Al "Scarface" Capone Brought Back From Grave for Re-Trial in Miami-Dade Court

Categories: Local History
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Double jeopardy for Scarface?
Although the moniker of Scarface will forever be attached to the classic B-movie character, it originated with one of America's most notorious criminals. Al Capone, made infamous by his choice to eschew prohibition to bring the people hooch (thereby, as science has proven, prolonging their lives ), pioneered one of the leading trends of the era: breaking the law. Next on that list? Fedoras.


But while Capone's name and nickname have been thrown around repeatedly in popular culture, rarely does the public have the opportunity to hear from the man himself--especially since he's been dead for 63 years. Thanks to the 11th Judicial Circuit's Centennial Celebration, however, Miami will have its opportunity to say hello (again) to the bad guy. 

Tomorrow, Capone takes center stage once again as HistoryMiami partners with the 11th Judicial Circuit Court to stage a reenactment of his 1930 perjury trial. The Re-Trial of Al Capone will take place in the very courtroom where it was originally held. Nearly 80 years after the original trial, courtroom 6-1 will be retrofitted with the ambiance and aesthetic of the '30s as local actors perform the trial as it happened way back when.

Although this will be a mock trial, there are elements that will allow spectators a glimpse of very rare Capone information. Judge Scott J. Silverman, chief historian of the 11th Judicial Court, says that even the most astute Capone devotees will be introduced to something new: "We have his sworn testimony from that day. What's unique about that is I've not been able to find anywhere else that testimony has been referred to by any Capone aficionado or author."

Aside from that, the real trial held historical significance because it marked one of the few times things went well for Capone in court. Judge Silverman explains: "Things got so bad for Capone after the perjury trial. A year after (being charged), he found himself in Chicago on trial for income tax evasion charges. He was found guilty, then he went to Alcatraz for eleven years. He died on January 25th, 1947 in his Palm Island home, which still exists to this day." Capone's enterprising, albeit criminal, spirit undoubtedly lives on in the numerous depictions of and references to him and his work. But his re-trial is a chance to get acquainted with the man himself.

Tomorrow, HistoryMiami along with 11th Judicial Circuit Centennial Celebrations present The Re-Trial of Al Capone at Miami-Dade Courthouse, courtroom 6-1 (73 W. Flagler St., Miami) at 9:15 a.m. Visit circuit100.com.


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