It was initially hard to find the coverage of the Catherine Greig plea in the local newspapers. That is why I ended up getting my information from the NY Post. On Thursday I figured the locals could not totally ignore it so I Googled her name looking for news.
The Globe’s Shelley Murphy, the one who wrote about Billy Bulger’s grand jury testimony wrongfully leaked to the Globe, reported on it. She noted that the federal prosecutor Mary B. “Murrane said Greig refused to answer questions about her whereabouts between 1995 and 2011 “and whether any third party provided assistance to her and Mr. Bulger.” The article went on to note: “Greig was initially found in civil contempt for refusing to testify and nine months were added to her sentence. Prosecutors last year sought her indictment on the criminal contempt charge.”
Laurel J. Sweet for the Herald noted: “Risking life imprisonment to stand by her man, the longtime girlfriend of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger pleaded guilty yesterday to defying a court order that she tell a grand jury who helped the couple live large on the lam for 16 years.” “Live large?” Is her prejudice showing? Sweet did note that: “Saylor asked Greig if she understood he could put her away for good, she responded, “I do.””
Denise Lavoie with AP whose article appeared in Patriot Ledger noted: “Greig did not flinch when Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV told her that because there is no maximum penalty for the contempt charge, he could sentence her to any term, including up to life in prison.”
The astonishing thing about all this is none of the reporters seem to flinch at the idea that a federal judge would put a women in prison for the rest of her life because she is a stand up gal. What a mockery she makes of all those so-called tough guys from Southie like Kevin Weeks and elsewhere who ran so fast to the federal prosecutors to sell out others that the hounds couldn’t catch them. Even Whitey did not stand tall. He had his lawyers dime out John Connolly. The only one associated with Whitey in any of his endeavors who stood up was a woman: Catherine Greig.
Her lawyer Kevin Reddington who is a good lawyer who has handled the toughest cases noted to Judge Saylor: “She doesn’t understand why they are hounding her like this. ” I’ll tell her – they cannot stand the idea that someone would dare stand up them. They are used to crushing people. They want people they have targeted to come crawling to them pleading for mercy. They want defense lawyers to bow and scrape to them if they want to get a deal for their clients. They never had a person with so much courage stand up to them. It was important to them that she be beaten down. When they couldn’t do it they are trying to lock her up forever.
And for what – this is what makes this into a great farce. This is a perversion of every concept of justice which no major news media seems concerned. It is not for her relationship with Whitey Bulger she is being punished. She has already received an extraordinary punishment for that – a punishment that exceeded any other ever given out in America to a person in a similar situation.
There is nothing important at issue here. If she willingly told of each and every person who helped her and Whitey while she was on their flight what would it amount to? Whoever did help cannot be charged with a crime. The statute of limitations is about to expire. What then is the information sought for? Or does this merely come down to satisfying the desires of sadistic prosecutors who seek to punish a woman who had the courage to stand up to them.
If they cannot charge those who helped her with a crime, why are they so adamant in pursuing this. The only reason I can think is so that they can harass or tear down the reputation of those who may have done it. But that isn’t supposed to be the job of a prosecutor. Or do the Boston federal prosecutors think it is? Have they ever done it to any other person?
Perhaps, if the federal prosecutors in Boston did not leak information to the media Catherine Greig may have cooperated. But they do. She may fear whatever she says, although it is supposed to be held in secret will be spread throughout the media. Perhaps, if the prosecutors had not already caused the draconian punishment she is now under to be put on her she may have cooperated. They’ve already taken a good part of her life away for her nonviolent actions. Having done their best to bury her she defiantly stands up to them. Perhaps from her desperate situation like the prince in the poem Opportunity she’ll prevail and be the ultimate winner.
I wrote before how Greig’s sentence exceeded that of Mafia leaders. Remember reputed New England Mafia Underboss the “Cheeseman.” Here’s a look at his criminal background. He was sentenced to six years. He’s getting out six months early. He even had a state judge revise his sentence down to let him out early. How about Luigi “Baby Shacks” Manocchio a former Mafia boss with a long history including being indicted for murder. He got three years.
We stand on the threshold of witnessing one of the greatest injustices in American history. It is because of vindictive prosecutors. They are aided by willful judges afraid to put a stop to their activities. I have been asked what can be done about this. There is only one thing.
Justice Brandeis said the best way to stop injustice is to expose it to the sunlight. We must let Judge Saylor, who can explode easily, see here and here, know what we think. Tell him that we are watching him to see if he is going to partner with the prosecution in continuing this injustice. Write to him to express your opinion. Write to: Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, John J. Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Courtroom 2, Third Floor, I Courthouse Way, Boston MA 02210.
We must bring it out into the light of day. The media won’t.
I will post my letter after I have written it. The sentencing hearing (and sentencing) will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2016 in courtroom 2 on the 3rd floor. If you intend to write, do so by April Fool’s Day.