If you went to the October 5, 2012, status hearing you’d see that J.W. Carney go pretty beaten up by the judge. She seemed to have come in reluctantly and was following an agenda not of her own creation. It wasn’t a day for advocacy. Her mind was pretty much made up when she took the bench no one was going to change it. Twice, maybe more, she harshly announced we have a firm trial date knowing full well the date was pulled out of the hat a while ago as a target date.
The idea that it is fixed for all time without the ability to adjust it pretty much reaffirmed what I thought I had been joking about — Whitey’s going to get his trial whether or not defense counsel J.W. Carney is ready or not even if it means the families of the victims will be on the jury. The idea that Whitey is going to receive a fair trial is gone with the wind.
It surprised me that counsel are still arguing about discovery. Between the last hearing and now the judge made no effort to come up with a resolution to this. She seemed taken back that despite her request (order) for counsel to meet no meeting had taken place. The prosecution said defense counsel didn’t request one as if the order did not relate to both sides. I though a mediator could be called in to work out the differences between the parties. Not only did the judge not do that, she didn’t want to do it herself.
The relationship between both side is so estranged they can’t seemed to agree on where they will meet to discuss issues. Carney suggested since he went to the prosecutor’s office the last time they should come to his. The judge said if he wanted anything from prosecution he must go to their offices. I believe this reinforces in the prosecutors minds that there is little else for them to do.
It seems the judges have universally concluded Whitey is guilty. It looks like we’re going to have an Alice in Wonderland approach, verdict first and trial afterwards. While both prosecutor and defense counsel are prohibited from expressing opinions on the trial and the evidence, after each court session the families of the victims parade one by one in front of the microphones spouting off their opinions that Whitey should be quickly put on trial since we all know he’s guilty.
I guess what most bothered me was the judge’s unwillingness to listen to Carney. There were no other matters publicly scheduled yet she seemed to want to flee from the bench. Was it because it was a long weekend and she wanted to let her staff go early? It is difficult to know but it augurs poorly for Whitey
It was a clear signal to the prosecution not to cooperate any further than absolutely necessary with Carney. The prosecution argued it has given the defense more than it normally gives people so defense should be ready. That seems to be the problem. Of the two, three or four hundred thousand documents many are repeats over and over. The prosecution made no attempt to categorize any of the discovery but just did a document dump.
I can analogize it like this. Suppose you return to the story after buying a new gadget and asking for the 200 pages of documentation you need to run it. You are handed a box of 2,000 pages of documentation on every gadget they sell and told your documents are mixed in that group. You have to go through all 2,000 to find the 200 you are looking for. You wouldn’t be too happy.
Multiply that by two hundred — there are 40,000 documents that are relevant to your case and you have to comb through 400,000 documents. That seems to be the problem facing Carney. The judge seemed totally disinterested in his predicament.
I suggest the prosecutor’s assertion that this is like any other case and the judge’s acceptance of that representation is misplaced. What other case that has a status hearing has ten or so news camera men set up outside hoping someone will come by and speak into their microphones? What other case has ever received so much publicity when a person has been arrested? What other criminal is as well-known in the country as Whitey Bulger?
It was a strange day seeing the judge’s disinterest in anything defense counsel had to say and shooting back at Carney testily when he tried to present some of his arguments saying: “put it in motion form.” It was even stranger afterwards seeing the families of the victims parading before the microphones outside the court room afterwards. This is not a run of the mill case and it should not be treated like one as is being done.
I’ll discuss the hearing in more detail next.