Al Capone on 'trial' in Florida

September 28, 2010

The case was called at 9:00 a.m. his morning. Case number 621: The State of Florida versus Alphonse Capone.

The year was 1930, and on Tuesday, the most notorious hoodlum in Chicago history was retried in a Miami courtroom, just as he was first tried 80 years ago.

"No, man, we aren't harassing him, what we are doing is investigating to make sure that our citizenry are protected," said Bill Alfield, a Miami lawyer who played the arresting sheriff.

Alfield was one of several Miami lawyers at Dade County Court Tuesday to reenact the perjury prosecution against old Scarface, Chicago mob boss Al Capone.

The mock trial, held in the same courtroom where Capone stood in July of 1930, was held in commemoration of the judicial circuit's century anniversary.

Capone had moved from Chicago to an estate on Miami Beach because lawmen were all over him up north.

However, they did not want the gangster in Florida either, and the local sheriff issued a standing arrest-on-sight order intended to perturb Capone into moving out of his mansion by the bay

For prosecutors, the Capone trial reenactment Tuesday went about as well as it did 80 years ago.

The burly Chicago mob boss beat the perjury rap - the mock jury found him not guilty.

"We were lucky to find Al Capone's transcript, and to my knowledge, having researched this matter, it is the only complete, sworn transcript that Capone ever gave," said Scott Silverman, who played the judge in the trial. "This is the first time in 80 years that the same words that were spoken in this courtroom eight decades ago are being spoken."

Even though Capone was acquitted that day in 1930, the ploy by police to make his life miserable worked.

Capone abandoned his palm island mansion and left town, but he did return to south Florida after serving eight years for tax evasion. He ended up dying in that home in 1947.

That house has been on the market since 2006 and it still is for $6.5 million. It's described as a 'fixer-upper.'

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