1. While not necessarily good by nature, human beings are clever. Often, criminally clever, as in the case of organized crime. Early on, these folks figured out that a hierarchy served several vital functions: a) like any pyramid club the top constantly benefited from the work of those below, and b) it took advantage of the legal loophole that freed from penalty those who didnt actually commit the crimes. 2. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act,(RICO, 1970) provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually do it. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia a. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gkqQr8QdnM]Is This the End of Rico? - YouTube[/ame] 3. The law, replete with onerous sentences was so successful against la cosa nostra that many convicted wiseguys opted to become witnesses for the government. For a wiseguy snitch, a letter from a prosecutor singing his praises and recommending leniency was the jackpot. The attractiveness of a 5(k) letter or Rule 35 letter presented us with a huge problem no one in law enforcement want to admit. There was the real and constant chance of suborning perjury- inducing a criminal to lie. Lawson and Oldham, The Brotherhoods, p. 476 a. Of course, the problem with using cooperators is that they testify in the hopes- not promises- of lighter sentences or no time at all. This is a powerful reason for the cooperator to lie. It is up to the jury to ascertain whether or not the testimony is reliable. 4. The lead prosecutor, Robert Henoch in the Federal District Court case against former NYPD detectives Eppolitto and Capacarra, used convicted organized crime killers as witnesses against the two detectives. Prosecutor Henoch explained why the government uses cooperators: If the case was about the murder of a drug dealer, it will involve violent criminals and drug dealers, because those are the kinds of people who know the most about violent criminals and drug dealers. Wall street brokers testify in an insider-dealing case, nurses in medical malpractice suits. The same thing applies to violent crime. Lawson and Oldham, Op.Cit., p.612-613 5. So ..can we agree that the decision of legislators to use dirty or disreputable individuals in pursuit of the greater good is acceptable? Here is the question: what would the correct understanding of a law maker who refused to endorse the RICO statutes, knowing that this would favor racketeers, killer, drug dealers, etc.? Is there an explanation that would have justified behavior which forbid prosecutors from ever using such witnesses?