Legal Analyst: Bulger Sentence Is Matter of 'foregone Conclusion'

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    Randy Chapman says James 'Whitey' Bulger likely will be sentenced for at least, if not more, life without parole (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN) - Juror 12's claims, the decision to allow impact statements from victims from crimes Bulger wasn't convicted of and Bulger’s decision not to speak may all be steps in the appeals process.

    We got more on the next steps from NECN legal analyst Randy Chapman, who says there will be no surprises at the sentencing hearing.

    “It’s sort of a matter of a foregone conclusion that he will be sentenced for at least, if not more, life without parole.”

    What about the decision to allow victim impact statements for murders for which Bulger was not convicted of?

    “That really is an interesting issue. It’s a little unprecedented. It’s very unusual…now the question really becomes, given that it is unusual and may not necessarily be supported legally, is there any consequence to it? And the bottom line is given that the sentence is predetermined and not objected to, it really is almost harmless error. So it seems improbable that this would amount to a mistake that would result in resentencing Whitey Bulger down the road.”

    What about an appeal?

    Chapman says a successful appeal is highly unlikely but it is possible.