Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

18 Jurors chosen for start of Whitey Bulger trial

Former mob boss and fugitive James ''Whitey'' Bulger is seen in a booking mug photo released to Reuters on August 1, 2011. REUTERS/U.S. Marshals Service/U.S. Department of Justice/Handout
Court officials on Tuesday seated a jury of 12 members and six alternates to hear the trial of accused mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger, after a difficult selection process for one of Boston's longest-running crime dramas.

The case has been highly publicized in Boston for decades and many of the hundreds of jurors questioned over the past week had personal connections, either knowing relatives of victims or law enforcement officials associated with the investigation. That added to the challenge of finding enough people who could be impartial to hear the trial.

Bulger, whose story inspired the 2006 Academy Award-winning film "The Departed," where Jack Nicholson played a character loosely based on him, sat quietly as the defense and prosecutors finished selections from what had been a poll of more than 800 potential jurors.

The accused leader of Boston's "Winter Hill" crime gang fled Boston after a 1994 tip from a corrupt FBI agent that arrest was imminent. He spent 16 years on the lam before being arrested in a seaside apartment in California in June 2011.

U.S. District Judge Denise Casper warned the jurors not to read or watch news accounts of the trial or to discuss it among themselves or with other people.

Opening statements on Bulger's trial on 19 counts of murder, as well as racketeering and extortion, are set for Wednesday at the city's waterfront federal courtroom. Bulger, now 83, has pleaded not guilty on all charges and faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

His lawyers on Monday had asked for a delay in opening statements to allow them time to investigate claims that police had turned a blind eye to crimes committed by witness James Martorano after his release from prison.

Martorano confessed to 20 murders but served just 12 years in prison after cooperating with authorities and implicating Bulger.



Post a Comment