In recent developments in the Whitey Bulger trial, Judge Richard Sterns denied Bulger’s motion to dismiss on the basis of “prospective immunity.” The defense argued that Bulger was immune from prosecution for any crimes made subsequent to purported deals he made with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to a CNN news article, the defense hopes to bring the “prospective immunity” claim before a jury. In the meantime, Judge Sterns has granted additional time for each party to review evidence regarding the advancement of a prospective immunity claim.
Sterns wrote in response to Bulger’s immunity defense that a license to kill is “beyond the pale and one unknown even in the earliest formalities of the common law.”
Sorry Judge Sterns, but I don’t think that its beyond the pale at all. What would stop the Feds from giving Bulger free rein to knock off a few rival criminals in the name of justice? Deals are necessary to infiltrate the mob. As one of the tightest and hardest to successfully prosecute groups in our nation’s history, the FBI needs insiders. But with that said, on what terms? Should it be, “Jimmy, grab some intelligence, but please try not to break Massachusetts law”? That’s like asking Dustin Pedroia not to swing his bat.
While Bulger’s immunity may not have been official or on record, it is likely Bulger would not have known the difference. His objective was granted under the color of the FBI. Official or not, he acted with the assumption of immunity. It remains to be seen where the defense will take this claim. There is no doubt, however, the claim or immunity presents a terrific defense strategy. I hope the claim is presented to the jury. It would certainly be interesting to see what they do with it.
As highly publicized as this trial will be, and considering the inside information Bulger possesses, there is the potential that names will be named and the FBI’s reputation will be attacked. Bulger’s attorneys wrote in a statement after Judge Sterns’s ruling, “[t]he federal government has done everything in its power over the past 25 years to cover up the relationship between James Bulger and federal law enforcement authorities. . . . The federal government, including attorneys who worked for the (U.S. Justice Department) during this period, desperately want to conceal this sordid history from the jury, the victims, and the public. Today’s decision is another step toward that goal.”
I’ll watch this issue closely and post and update when there is some action.
For the CNN News article, click HERE.
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