Mob Boss “Whitey” Bulger Refuses to Testify

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 2 2013 11:49 AM

Former Boston Mob Boss “Whitey” Bulger Refuses to Take the Stand

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In this handout from the FBI James Bulger is seen in a 1990 photograph

Photo by the FBI via Getty Images

The 83-year-old man who was once the most-feared criminal in Boston is throwing in the towel and declined to take the stand at his racketeering and murder trial in U.S. District Court in Boston. James "Whitey" Bulger offered a basic explanation for his highly-anticipated decision: "As far as I'm concerned, I didn't get a fair trial." He then added: "You can do what you want with me," reports USA Today. Bulger was visibly upset as he insisted that late former U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan “promised to give me immunity.” Earlier, the judge had ruled Bulger was not allowed to tell the jury about this supposed immunity deal.

“I’m making this involuntarily,” Bulger said when asked whether he was making the decision not to testify voluntarily. “My defense was choked off. As far as I’m concerned I didn’t get a fair trial,” reports the Boston Globe. The son of one of Bulger’s alleged victims shouted at Bulger: “You’re a coward!”

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Meanwhile, Bulger’s defense attorneys said Friday that the former boss of Boston’s underworld is prepared to give up the almost $822,000 found in his Santa Monica, Calif. to the families of two men he allegedly murdered, reports CNN. They would get the cash only if Bulger is convicted. He is charged with 19 murders as part of a 32-count federal indictment that racketeering, extortion and money-laundering. Bulger managed to evade police for 16 years before he was caught in 2011.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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