Judge: Prosecutors must hand over all correspondence relating to Whitey Bulger’s immunity claim
U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns filed an order Thursday requiring prosecutors to turn over any correspondence relating to the alleged government immunity granted to notorious Winter Hill Gang mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.
Bulger’s defense team initially asked for “all correspondence” between prosecutors and the New England Organized Crime Strike Force, the Department of Justice and the FBI relating to their client. Judge Stearns rejected most of the requests, “except as to any correspondence reflecting the existence of any agreement, formal or informal, acknowledging or memorializing the conferral of immunity on defendant by the U.S. Government or its authorized agents for any past or prospective crimes for which defendant was responsible.”
Prosecutors have consistently argued that Bulger, 83, never received any type of government immunity for his crimes. In a filing with the court last month, prosecutors wrote that Bulger “has failed to prove any affidavit or evidence to support the absurd notion … [that Bulger was] … immunized in perpetuity for any crime [he] chose to commit.”
Bulger claims that he received immunity from the late U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan in exchange for his cooperation as a federal informant in the 1970’s.
Prosecutors contend that Bulger’s immunity claim should be ruled on by a judge as a matter of law prior to being presented to a jury. Judge Stearns gave defense counsel until January 4 to file a response, after which prosecutors will have until January 23 to file their response.
Whitey is accused of no less than 19 counts of homicide, masterminding numerous conspiracies, money laundering and extortion.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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