John “Sonny” Franzese the former underboss of the Colombo crime family has been denied compassionate release consideration by a federal prison warden.
Franzese has a long history in the New York mafia and has been an active and high-ranking members of the Colombo family for many years. He has been accused of committing so many murders on behalf of Cosa Nostra that he was unable to keep track of the body count. He is currently serving a 96-month sentence on racketeering and extortion charges for shaking down a Manhattan strip club and a Long Island pizzeria. The 99-year-old mobster is the oldest inmate in the federal prison system and will turn 100 by the time his sentence is completed next June.
But the aging NY Mafia leader is now deaf, blind, and confined to a wheelchair and said he has “little time left in my life” in his paperwork. Franzese said he wants to spend the remainder of his life with his eight kids, 18 grandkids, and six great grandkids. According to court documents, he wrote “I present no threat to the community,” and noted the 40 years he has spent in prison throughout his lifetime. Now that his request has been denied by the federal warden he plans to appeal to Federal Judge Brian Cogan who sentences him.
James Gatta the assistant U.S. Attorney said that there needs to be “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances for compassionate release to even be considered. He said this does not apply to Franzese because the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Massachusetts when he is being housed is fully capable of treating his medical conditions. Considering the elder mobster was still an active member of the mafia at the age of 93 back in 2011 when he was sentenced a compassionate release may be a long shot.