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August 22, 1996
Web posted at: 10:00 p.m. EDT

Judge to rule on alleged mobster's competence

Gigante

NEW YORK (CNN) -- When alleged mob boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante was arraigned six years ago on racketeering charges, he shuffled out of federal court in a bathrobe and pajamas with a vacant look on his face.

movie icon Gigante is led to court --
281K QuickTime movie

On Thursday, the federal judge in his case said he will finally rule -- within a week -- on whether Gigante is mentally competent to stand trial.

Stanley Portnow, the fourth and final psychologist to examine Gigante, gave his findings to Judge Eugene Nickerson Thursday. His finding that Gigante was incompetent to stand trial matched the conclusions of three other psychologists.

If found competent to stand trial, Gigante also could face charges filed in 1993 that he conspired to murder eight mobsters, including John Gotti.



ACLU wants judge to rethink Simpson trial gag order

Fujisaki

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California filed a brief Thursday opposing a gag order issued by Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki.

The August 13 order forbids lawyers and other participants in the wrongful-death civil suit against O.J. Simpson from talking about any aspect of the trial.

ACLU lawyer Paul Hoffman argued the order violates the First Amendment, and isn't necessary to ensure that an impartial jury can be chosen. Fujisaki will hear arguments on the gag order Friday.

Simpson was cleared last year of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. But the victims' families have filed civil lawsuits.

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