The Al Capone Trial: A Chronology
by Daniel M. Porazzo

Crowds outside the federal court building during the Capone trial

January 17, 1899
Alphone Capone is born in Brooklyn, New York to Italian immigrants.
Al Capone joins Johnny Torrio as a member in the Colosimo mob.
Torrio retires, elevating Capone to boss.  Capone extends the gang’s control over illegal brewing, distilling, and distribution of beer and liquor. 
April 27, 1926
Chicago prosecutor Billy McSwiggin is gunned down outside a bar in Cicero.  McSwiggin had attempted to charge Capone with murder in 1924. 
February 14, 1929
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Seven associates of the Moran Gang are gunned down at SMC Cartage Company by men dressed in police uniforms. 
February 27, 1929
Capone is subpoenaed to appear before a Chicago Heights grand jury investigating possible violations of the Prohibition Act. 

March 11, 1929
Capone’s lawyers file a petition to postpone his appearance on March 12th, and attach an affidavit from Capone’s physician, Dr. Kenneth Phillips, which attests to Capone suffering bronchial pneumonia.  Capone is reportedly bedridden and alleges it would be dangerous to his health to travel to Chicago to appear in response to the subpoena.  That night Capone attends the Sharkey-Stribling boxing match.
March 20, 1929
Capone appears before the Chicago Heights grand jury and testifies for 80 minutes. 
March 27, 1929
Capone makes his second appearance before the Chicago Heights grand jury.  After finishing his testimony, Capone is arrested for contempt of court and released after posting $500 bail. 
May 17, 1929
Capone and bodyguard are arrested in Philadelphia for carrying concealed weapons.  Each is later sentenced to one-year terms in prison at the County Prison at Holmesburg.  Capone is soon transferred to Eastern State Penitentiary.
March 17, 1930
Capone is released for good behavior after serving nine months. 
April 23, 1930
The Chicago Crime Commission issues first Public Enemy List.  Capone tops the list.
February 27, 1931
Capone is found guilty on a contempt of court charge and sentenced to six months in Cook County Jail.  Capone is released on bond pending appeal.
March 13, 1931
Capone is indicted for tax evasion relating to failing to file a return for 1924.
June 5, 1931
Capone is indicted on charges for tax evasion for the years 1925 to 1929.
June 11, 1931
Capone is indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate the Prohibition Act.
June 16, 1931
Capone decides to plead guilty to all tax evasion and prohibition charges.  A plea agreement is negotiated calling for a 2 ½ year sentence.
July 30, 1931
Sentencing Hearing Judge Wilkerson informs Capone that he is not bound by that arrangement in determining Capone’s sentence and will reject it.  Capone changes his plea to "not guilty."
October 6, 1931
The tax evasion trial of Al Capone begins.  Judge Wilkerson switches the potential jury pool prior to voir dire after receiving word from Frank Wilson that Capone may have been able to bribe members of the original jury pool.
October 18, 1931
Capone is convicted of three felony counts of tax evasion and two misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return.

November 24, 1931
Capone is sentenced to eleven years in Federal prison, a fine of $50,000, and court costs of $30,000.  Additionally, Capone is ordered to pay $215,000 plus interest for back taxes.  The six month contempt of court sentence is served concurrently.  While awaiting the outcome of his appeal, Capone is housed in Cook County Jail.
February 27, 1932
Capone’s appeal is denied.
March 23, 1932
Rehearing of Capone’s appeal is denied.
May 2, 1932
The Supreme Court denies Capone’s petition for certiorari.
May 4, 1932
Capone begins serving sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta.
August 22, 1934
Capone is transferred to Alcatraz.
November 16, 1939
Capone is released from prison after serving 7 years, 6 months, and 15 days and having paid all fines and back taxes due.
January 25, 1947
Capone dies from a stroke in Palm Island, Florida.

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