On Friday the defense rested its case without James (Whitey) Bulger taking the stand. Bulger stated that the trial was a sham and declined to testify.
It appears that Bulger had issues with the judge not allowing him to put forth his full defense, which included the immunity he said the Justice Department granted to him.
Bulger wanted the opportunity to share with the court an agreement he had with Jeremiah O’Sullivan, the former head of the Justice Department’s New England Organized Crime Strike Force. Mr. Sullivan died several years ago.
“For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity,” Bulger said.
Judge, Denise Casper, acknowledged she considered his argument but ruled against allowing it to be made. She also stat that she understood if Mr. Bulger disagreed with her.
Bulger’s argument is that he was given a license to kill because he protected O’Sullivan.
Bulger, 83, is charge with 19 killings during his rule in Boston’s underworld. He planned to testify until his argument that the government granted him immunity from conviction was discounted by the judge.
“I feel that I’ve been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense and explain about my conversation and agreement with Jeremiah O’Sullivan,’’ Bulger told Casper. “For my protection of his life, in return, he promised to give me immunity.’’
Prior to Friday’s revelation, everyone thought Bulger would take the stand because his attorney J. W. Carney Jr. had given that impression earlier during the pretrial proceedings.
People began lining up early Friday morning outside the courthouse because many wanted to hear Bulger testify and to expose the corruption on the part of the FBI. While some questioned if he would take the stand, others thought he would take this opportunity to make a grand stand in the courtroom and maybe expose some of the witnesses who testified against him.
“You’re a coward!” Patricia Donahue said when Bulger revealed he was not testifying. Bulger is also charged with killing Donahue’s husband, Michael, who was caught in the line of fire when he was with Brian Halloran when he was killed. Bulger killed Holloran when a corrupt FBI agent informed him that Holloran was cooperating with the FBI.
Both the Donahue and Holloran families filed lawsuits against the FBI, but were told it was too late because the statute of limitations had expired.
Bulger requested that $822,000 confiscated from his Santa Monica, California home go to victims who won monetary judgments, but lost during the appeals process.
Bulger faces federal racketeering charges, in addition to the 19 murders, extortion, money laundering, and possession of illegal weapons. Prosecutors depicted him as a long-time FBI informant who killed several people after being warned by a corrupt FBI agent that they were cooperating against him.
Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Monday and deliberations are scheduled for Tuesday.
Many people wanted Bulger to take the stand, including the prosecutors who waited a long time for the opportunity to cross examine Bulger, but in the end his attorney said it was Bulger’s choice.
By: Veverly Edwards