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(NECN: Greg Wayland) – The new judge in the trial of reputed Boston mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is giving us a better idea on how this will all unfold in a couple of months.
Federal district judge Denise Casper met Tuesday with Bulger’s lawyers and federal prosecutors.
It was catch-up time for the serene, soft-spoken 45-year-old judge newly assigned to preside over one of the nation's highest profile criminal trials.
And U.S. District Judge Denise Casper said she intends to start the trial of accused Boston mob boss James Whitey Bulger in early June, as previously scheduled.
Jury selection begins on June 6, with testimony to begin after June 10.
She also got a preview of a revived, controversial defense effort to prove accused mob boss and murderer James "Whitey" Bulger had government immunity from prosecution, a claim his lawyers want to present to a jury, rather than have her rule on it before trial.
“The department of justice has historically made deals and bartered with known organized crime figures, including murderers in an effort to promote their goals, and then, after achieving their goals, they try to hide their responsibility and their engagements with these individuals. That is what they're trying to do in this case,” says Bulger co-counsel Hank Brennan.
Casper replaces federal judge Richard Stearns, who was removed when an appeals court ruled the former federal prosecutor might give the appearance of bias in the case.
Both sides estimate the trial will involve as many as 50 witnesses and last all summer.
Casper suggested Wednesdays be a day of longer-than-usual testimony to move the trial along.
Bulger attorney J.W. Carney said, Friday would be better, to give his 83-year-old client, who is roused up early every morning in prison, time to rest, prompting a sour reaction from the brother of alleged Bulger murder victim Debbie Davis.
“Getting up early in the morning, I don't think's going to kill him. If it does, we'd all probably be happy,” said Steve Davis.