August 7, 2013
(NECN: Justin Michaels – Boston) – Thirty-five days of testimony, 72 witnesses and six hours of closing arguments have led to the jury deliberations in the James ‘Whitey’ Bulger trial.
Jury deliberations started at 10:48 Tuesday morning. The eight men and four women have the daunting task of going through 32 counts individually. Bulger faces life in prison plus 30 years.
The 83-year-old accused mobster is charged in a 32-count racketeering indictment and for participating in 19 murders during the 1970s and 80s while he was allegedly the leader of the Winter Hill Gang in South Boston.
The jury deliberated for six hours Tuesday. They started the process of going through two months of information, where the prosecution portrayed Bulger as a hands-on crime boss who killed people himself. Bulger’s lawyers tried to paint the prosecution as desperate, offering drastically reduced prison terms to three former Bulger cohorts in exchange for them testifying against Bulger.
So, how long could a verdict take?
Michael Coyne, NECN legal analyst said, “It could be very quick verdict. The evidence in some ways is overwhelming. Mr. Bulger hasn’t disputed some of the charges. It’s much more related to a few of the charges that his defense is been particularly strong on. But I would think the jury recognizes having taken this long to try it, they ought to give it at least a couple days to try and resolve whatever differences they may have, there are honest disagreements with respect to some of the facts, and then come back with a decision.”
Jury deliberations continue Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. and go until 4:30 Wednesday afternoon unless the jury comes to a decision on all 32 counts. After that we look at six to seven weeks before sentencing unless the judge moves that up.
This also may not be the last trial for Bulger. He’s facing state charges in Florida and Oklahoma.