Jury questions requirement to convict Bulger

jury box jurors court
The jury is in its fifth day of deliberations.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Within its first hour of deliberations since the weekend, the jury deciding the fate of James “Whitey” Bulger sent the judge a question about the requirement needed to convict Bulger of certain crimes. 

The jury, which began its deliberations Tuesday, has so far deliberated about 29 hours over five days.

Judge Denise Casper read the note from the jury foreman. It asked if the jury believes that one of the other people named in the indictment is guilty of one of the crimes, could it convict Bulger of the crime “solely based on the fact that the names are connected in the indictment.”

Besides Bulger, there are other confessed Winter Hill Gang members named in the indictment, including Kevin Weeks and Stephen Flemmi.

Bulger’s lawyer, J.W. Carney Jr., suggested that Casper begin her reply to the jury with a short answer of “no” before going into a longer explanation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak objected to that, and said they were trying to interpret a complicated question.

Both sides agreed that the judge should instruct the jury to the information regarding the legal explanations of a joint venture and aiding and abetting.

However, when Casper came back with her first draft, both sides began to argue over what should be included in the response.

Wyshak suggested additions to the answer, to which Carney objected.

“The more that you keep adding to your instructions … the more the government seems to point them in a particular direction,” Carney said.

Casper, in her final note back to the jury, included Carney’s request that “no” be included.

“No, even if, as your question suggests, you were to believe another person named in the indictment is guilty of a particular racketeering act, you may not automatically find that particular racketeering act has been proven again the defendant, Mr. Bulger … because their names are connected in the indictment,” Casper partially wrote in her response.

The jury continued its deliberations on Monday for a fifth day. A verdict could come at any time.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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