Dressed to kill: court to clothe NY mafia don

A New York mafia don will be dressed to kill when his long delayed death-penalty murder trial starts -- thanks to a sartorially sympathetic judge.

Vincent Basciano, a Cosa Nostra wise guy known for his impeccable haircuts, can look forward to an entire new wardrobe in the tradition of famously well-turned-out killers like "Dapper Don" John Gotti.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis signed the unusual court order that: "five sets of clothing, including but not limited to, undershirts, socks, shoes, dress shirts, suit pants and suit jackets, be made available to Basciano prior to each court date in this case."

Basciano, known as "Vinny Gorgeous," will want to avoid the fashion disaster at his last murder trial in 2007, when he ran out of clean clothes and had to borrow a shirt from the judge.

The former boss of the Bonanno crime family, Basciano was convicted in that trial and sentenced to life in prison. He faces execution in the new trial, where he is accused of murdering another mobster.

The sartorial stipulation, outlined in a court document, is the latest small step in the agonizing process of getting the trial underway.

Jury selection is now meant to start in March, with four weeks set aside for a task that in ordinary trials can take as little as one day. The trial start is scheduled for April 4.

Last year, Garaufis wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder urging that prosecutors not seek the death penalty because the process was so expensive, with three million dollars spent by the government already.

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