After months of testimonies the decision to hand down life sentences for seven members of the Mission district branch of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang goes before a federal court jury today. Fans of gangland courtroom drama might remember that U.S. Attorneys have been working diligently to show the seven defendants were responsible for creating a small army and a racketeering operation in the Mission. While the defense on the other hand, set forth trying to discredit the prosecution's witnesses as unreliable sell-outs on the take from the government.
In the case, which began in 2008, eighteen other defendants have already pled guilty to the racketeering charges. Six others have also pled guilty as part of a deal to testify for the prosecution, but have yet to receive sentences.