(NECN: Greg Wayland, Boston) – After eight weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses, the trial of James “Whitey” Bulger is winding down.
Monday, prosecutors and defense attorneys presented closing arguments before a jury that will ultimately decide Bulger’s fate.
Each side got three hours to make their case, with the prosecution going first, then the defense, then a brief rebuttal from the prosecution.
In this trial of trials, this is the beginning of the end.
For Bulger’s attorneys, this would be their final chance to convince a jury, if not of his complete innocence, at least of his blamelessness in key murders and conspiracies. This is the conclusion, after all, to a trial the defendant has called a sham.
Michael Coyne, Mass. School of Law Associate Dean, says “the goal is to preserve Whitey’s code, his myth or legend, depending on which way you want to see it, that he had a certain criminal code that he lived by, that included that he would not kill women, either Deborah Hussey or Debra Davis, I think clearly he would like to be found not guilty on those two counts.”
The burden is on government prosecutors to get the man formerly known as America’s most wanted criminals convicted on a 32-count indictment.
The morning belonged to assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak, whose voice trembled now and then as he spoke of innocent victims and Bulger’s alleged callousness.
Defense Attorney J.W. Carney was going hard on the credibility of government witnesses, including John Martorano and Stephen Flemmi.