Whitey Bulger Hearing By Court of Appeals Scheduled:

The Desert
Where They

The following appeared on the Pacer site relative to Whitey Bulger’s petition for mandamus.

“ORDER entered by Sandra L. Lynch, Chief Appellate Judge: The government is directed to file a response to the petition for a writ of mandamus so that an electronic version (through CM/ECF) and four paper copies are received by the Clerk’s Office on or before 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, 2012. The trial court judge is invited to submit a response to the petition by that date if he so wishes, but need not do so. See Fed. R. App. P. 21(b)(4). Any reply from petitioner should be filed so that an electronic version (through CM/ECF) and four paper copies are received by the Clerk’s Office on or before 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 3, 2013. No extensions should be expected. Oral argument is scheduled for January 8, 2013. Petitioner’s motion to waive filing fee associated with his petition is denied. [12-2488]”

Sandra Lynch was counsel for the Massachusetts Department of Education which was one of the several parties on the other side of me when I represented the Boston School Committee during the days of busing. Her client and the others urged Judge J. Arthur Garrity to impose the busing order which shuffled the poor city kids from one neighborhood to another under the guise of equal educational opportunity. It was mostly aimed at bringing a recalcitrant South Boston into line and did little to improve the education in the Boston Schools.

Billy Bulger was an outspoken opponent of busing. He and others from South Boston were much out of favor with the Boston Globe and most of the people unaffected by the busing issue. It is interesting to see that she is back again dealing with an issue relating to South Boston and another Bulger.

It can be considered a little bit of good news for J.W. Carney that the Appeals Court is going to hear the case on January 8,  2013.  I’m not sure how excited the prosecutors are to have this thrown in their lap just before Christmas with a deadline two days after Christmas.  Merry Christmas?

Would it have made a great deal of difference if the Appeals Court recognized that Christmas is a special time for many people and acting accordingly.  As I suggested yesterday, “I’ve got this feeling that the judiciary has become so isolated that no one is seeing the forest for the trees.” What could be a better example of this when we see it imposing such a schedule during this time of the year? Giving the prosecutors time off over the holidays by extending the dates for two weeks apparently was too much for the Appeals Court to consider.

Anyway it’s a break for J.W. Carney, he will at least have a chance to be heard. He’ll also be able to brush up on his arguments in his reply to the prosecutors.  That reply will have to address the matters I’ve been discussing over the past week. By all means avoid arguing anything about what will happen if the case is tried, Whitey convicted, the case is reversed on appeal, and it has to be tried over again. That won’t happen so Carney should not deal with it.

Carney’s must emphasize to the court that it not let itself to get dragged down into the mud like everyone else that’s been associated with Whitey’s case; he’s got to show the extensive publicity it has received and how the eyes of the country if not the world are watching how the case will be handled; he’s has to suggest that like Caesar’s wife, the way in which this case should be handled must be to ensure that the federal court is seen to be above reproach; that Judge Stearns should be taken at his word that he knew nothing about any investigations into the world of Whitey Bulger when he was in the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston; but the issue is not what Sterns thinks but how the case is perceived by the public who will know that others who worked with Stearns in both a higher and lower position were aware Whitey was under investigation and give some examples of this as I have done; that Stearns is about to make a decision which will relate to himself and his friends in the U.S. attorney’s office involving whether Whitey can go to a jury with the issue of immunity which shows the problem with him sitting on the case; that if he takes the issue away from the jury his decision will be second guessed; that because of the past chicanery involving the federal government and Whitey Bulger the last thing that is needed is a suspicion of more; and that it is easy to get another judge to sit and do away with this unnecessary issue and keep the trial on schedule.

The prosecutors after all their hard work on this case and knowing that there is little to no chance Whitey won’t be convicted on some, and perhaps all, of the murder offenses should not have their Christmas break interrupted. They should suggest in a one page reply that this is a side issue, that they have no objection to Judge Stearns sitting, but to move the case on perhaps Judge Stearns should step aside so there will be no question of the fairness of Whitey’s trial.

I expect the Appeals Court will act with alacrity. We should know by the middle of January the decision.



