Hey Lucy, RICO Retardo is Home!

Harvey Dent (shown here as Two-Face), cleaning up the criminal element in Gotham.
Well, the writers must have been a bit more lazy on the day they wrote the segment where Rachel and Harvey were trying to nail Lau on something.  Particularly, they were trying to use Lau as a means to incriminate all the crime heads in Chicago (I mean Gotham).

Apparently, they got Batman to go all the way to China, risk his life, illegally kidnap a Chinese citizen who had not been convicted or even indicted on any US-based crime, and bring him back for questioning and they didn’t have an actual plan.  They had NO IDEA what to nail him on, they just knew that he was the money-man for the mob.  So, when he finally admits to being the banker for numerous criminal organizations, Harvey has a eureka moment with Rachel and blurts “we can get them on RICO!”, presuming of course they can prove just one of the organizations pooling their money with Lau had committed crimes.

A bit of education: RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) is a US federal law.  That means HAD that been the case that Harvey chose to pursue that path, he would have to hand over the entire case to a FEDERAL court, taking it completely out of his hands to prosecute – his jurisdiction was at a city level for Chicago (I mean Gotham).  He was not a federal prosecutor.  If he was, he would be referred to in the movie as a United States Attorney.  If some want to argue semantics that he was a federal attorney and merely referred to as a District Attorney, that argument will fail because such positions are appointed by the President of the United States.  They are not elected to that position, as is the case with Harvey Dent (it’s pretty clear in both the viral marketing and election context of the movie).

That was just one flaw with that segment; another flaw is the fact that Lau’s lawyer just stood there doing nothing while Harvey and Rachel were using unjust tactics to pressure him to talk, making implications they would place his life in danger based on how much he cooperates.  Because, without those tactics, they didn’t seem to even have a clue of what to get Lau to admit to which might implicate the criminals they were after.

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17 Responses to “Hey Lucy, RICO Retardo is Home!”

  1. Wow.. Thanks..
    I don’t really understand about the legal system in US. Here, in Indonesia, we don’t elect our district attorney. No “RICO” explanation in subtitles in Indonesian cinema.

    I do really thanks…

  2. talk about over-analysis. jeesh. you can rip any movie down with this kind of scrutiny

  3. It isn’t always the case that RICO is tried in federal court. The Act makes allowances for trials to take place in district courts, and the AG can assign anyone to be his representative in a case. This man, as a DA prosecuted RICO: http://www.jacksonville-lawyer.us/lawyer-attorney-1294893.html, there could also be state RICO statutes similar to federal law that Dent was talking about.

  4. You expected this whiny Spidey wearin 13 YO to actually understand law. Your post will go over his head and he will fling nonsense at you.

    Just trying to be a early warning of the stupid to come.

  5. To the person who replied to JM:

    JM was able to post a concise comment with a citing (which still doesn’t cite an actual case, just some blather on some lawyer’s resume). You, on the other hand, seem adept only at flinging poo.

  6. Well, I’m guessing they just wanted to use a legal term that sounded authentic for the movie, even if it didnt totally fit with the situation. I really dont know, because I dont know the term. But the anyone watching that doesnt have a degree in Legal, would find that particular scene plausible. Maybe if the movie were made by a bunch of lawyers, it would satisfy your needs better.

  7. To clarify, I don’t know the specific criminal offenses Dent intended to get any one of the mob people on, but the way he blurted out “RICO!” so child-like in the scene was bizarre, as if it never occurred to him before. Any decent prosecutor going after mob types will already have RICO predicates on the table to try to take them down with. If he was chasing these people for ages, and had not by then built up any basis for RICO claims then it’s likely anything he could get them on related to RICO would be outside his jurisdiction.

    He would need cooperation at the federal level, but more likely than not he would have to hand over such a case to a federal prosecutor.

  8. Didnt he yell out RICO AFTER the guy admitted to having some involvement? I seem to remember the guy saying something that cued that idea. They always knew he had a big part of it but once he said something Dent realized he could use that. Im not gonna say what he said because really I dont remember, but what I do remember is he told them something that cued Dents idea. And the whole cooperation at the federal level thing, Im not gonna try to argue with that, because im sure thats true. But like I said before, to the batman fans, or general audience that this movie was made for, they’re not gonna know that, the statement itself sounds plausible enough. If they used a perfectly correct term and i researched it later and found out it was all square on, it wouldnt make me like the movie any more, much like this doesnt make me like it any less. I might as well dislike it for having a blonde dent when he had dark hair in every comic ever.

  9. Yes, but any prosecutor that’s not an idiot will already have thought “RICO” when dealing with mob types. If he didn’t make such a connection to that idea until Lau admitted what he did about the money, then that’s pretty lame and doesn’t say much about his legal prowess, which is a total contradiction to the kind of character he was presented as in the story.

    P.S. I always pictured dent a little more gruff – more like Daniel Craig but less, uh, British-y. Or even Jason Statham.

  10. Well I just know hes supposed to be a very “good looking guy” so I thought eckhart was a ok choice, the only thing I didnt like about him is I remember in an interview they asked him if he tried to add any character to his role and he just said “I just tried to complete the script” and I thought it was pretty evident in the movie.

  11. States have RICO as well.


  12. Do cities have RICO, too? It would be helpful if someone could pinpoint an actual example of a DA for a city successfully prosecuting a criminal RICO case without handing it over to a higher jurisdiction.

  13. Well after watching it again, I payed very close attention to that scene, and for the record, he doesnt shout out “RICO!” childishly, he sits there and when the guy admits his involvment he simply says “got it..”as if thats what he was waiting for him to admit, and then gordon looks at him and he says “rico” and then gordon asks him about what rico is. He was just waiting for the guy to admit his involvment, just because he doesnt mention to the audience “well, if he does admit, then im gonna get him on rico!” doesnt mean he didnt have it on his mind already, and by the way he calmy says “got it” once the guy admits his involvement, it really seems like he had the idea all along. I’m not going to comment on whether or not rico could actually be used in a real life situation like that, because honestly, i have no idea. But then again, to all of the people just like me, that dont know all of the legal terms in the world, it sounded convincing enough, and that was the whole point. It is a realistic take on a superhero, obviously its not going to be perfectly realistic, but at least more realistic than the others.

  14. Lau is from hong kong and thats where batman travels to to get him u idiot…

  15. You actually have not a clue what you are talking about since local prosecutors can prosecute all local, state and federal law violations within their district.

  16. i have a friend named rico he plays basketball…

  17. dude ur a fucking idiot, stop looking so much into things trying to find fault get a fucking life. you’ve probably seen tdk more than any normal person to notice all this shit. movies are movies there is a reason why people go to see movies….. to be entertained. so who gives a fuck about waht RICO really is. just sit back and watch the movie u no life faggot.

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