United States District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis recently wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the government reconsider seeking the federal death penalty in the trial of a reputed mob boss. According to Judge Garaufis’s letter, preparations for the murder trial of Vinny Basciano in Brooklyn, N.Y., have already cost the government over $3 million in legal fees since 2005, and the trial proceedings have not yet begun. “Current circumstances require a candid reappraisal of whether the resources necessary for a death-penalty prosecution should be devoted to this case,” Garaufis wrote. The defendant is already serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of another rival.

(“NY judge: Death penalty would cost gov’t dearly,” Associated Press; J. Fisher, “‘Hit List’ Judge: Spare Mobster,” N.Y. Post, May 14, 2010). See also Costs and Federal Death Penalty.