4 thoughts on “Whitey Bulger Hearing By Court of Appeals Scheduled:

  1. Sir,

    I have to agree with you. To regular people who are actually interested in this case, they laugh at the likelihood of Stearns hearing this case… ‘Typical, corrupt-[expletive] Boston!’ Of course, Stearns will hear this case, though it seems that there would be conflict of interest and prejudice on Stearn’s part.

    I’m all for a firing squad here, but I want my adopted-hometown bench to be above reproach on this thing. It’s embarrassing, to say the least. Whitey deserves an above-the-board trial because that’s what we’re supposed to do in this country. Whitey’s life of sociopathic destruction is nearly over. I hope that Stearns gets booted because its clear that he won’t recuse himself.

    Treated myself to your book about Connelly… Merry Christmas to me. Hope Connolly gets a break or that his fellow conspirators sit with him, at some point.


    1. Kristi:
      Merry Christmas to you. You are right that most likely Stearns will sit because the appeals judges will not accept the idea anyone would even question the impartiality of a federal judge. I’ve mentioned it before that even the Court of Appeals has already concluded the FBI failed to control Connolly who then let Whitey murder people when it upheld the civil awards to the victims’ families. In a sense if we question Stearns then we should be questioning the Appeals Court judges’ ability to decide the case.
      I think your “firing squad” idea is the mindset of the Appeals Court. When I was in the service I sat on special five member court as the youngest officer. The attitude of the other four judges, all career officers, was, “bring in the guilty bastard and give him a fair trial.” No one ever was acquitted.
      That has to be the idea of the judges in Boston toward Whitey. They want to quickly bring him to trial and make it look as fair as it can be. If they think it can be done with Stearns, they’ll let him sit. If they think it will reflect badly on the court they may remove him but doing it in such a way as not to ruffle his feathers. They don’t really care if Whitey gets a fair trial as long as it looks like he did.
      Thanks for buying the book. As far as Connolly is concerned, that’s another strange matter. He got 40 years in prison for telling Whitey what he already knew.
      I’m anxious to see what the Court of Appeals does. I’m glad it didn’t summarily dismiss the application.

  2. Any predictions on the outcome? Do you think that Stearns will file something? My guess is that it will be denied, and the charade will go on. I like that the court is making the prosecution go balls to the wall on this over Christmas. Perhaps they and the judge can get together over the holidays and jointly prepare their responses.

    It seems strange to me that Stearns wouldn’t just step down in the interest of moving this thing along. In fact, his stubbornness raises even more of a question about his impartiality. Is he hanging in there because he has an interest in the case?

    1. Pam:
      I’m not versed enough on the First Circuit Court of Appeals to figure out whether the order which issued for a hearing is a typical order or not. Therefore I don’t know whether that court is going through the motions and putting on a show or whether they are considering the issue seriously.
      My sense is they will uphold Stearns. They’ll say the case is not ripe for a hearing. Or they’ll say the matter can be raised after trial on appeal. Not knowing the procedure, I don’t know whether they have to have a hearing before they say that or whether they could have just denied the application outright. Maybe because it is a BIG case they have to give Carney a hearing and then send it back to Stearns.
      The judges all know each other so it is hard for some to tell another he is making a mistake. They don’t want someone sulking at their next soiree.
      I don’t see Stearns filing anything. He can’t prove a negative and all he wants to say he’s already said. He’s going to relax over Christmas with a few brewksis and some good food. The prosecutors will know whether the Court of Appeals is on the level or not. If the latter then my concern that they’ll lose their holidays is misplaced. If the former, they’re going to have a lousy weekend.
      I also don’t think Stearns has an ulterior motive. He as a good reputation. He might be handling the case because he can’t palm it off on one of his co-judges. They might have some agreement among themselves that you go home with the girl you brought to the dance. For him to get off it he needs the Appeals Court to throw him off.
      That it appears he is hanging on to it without good reason gives rise to the idea that Stearns has an ulterior motive. The outcome has already pretty much been decided without any more paper work because these judges do communicate with each other.
      The real question before the Appeals Court is whether it wants to have a squeaky clean trial without any second guessing or just have a trial and get on with it. No one is going to do Whitey any favors.

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