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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - Reputed mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial has been pushed back to next Wednesday.
The delay is due in part to the attorneys’ need for more time to read through hundreds of 13-page juror questionnaires, especially now that the jury pool has been expanded to 775 men and women.
Bulger’s defense attorney J.W. Carney said, “The preliminary cut for jurors will occur on Friday, people will be asked to return to court on Monday for follow up questions and the attorneys will be exercising their peremptory challenges on Tuesday.”
So with opening statements slated to begin next Wednesday morning, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper held a final hearing on matters yet to be decided, including a defense motion that aims to turn the governments’ own words in prior cases against itself.
Carney said, “We filed a motion asking that statements that have been made by attorneys representing the Department of Justice in related proceedings be allowed to be introduced at this trial.”
That would include statements government attorneys made in previous cases criticizing the credibility of government witness and alleged Bulger co-conspirator Stephen Flemmi.
Carney said, “The reason that the motion was brought was that some of those statements made by lawyers at the Department of Justice we argued would be helpful to the defense and are admissions of the United States through its attorneys.”
The government says it has always been consistent in regards to Flemmi.
AUSA Kevin Wyshak said the testimony Carney is referring to was a brief filed before Flemmi was cooperating with the government.
Wyshak said they said he lied then and they still say he was lying then, but they believe he is being honest now.
The government says introducing these old statements from a civil case will only cause confusion for the jury and put government counsel into question for the jury, which Wyshak argued was inappropriate.