Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Americas

Jury convicts Boston mob boss on murder charges

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-13

Jurors in Boston on Monday convicted organised crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger on all but one of the 32 criminal counts he was facing, which included 19 counts of murder. Bulger, 83, is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Jurors on Monday convicted reputed Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger on a raft of murder and other criminal charges, local media reported.

After five days of deliberations, the jury of four women and eight men found Bulger guilty of all but one of the 32 counts he faced.

At the age of 83, he is likely to spend the last days of his life in prison.

Bulger was charged with 19 murders as well as extortion, money laundering and arms trafficking. He was arrested in California in 2011 after spending 16 years on the run.

"The Winter Hill gang and the Mafia acted as judge, jury and sometimes executioners in any dispute. They act as the law in the criminal world," prosecutor Fred Wyshak said of the group Bulger ran.

"The evidence in this case is overwhelming. As leader, he is legally responsible for it all," the lawyer said.

Prosecutors called 63 witnesses in the trial that began June 4. Some recounted harrowing tales of murder victims having their teeth removed to block posthumous identification and a mobster's girlfriend being strangled to death because she "knew too much".

In his closing arguments, defense lawyer Jay W. Carney Jr. took aim at the government's three main witnesses -- former Bulger associates who turned on him.

These included Stephen Flemmi, aka "The Rifleman," who was, according to his own account, Bulger's right-hand man and executioner for two decades.

Flemmi is now serving a life sentence without parole for murder, having testified against several former partners in crime as part of a deal that enabled him to avoid the death penalty.

"The government is buying the testimony of these witnesses," Carney said. "The currency that's used here is how much freedom is this person going to get?"

Jurors should evaluate the witnesses based upon their moral character, standards and motivations.

"Call me old fashioned but that means something," he said.

Bulger declined to testify last week, calling the trial a sham. He has asserted that federal agents granted him immunity from prosecution during his years operating as boss of the Boston underworld.

Bulger denies having been an informant for the FBI but close links between his Winter Hill Gang and some agents in the 1970s and '80s are well documented.

Wyshak downplayed the importance of the issue, however, saying "it doesn't matter if he's an informant. He's a murderer."

Prosecutors have said Bulger became an informant for the FBI to protect his criminal enterprises.

Bulger's case was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in the Oscar-winning Martin Scorsese film "The Departed," which came out in 2006.

After fleeing Boston, Bulger lived under a false name in Santa Monica, California, along with his partner, Catherine Greig, 22 years his junior.

Greig was also arrested and sentenced in June 2012 to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to helping protect the fugitive.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-08-12

COMMENT(S)