An appeals court in Palermo has released six senior Sicilian mafia leaders that were once top deputies for Bernardo Provenzano. All once loyal lieutenants of the infamous Provenzano they were all convicted in the Gotha trial and sentenced to each 10 years in prison. But an appeals court judge decided that a penalty based on expectations that they would offend again upon their release attached to their original sentence was not just and revoked it which in turn shortened their sentence. Gaetano Badagliacca, Salvatore Gioeli, Settimo Mineo, Nunzio Milano, and Rosario Inzerillo with this recent ruling are now free and back on the streets of Palermo. Its not clear as to where and if these former leaders fit in with the current leadership of the Sicilian mafia and if they are allowed to step back in and continue their criminal careers if they intend to do so.
Provenzano is currently serving a life sentence after being arrested in 2006 after being on the run for 43 years. He was convicted for having a part in several murders including ordering the bomb attacks on Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino both anti-mafia prosecutors back in 1992. Recent reports are that Provenzano’s health is failing and his family of late has been calling for leniency. Although it is hard to see any act of leniency being offered to one of the most violent and blood thirsty bosses in Italian mafia history. Law enforcement has made major strides against the Sicilian mafia or Cosa Nostra in recent years seizing large amounts of money and convicting many of its top leaders and it is no longer Italy’s strongest mafia organization.