Friday – forgot how delightful a Friday could be – the last day of the routine – struggle through it and then spend a couple of days doing something different. Today, if you wanted rain you’ve got it in Boston. It’s one of those steady rains that has edged its way up along the Atlantic Coast clutching on to the eastern edges of our continent as it slowly wends its way over to Europe.
As you can tell from the first paragraph, there’s not too much to discuss about what is ahead for the day. Prosecutor Kelly told Judge Casper he had two witnesses, one an FBI person from the West Coast who took the guns and money from Whitey’s Santa Monica apartment, and another one, whose identity I don’t know. There shouldn’t be much to ask the gun and money guy on cross-examination, nor perhaps the other witness. So we can expect the government to end its case today, perhaps even before the morning recess.
Then I expect there will be a legal argument on whether the government has produced enough evidence to support the allegations in the indictments. That can be short or long, depending on the judge but it will be of no moment. The government has well proven most of its indictments if not all. The judge will give counsel time to make their points, deny the motion, and then say: “Mr Carney?”
As you know the defense is under no obligation to do anything in a criminal case. Carney with the consent of his client could stand up and say: “the defense is offering no evidence.” He could then argue to the jury, who’d have the same looks on their face as Judge Casper had when Carney suggested to her that Pat Nee had no Fifth Amendment rights, that the government failed to prove its case. But that won’t happen.
Keep in mind, Whitey isn’t dumb so he knows he’ll be found guilty by the jury. He has to switch over to plan B, which is delay. His goal under that plan is to drag out the trial for as long as possible so that he can stay incarcerated at Plymouth. He knows that is as good as it is ever going to be. Carney and Brennan, his lawyers, have gotten the brutal sadistic guards off his back so he doesn’t have to worry about the sub-human treatment he had received when he first arrived there – five or more strip searches a day among other things. Don’t understand the mentality of these guards who do that. Must have been school yard bullies picking on an 80-year-old defenseless guy.
He is smart enough to know he buried under a landfill of evidence. For all the government’s excursions into fields of unimportance, he still knows he has no chance. The evidence is too great even though those who brought it into the courtroom and took the stand are the worst of the worst. The biggest evidence against him – which the prosecutor cleverly points out here and there – is these despicable men are his buddies. The worse he makes them look, the worse he looks. You make Flemmi a pedophile, you look to see who is Flemmi’s best friend.
There is no general defense he can offer. He can’t claim Jeremiah O’Sullivan gave him immunity to commit the crimes. For what? He says he was not an informant. So what great benefit could he have offered O’Sullivan. Even if he could conjure up something, it wouldn’t matter, that defense has been ruled out.
He can’t expect the jury to throw everything out on jury nullification type finding. The sense that the government’s conduct in bringing this case was outrageous has not come across, at least I didn’t feel there was anything close to a huge injustice. The best that can be said is the FBI had a few bad men but the prosecutors have distanced the government from them sufficiently to avoid being tainted by them.
Add to that, the defendant is putting on a case which is usually not done if you expect jury nullification. To get it, I’d think that you must be able to throw up your hands in utter disgust and suggest to the jury that the government’s case is so blatantly bogus and corrupt that it would insult them to put on any evidence and if they seek to convict the defendant they will become partners in the government’s ill deeds. The jurors may be tired of Wyshak’s overbearing whining act but not to the extent they’ll want to give Whitey a pass.
Whitey goes into the second part of the case devoid of hope. All he can do is delay his day of demise. Nothing will change. There is one little thing that he can grasp for and I expect he will. It is to tell his story. This is the last chance he’ll ever have to speak.
It is as if he is standing on the gallows and watching the hangman adjusting the knot and seeing the man holding the hood walking toward him. The head jailer in accordance with tradition says to him, “ya got any last words ya wanta say? Speak now or forever hold your peace.” For where Whitey is going no words of his will emanate beyond the walls of his cell.
The four car state police caravan carrying Whitey, sirens blaring, just passed me in their mad rush to bring him to the courthouse. It’s sort of fitting that it did as I’m writing these words.
I did mention the Atlantic Coast, I guess my mind must have slipped over to the Atlantic Coast Conference football, which is about to gear up again. BC will play its first game before the end of next month, by then Whitey’s trial will have ended no matter how much delay his counsel can bring about.
I don’t expect there will be much happening today that will give you something to think about over the weekend. Tomorrow, rather than a weekly wrap I’ll write a wrap up of the prosecution’s case.