Bloomberg News

Whitey Bulger Prosecutors Seek Consecutive Life Sentences (1)

November 07, 2013

James “Whitey” Bulger, the reputed Boston organized-crime boss convicted in August on 31 counts of racketeering, should be sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison plus five years, prosecutors said in court papers.

Bulger, 84, participated in 11 murders, a jury found at his trial. He’s to be sentenced next week in federal court in Boston.

“James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is one of the most violent and despicable criminals in Boston history,” prosecutors said today in a sentencing memorandum. “‘Having now been convicted of 31 felonies, including RICO counts involving multiple murders, Bulger richly deserves to spend the rest of his life in jail.’’

He has ‘‘no redeeming qualities’’ and ‘‘deserves no mercy,’’ the government said.

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper is scheduled to sentence Bulger the day after hearing from families of his victims on Nov. 13. Bulger also will have the chance to speak.

He was convicted on Aug. 12 after a two-month trial in which he erupted in expletives at former crime partners who testified against him. Kevin Weeks, Steve Flemmi and John Martorano portrayed their former boss as a sadistic killer who tortured some victims and ordered them buried in secret graves.

Bulger called the trial ‘‘a sham’’ in court. He complained he was denied justice because his defense was blocked from presenting his claim that a former federal prosecutor gave him immunity in the late 1970s. He denied being an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Defense Attorney

Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. Defense arguments on sentencing haven’t been filed yet.

Prosecutors have asked the judge to give his victims $822,000 found when he was captured in California after years on the run. Agents discovered the money hidden in the walls of the rent-controlled apartment Bulger shared with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig.

Greig plead guilty and is serving an eight-year sentence for harboring a fugitive.

Under the forfeiture proposal, Bulger’s victims would divide the cash 20 ways. Nineteen families of murder victims would receive about $41,000 each, and three extortion victims would divide a share.

The family of one victim, Edward Connors, who was killed in 1975, asked the judge to reject the forfeiture plan. They contend the victims deserve an estimated $4.6 million in gang profits seized before Bulger’s capture.

Bulger still faces murder charges in Florida and Oklahoma, states that might impose the death penalty.

The federal case is U.S. v. Weeks, 99-cr-10371, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Janelle Lawrence in federal court in Boston at jlawrence62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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