James Bulger Appeal Deadline Nears

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James Bulger, the notorious Boston mobster convicted in what has been called a sham proceeding, is fighting for the chance at a new trial to present evidence of alleged deals he had with members of the Massachusetts State law enforcement.

 

Bulger, known as Whitey, was captured in Santa Monica after living for 16 years on the lam, and has maintained he had a immunity deal with former U. S. Attorney for Massachusetts Jeremiah T. O'Sullivan in exchange for protecting O'Sullivan from Italian mob hits.

Attorney Hank Brennan has represented Bulger, along with Co-counsel J.W. Carney, from the time it became apparent Bulger, 83, would stand trial for the 31 Indictments that landed him at the top of the F.B.I.'s Most Wanted list.

Brennan has asserted, "A trial is always supposed to be a search for the truth. There was an ongoing effort by the government during the entire litigation to withhold evidence, to prevent Bulger from testifying,  and to keep us from obtaining evidence to  investigate complaints that witnesses were engaged in ongoing criminal conduct and being protected by the government as incentive for testimony detrimental to him."

Brennan, who just returned from visiting Bulger who is serving a life sentence in a maximum security facility in Tucson, Arizona, has sidestepped many questions invoking lawyer-client privilege.

Brennan also refused to discuss any conversations he had during the recent visit with the leader of South Boston's powerful Winter Hill Gang.

When asked about Bulger's state of mind, he said, "Although I can't answer that I can say that I fully expect James Bulger to be able to participate in his defense."

He did explain a fair trial, even for the worst criminals, is a foundational right in the judicial system and maintains Bulger, due to the potential government embarrassment, individuals he would implicate and information he would reveal are part of the motivation behind his client fight and will be part of the appeal's foundation.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, led the prosecution of the first trial has previously stated while she was not aware personally of the deals she had spoken with many people who were around during the time and no one has information which would corroborate Bulger's assertion of protection.

Although the U.S. Attorney's office has maintained Bulger was guilty of all 19 murders it failed to sufficiently prove his involvement in seven of those murders. A new trial would provide the government the opportunity to present the case for all 19 murders again, presumably where they failed in the past.

While both the prosecution and defense lob declarations of deals, true or not, the public, the families, the government and even Bulger himself all believe the system was layered with "systemic corruption" that enabled Bulger to maintain his life of crime and eventually cost the lives of innocent bystanders and others.

With major corruption scandals plaguing all levels of law enforcement resulting in the exposure of those officials who assisted and profited from Bulger's reign, the public is not naïve or surprised when corruption of this level in government is exposed.

A new trial would allow for new, previously unseen, or presented evidence that could shed new light on institutional responsibility for the death of the victims and quite possibly allow for what Brennan describes as "a opportunity to open the door to further litigation to assist victim's families in holding the government responsible for their loss rather than allowing the government to re-victimize them by refusing them compensation based on technicalities."  

Bulger, who was indicted for 19 murders, racketeering, drug trafficking, disappeared in 1995 after being tipped off of an impending arrest by former F.B.I. agent John T. Connelly, who was eventually indicted for his involvement with Bulger's gang and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Bulger, who has been the subject of many books, inspiration for Hollywood films and documentaries is currently serving a life sentence in Tucson Federal Prison.

The appeal deadline is August 14, 2014.

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