(NECN: Justin Michaels, Boston) – After decades of evading authorities, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger will enter Boston’s Moakley Federal Courthouse, possibly for the last time, for sentencing.
Judge Denise Casper will hand down the mob boss’ sentence for his role in 11 of 19 murders and convictions on extortion, money-laundering and weapons charges.
Thursday is the day Bulger will be sentenced, but it may not be the last time he appears in a courtroom facing life in prison or even death.
Bulger sat emotionless during day one of his sentencing, not even looking at victims’ family members who came to say one final word to the man who, in some cases, has given them decades of pain.
"He did not want to validate the trial by participating directly," Defense Attorney J.W. Carney said.
When Judge Casper asked Bulger if he had anything to say, he simply stood and replied "no."
Casper did allow the families of all 19 victims, proven or not proven to speak in court.
“I think it was a little unprecedented to allow people to speak at a sentencing for crimes for which he has not been convicted," said NECN legal analyst Randy Chapman,
He says because a life sentence is the most likely penalty for Bulger, though, it really doesn't matter who spoke during sentencing.
Several relatives did plead with Bulger to look at them while they spoke about their murdered loved one, but Bulger didn't so much as even turn his head.
Emotionless or not, Bulger's attorney says he feels his client heard every word.
"I don't think James Bulger was immune to that emotion. He was affected by it."
Thursday’s sentence is likely not the end of the long road to justice for Bulger.
"He is absolutely facing the possibility of a death sentence in Florida, in Oklahoma, he is not necessarily done with the criminal justice system but as far as Boston is concerned I think this is the end of the chapter," Chapman said.
The final phase of sentencing begins at 10 o'clock Thursday morning; the actual penalty for Bulger will be handed down by the judge.