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Criminal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and Organized Crime - An Analysis of Appellate Litigation

NCJ Number
Criminal Law Bulletin Volume: 20 Issue: 4 Dated: (July-August 1984) Pages: 309-320
J Meeker; J Dombrink
Date Published
Mention RICO among lawyers and they may think it's a new Latin dance; others will simply blink; while a few others may engage in a heated debate concerning overuse, underuse, or mere abuse. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute appears not to be utilized very often but it remains controversial. Indeed, the ABA has called for a narrowing of its scope.
The authors of this brief article undertook a study of appellate decisions -- a litigation study, in effect -- to determine the pattern of RICO enforcement insofar as inferences might be drawn from such decisions vis a vis sampling all prosecutions. Interesting patterns emerge concerning labor racketeering, narcotic cases, organized crime, and extortion. This is by no means the 'last word' as a study. It is, however, an interesting glimpse of prosecutional patterns under RICO. (Publisher abstract)