Bulger prosecutors want background checks of jurors

(File)
(File)

Federal prosecutors in the upcoming murder trial of alleged mobster James “Whitey” Bulger want to conduct criminal background checks on potential jurors.

In a motion filed Thursday, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Denise Casper for permission to perform the checks, in an effort to ensure that a fair and impartial jury is selected, to determine that jurors have truthfully answered questions on the jury questionnaire, and to reduce the chances of a mistrial.

Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a crime that carries more than a one year sentence or who faces pending criminal charges to serve on a jury.

The motion mentioned other cases in which juror background checks had been allowed, and pointed to the case of convicted killer Gary Lee Sampson. A judge set aside the jury’s recommendation that Sampson receive the death penalty, after it was learned that one of the jurors repeatedly lied on her jury questionnaire.

“As the court is aware, trial of this matter will likely take several months, consume considerable resources, and have an obvious emotional impact on the victims,” prosecutors said in their motion. “It is thus important to take steps necessary to address potential appellate issues in the first instance.”

Bulger’s trial is set to begin next month and will likely continue until September. He is charged with participating in 19 murders during the 1970s and 1980s. Bulger has pleaded not guilty and claims a former prosecutor granted him immunity from being charged.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…