Whitey Bulger’s case will be in court on this Friday. Whitey Bulger won’t appear since this is a status report designed to find out where counsel are in the discovery process and to set the dates for future hearings on the more significant matters. Whitey will stay behind at the Plymouth House of Corrections where he hopes to remain during his retirement years receiving three hots and a cot courtesy of you and me.
I’ll be there Friday if things go well. Stay tuned on Friday or at the latest Saturday to be brought up to date on the happenings. I’m still of the mind that the trial will not kick off on March 6, 2013, because Whitey’s not anxious to get up at bat. The hearing will give me a better read on whether the date five months from now can hold.
I feel the judges are interested in keeping it on track for that date figuring to give Whitey his day in court and get rid of it. It’s a nuisance to them. It’s like being forced to watch a Red Sox game that you’d already watched. You know the outcome.
I think if you took a poll of all the judges in the District Court of Massachusetts and the First Circuit Court of Appeals you wouldn’t find one who had the slightest doubt of Whitey’s guilt. There have been several families of the victims who have sued the government based on the idea that Whitey killed their families who have won decisions in their favors which have gone to the appeals court. These findings have been upheld.
That presents an interesting issue for counsel. How do you try a case and expect a fair trial when the trial judges already have concluded your guy is guilty? Add to that the appeals judges have also reached the same conclusion. Talk about having a deck stacked against you.
You know how bad it is, if for one second I suggested Whitey was not guilty of any of the nineteen murders you’d all break out laughing. Even my doctor friend Mac who still insists OJ had nothing to do with killing his wife has convicted Whitey. If your friend starts spouting off about the presumption of innocence, smile kindly and ask her, “what about Whitey.”
Whitey wants delay for all the reasons I previously mentioned which boil down to the position he is in now is that best he can expect to be in unless J.W. Carney pulls off a miracle. However the federal courts have outlawed belief in miracles so that won’t happen. Yet that’s all Whitey has left to pin his hopes on that he can win in front of the Boston jury. To my way of thinking Carney and his team of lawyers they too think they can pull this off.
I know they’ll give it their best efforts and I hope not to disillusion them but here’s what they are facing. If the judge who presides over the trial (probably Judge Stearns) sits the first sixteen jurors who before being seated swear under oath that they won’t listen to the evidence and that they’ve already made up their minds that Whitey is guilty the appeals court will say that it finds no error. Once Whitey loses there is no court in America that will take a serious second look to see if his conviction is proper. The judge could sit on the deck of a yacht tied up off the Bitter End at Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean during the trial drinking gin and tonics and make his decisions on the evidence using Skype and the court of appeals would find no error.
Look at what the Florida court did with Whitey’s handler John Connolly. He’s got two bullet proof appellate issues which will absolutely throw out his conviction. The Florida appeals court refuses to rule on his appeal. It denied it without a decision. Unheard of that a man receive a 40 year prison sentence and can’t get an appeals court decision.
Speaking of the Caribbean wouldn’t it be something if the judge moved the trial to Puerto Rico. It would still be in the First Circuit. It is probably the only place where you can really find an impartial jury.
But Caribbean or not, it seems to me the judge will have to decide on a motion to change the venue out of Boston. Carney may or may not file one. That’ll all depend on how comfortable Whitey is in Plymouth. He might not like the idea of having to sit in some local county jail in Pohunk, Nebraska for several months.
Again, there is no reason a judge would allow any motion filed by Carney since as I said no court is going to reverse the trial judge. This case is such a foregone conclusion that if a jury found Whitey not guilty it would be incumbent upon the trial judge to reverse the jury and enter a verdict of guilty which again would be upheld by the appeals court.
This brings me to the obvious conclusion that putting Whitey to trial on the nineteen murder charges makes no sense. Whitey is 83 years old. He could be flown out to California, charged with weapons charges, quickly tried and get hit with twenty years and sent out to the super max prison ADX in Colorado where Terry Nichols and company live. If he makes it through that sentence, he can be make the rounds of Oklahoma and Florida to stand trial for the murder charges if any witnesses are still around. Why are we paying millions upon millions of dollars to try him in Boston?
This Friday we’ll find out a lot. First we’ll see if the sides have buried the hatchet a little and started to cooperate on discovery. I’ve noted before that if I were a fed I’d bend over backwards trying to please J.W. Carney and company. Give him everything he wants and make it as clear as the waters in Crater Lake.
But you see even I slip back into thinking the trial on the level. Why should the prosecution cooperate at all. The outcome is known. I expect the judge will find discovery has been completed, whether it has or not, and set a motion schedule. The court’s attitude now is the same as the five member courts martial I used to sit on when in the Marines: “All right, bring in the next guilty (censored) and give him his trial.”