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Judge questions Ashcroft's decision to seek death penalty for convicted mob boss

[JURIST] A federal district judge Friday questioned a decision by US Attorney General John Ashcroft to seek the death penalty for convicted mob boss Joseph Massino. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York questioned the timing of Ashcroft's decision after he announced his resignation earlier this week, and Garaufis said he would order prosecutors to seek a review by the new attorney general. Massino was convicted in July on multiple charges stemming from his leadership of the Massino crime family. Ashcroft approved seeking the death penalty for Massino's conviction for the 1999 killing of Gerlando Sciascia, a member of the crime family. AP has more.

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