Pope Benedict’s Blessing Doesn’t Hold Much Sway in Brooklyn Court

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithfuls as he leaves St. Peter's Basilica at the end of the Christmas night mass on December 24, 2012 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Alessandro Taloni — a 38-old mob-linked drug-trafficker who was caught carrying $800,000 in cocaine a few years ago — submitted this note from the Vatican at his recent sentencing: "Our Holiness Benedict XVI bestows from his heart an Apostolic Blessing upon Alessandro Taloni." Taloni still ended with ten years in prison, the Daily News reports. And no, a letter from cool new Pope Francis wouldn't have been more effective. Taloni's lawyer said that, thanks to mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, the term was the best possible outcome.