Whitey’s Bulger’s Handler FBI Agent John Connolly Was Properly Convicted in Boston But Should Not Still Be In Jail

There are some people who think former FBI John Connolly got a raw deal.  You won’t find many of them in the media.  I’ve suggested much of Connolly’s problem is due to him not speaking up when he should have done so.  I’m told if he did he would have somehow gotten buried by the prosecution team.  Well, it seems he could not be worse than he is now if he had gone down fighting in the ring rather than shouting from outside the ropes as he has done, continually maintaining he did nothing wrong — that his job was to give protection to top echelon informants who everyone on his job knew were murderers.

I’ve also suggested is those who want to correct the injustice they believe Connolly has suffered would be much better off if they painted with a much narrower brush.  What I mean by that is they should stop complaining about what happened in the trial in Boston.  They find fault with Judge Joseph Tauro, the prosecution team, the prosecutor behind the unraveling of Whitey Bulger and Stevie Flemmi’s  criminal enterprise, Fred Wyshak, the deals the government made with the gangsters to to get them to testify, and even the jury itself.

With respect to the Boston case, all of their complaints are misplaced and unhelpful to Connolly.  I haven’t heard Connolly or his counsel complain about the way the government tried the case or the court managed the trial or the jury rendering a wrong verdict.  .

The trial judge, Joseph Tauro is a fair, intelligent and upright judge, one of the best to sit in Boston’s federal court.  The prosecutors Durham, Boyle and Shepherd presented the evidence in a professional manner.  Fred Wyshak is a skillful, honest and hard charging prosecutor.   As far as the impact of using gangster testimony, it had little outcome on the trial.  Some suggest that Flemmi should never have been used in Boston.  He wasn’t.  He hadn’t agreed to cooperate by that point.  He only testified in Florida.

The trial was so expertly managed and the jury so attentive that Connolly was acquitted on the most serious charges.  The jury rejected the gangster testimony that related to any act Connolly did while an FBI agent.  The charges they found him guilty of were all corroborated by non-gangster evidence.  All but one, the bribery of his supervisor, occurred when he was retired from the FBI.  Some happened in December of 1994 or January 1995 when he was convicted of telling the gangsters to flee; the others in 1998 around the time of the Wolf hearings.

It is suggested that the sentence was overly harsh.  Judge Tauro imposed upon him a sentence of eight to ten years.  I believe it reflected Judge Tauro’s belief that Connolly’s sending of an anonymous letter to Judge Mark Wolf seeking to undermine the hearings involving Martorano, Flemmi, Salemme, gangsters and murderers all, was a strike at the heart of the judicial system.  The letter stated in part that the evidence before the judge was gained illegally causing Judge Wolf to hold additional hearings.  Those actions could not be tolerated, especially from a former law enforcement officer.

Added to that was the jury found Connolly passed on secret information to Weeks known to only four FBI agents about the expected date the indictments against Whitey, Flemmi and others which gave them an opportunity to flee.  No one has a First Amendment right to disclose secret law enforcement information to gangsters for malicious purposes.

These supporters of Connolly should accept the fact that he was rightfully convicted of the charges and the sentence was harsh but justified.  Alleging that Connolly was innocent only serves to muddy the issue and take away from what I believe should be their true grievance.

This is that Connolly was convicted by a state jury in Florida of having a connection with the murder of John Callahan.  That jury, unlike the Boston jury, believed the testimony of the gangsters.  One additional gangster, Flemmi, who had direct contact with Connolly was added to the gangster lineup.

In a sense the government got two bites out of the apple.  Some suggest that is not supposed to happen.  We do have an adage  “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”  You may have heard it before.  It’s in the Fifth Amendment to our Constitution.

An article explaining its history suggests that those words don’t exactly mean what they say.  The Supreme Court has come up with a concept of dual sovereignty.  The United States and the individual states are different entities so each one can take a bite out the apple.  I know it is still two bites but because they are two separate sovereigns it supposedly makes a difference.  (If it doesn’t make sense to you keep in mind what my lawyer mentor FJD said to me, “remember, the law is what the judges say it is.”)

The idea behind it is a distrust of the states — a worry that the states will give someone a quick trial and acquit the person just to prevent the federal government for trying that person.  It brings back memories of the acquittal by white juries of the white killers of blacks in the some Southern states.  Years later they were convicted on the federal side.

My position on this is what happened in Boston to Connolly was the way it should have happened.  After he retired the evidence was clear that Connolly aligned himself with two gangsters, Weeks and Flemmi, to assist other gangsters.  That in itself is not criminal but his actions in trying to help them were.

I don’t however believe what happened after Boston was proper.  I’ll explain why tomorrow and tell why Connolly should not be in jail.












One thought on “Whitey’s Bulger’s Handler FBI Agent John Connolly Was Properly Convicted in Boston But Should Not Still Be In Jail

  1. Connolly is acquitted of the most serious crimes in Boston yet he gets a 10 year sentence for acts after he retired. Tauro was unfair and biased. 30 years ago the SAvin Hill T Station case was tried.The victim was hit by a T train 15 to 20 minutes after a confrontation with some local teenagers. The deceased had a .16 blood alcohol level, smoked some grass and had a knife on him. The media conveniently chose not to diclose these facts because it would get in their way of portraying the teenagers as a racial posse. So they were hung out to dry. Years later the T accepted resposibility and paid the estate a million. The trial of 3 of the teens took place before Judge Quirico. He was a former SJC justice of great experience and knowledge. He presided over a fair trial that lasted over a month. The jury found the teens not guilty of manslaughter but guilty of assault with a d/w. A 10 or 12 year sentence awaited the teens from a strict sentencing juge if convicted of the more serious charge. Quirico imposed a one year sentence for the lesser charge. What was Tauro going to give Connolly if he was convicted of any of the serious charges? 90 years? He should have followed Quirico’s example. Don’t give the harsh sentence for the minor charges.2 What judge gave Schneiderham 18 months? He was a 1000 times worse than Connolly? 3. Bookie’s wives. How frequently were bookie’s wives prosecuted? Was Mrs. Katz, Kranz, Sarkis, Berger or Auerbach ever charged? If so what sentence did they get? Mrs. Vitello? Was any bookie’s wife ever indicted on a 160 count charge. Did any ADA ever recommend 10 years in prison for a wife, unless she pleaded out. Mrs Gianelli was a nurse in her 50s with no record. Her husband got 20 years for essentially bookmaking. What was the average sentence for a convicted bookie? A few months or a year or two. Do you see a double standard here? 4. The deal Wyshak made with Martorano was quite unusual. You correctly point out the illogic of the murderer demanding a sweetheart deal to disclose the buried bodies. As I remember Ted Bundy was going to help the Police find 20 more bodies if they would not execute him. The Fla. authorities didn’t go for the Wyshak type bargain and justice was done. In the book “Informant” it points out what a co-operation agreement with the Feds entails. It requires complete and truthful details. If he failed to provide information by lying or omitting facts, his information could be used against him. It appears almost certain that Weeks, Martorano and Nee are out of compliance with those requirements. A Special Counsel is needed. Top quality prosecutors like Mundy, Banks, Kivlan or Mullane would never broker such a deal.

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