Catherine Greig was Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend. She went off with him on his flight. There is no allegation that she was involved with any of his murders. There is no allegation that she knew of any of his murders. Even had she heard that he was accused by Weeks or Flemmi of murdering people, there is no showing that she believe what they said. She was plain and simply a woman who went off with and lived with Whitey for 16 year while he was on the lam. She may be the only woman in the United States who was ever prosecuted for living with a criminal.
Whitey Bulger’s henchman Kevin Weeks assisted Whitey in five murders. He probably did more than assist but the government had no problem minimizing his involvement since it wanted to make Whitey the heavy. He pleaded guilty to five murder charges. He was sentenced to do six years in prison.
Catherine Grieg who had no criminal record of any kind, unless falling in love with a criminal is in the federal world some sort of crime, was sentenced to eight years in prison, two more than Weeks the murderer, because she lived with Whitey while he was on the lam.
The worst part of this is that Judge Woodlock let the families of the victims of Whitey attack Greig during her sentencing hearing as if she was the one who did the murders. Under the sentencing guidelines she should have done around two years. Judge Woodlock a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston exceeded that number by adding on month after month. He did his earnest best to please the U.S. Attorney’s office where he used to work that recommended she do 10 years in prison.
This was an outrageous example of the judiciary and the prosecution joining hands to punish a person far beyond any reasonable outcome. Not only was she the first woman prosecuted for such a thing it appears she received the highest sentence anyone without a prior criminal record received for the non violent crime of conspiracy to commit identity fraud.
Was Ms Greig bitter at being forced to listen to people taunting her in court for something she had nothing to do with or for receiving a cruel and unusual sentence? You bet she was. You bet she still is.
Now having punished her beyond all normal civilized standards, U.S. Attorney Ortiz, you remember her from the Aaron Swartz and Motel Caswell cases, has indicted her again. This time because she will not cooperate with the government by testifying for it. After crushing her wrongly under its heel, the government wants to kick her in the face.
The government is investigating “who assisted and harbored James “Whitey” Bulger while Bulger was a fugitive for 16 years from 1995 through 2011.”
Greig is so angry at the government she refuses to cooperate with it in any way. Do you blame her? She is charged with criminal contempt and there is no maximum sentence for that crime. If Carmen Ortiz and the Boston federal judges have their way, Greig may end up doing more time than John Martorano who murdered 20 people. He did only 12 years.
Keep in mind that on June 22, 2011, Whitey and Greig were arrested in California. On June 21, 2016, the five-year statute of limitations will prevent the prosecution of anyone who may have harbored or assisted Whitey on his flight. It is likely by the time Greig is tried the statute will have passed so no information she has will pertain to a criminal investigation. The grand jury will be disabled from indicting anyone; but, as we’ve seen from the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office, the grand jury minutes do get leaked to the news media.
What then is the U.S. Attorney Ortiz trying to do? Is she using a criminal grand jury to do civil discovery of assets rather than investigating a crime? Is she just trying to continue to punish Greig even though she is no longer seeking indictments? Has U.S. Attorney Ortiz done these things to Mafia hoodlums or their wives or any other criminals after sentencing? Is the selection of one person who has already received an outlier sentence for repeated sentencing cruel and unusual punishment? Or, is she trying to get information about others that can be leaked to the local media so it can destroy reputations of other people?
We know the investigation is not to get indictments. We will have to follow this case closely. It affects everyone because it shows how one person out of favor can be grossly over punished by zealous prosecutors and can be kept in prison year after year even though she never committed a violent crime.