famous for his carefully coiffed hair and smart suits, will be sent to a Supermax facility in a remote part of Colorado, a place his lawyer said is "feared" by the hardest of the hard.