James 'Whitey' Bulger Found Guilty of Murder, Racketeering

By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 12, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

James "Whitey" Bulger has been found guilty of murder, as well as racketeering and conspiracy, as part of the infamous "Winter Hill Gang" during the 1970s and 80s.

Although Bulger, 83, was charged in the murder of 19 victims over the course of the last four decades, a federal jury found that prosecutors had only proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he'd committed 11 of the slayings, reports The Boston Globe.

After almost two years of trial, what remains for the convicted murderer?

Guilty on 31 of 32 Counts

"Whitey" Bulger, who was on the run from authorities for more than 16 years, was convicted on all but count on Monday by a Massachusetts federal jury, reports The Boston Globe.

Despite the notorious mobster's attempt to claim "use immunity" for his crimes -- there was a crooked FBI agent involved in this story -- "Whitey" now faces life in prison, although he will undoubtedly appeal his conviction.

Possible Issues on Appeal

While we wait for his sentencing date in November (for all but one extortion count, according to The Boston Globe) let's revisit some key issues that could potentially soon haunt the First Circuit in the form of "Whitey" appeals:

  • Juror background checks. Bulger's attorneys fought hard against the government's plan to screen jurors with a background check, and "Whitey" may argue on appeal that this was somehow prejudicial or denied him a jury of his peers.
  • Excluding reporters. Both Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen of the Globe were live-blogging Bulger's conviction on Monday, despite his attempt to have his hated reporter rivals barred from the trial by naming them as witnesses. Given his fervent loathing for both Murphy and Cullen, their names (along with the motion excluding them) are likely to be a matter on appeal.
  • Gruesome photos. Bulger was worried about the jury reacting negatively to photos of the 19 alleged murder victims in the case -- rightfully so given his conviction. His denied motion to exclude these photos could potentially feature in his First Circuit appeal.
  • Use immunity. "Whitey" may have given up the ghost after spending a year peddling it before Judge Casper, but he may try again before the appellate panel.
  • Brady evidence. Before opening statements, Bulger claimed the prosecution had denied them evidence of a possible cover-up , but the judge refused to delay the trial. The First Circuit will have to weigh his Brady claim using its possible prejudicial value, especially in light of the other, more damaging evidence.

Whatever the case, it appears that the man who inspired the movie "The Departed" is not likely to leave the First Circuit just yet.

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