Prosecutors spent six years compiling evidence and relied on informants for much of their case.

The complexity of the case was illustrated by the verdict form. The panel had to answer nearly 80 questions involving eight murders, eight attempted murders and drug trafficking. Most of the killings were covered under racketeering law - questions referred to "acts involving murder" - rather than as specific murder counts.

Of the 40 people originally arrested, more than a dozen could get the death penalty if convicted. Nineteen defendants struck plea bargains and one died. Two more trials are scheduled for this fall in Los Angeles