Blakey Explains RICO's power

University of Notre Dame professor G. Robert Blakey is considered the nation's foremost authority on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO.

"The remedy under criminal law is to take away the criminal. But if you just take people out one by one -- and all of the conditions remain the same -- it doesn't matter how many individual convictions you get," Blakey said in a report on

"Think of it as a merry-go-round," he added.

Read the article: Author of federal act used to prosecute former E.C. mayor explains RICO's power.

Also, read our exclusive intervew with Mr. Blakey here.


  1. The flaw in R.I.C.O. is the people who wrote it and misuse it, including Blakey, whose attitude seems to be resentful of the vigorous defenses put up by the accused. Like Rudy Giuliani, who told a Fordham University law class that if gov't BELIEVED someone was guilty of a crime, ANYTHING it did was excusable, and Blakey's boss, Bobby Kennedy, who would stop at nothing to get his enemies, like Jimmy Hoffa.

    More important, an unfair, un-American law that cuts its teeth on the mob, which R.I.C.O. certainly has, is a threat to all citizens. For example, what constitutes R.I.C.O. eligibility as a criminal organization? Two predicate acts. A pharmacist I met in prison was convicted under R.I.C.O. for selling samples he was given by manufacturers to hand out to customers. If that is the standard, think of how many people you know can be charged under R.I.C.O., which expands the substantive sentence of say five years per count to twenty. Add in that a conviction that one already did prison time for can be used as a predicate act for a new R.I.C.O. case, with the defendant being subject to doing time for the same case again. R.I.C.O. also makes shambles of hundreds of years of statute of limitation laws, going back at times for decades to bring charges. Sound like an American law, or something from the old Soviet bloc? Oh, it was used on organized crime guys, so it's okay? Wait till the weapon is fired on more citizens.


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