U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns will rule “in two to three days” on James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial continuance request

November 1, 2012

Boston Herald on November 1, 2012 released the following:

“Judge makes no decision on Bulger trial delay

By Laurel J. Sweet

The federal judge who’ll preside over the murder trial of accused gangland serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger will announce “in two to three days” whether he’ll grant the defense team’s latest bid to postpone the March spectacle to November 2013.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns took the request under advisement this afternoon following a 15-minute hearing that marked his first appearance in the case since Bulger’s lead public defender J.W. Carney Jr. twice demanded he recuse himself because of his prior service as a federal prosecutor. Stearns has twice refused to step aside.

Carney has also threatened to put Stearns on the witness stand next to the very bench he’ll issue orders from. Carney told Stearns today he has no plans at this time to try and get the case dismissed based on Bulger’s claim that the late U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gifted him a license to kill and immunity from prosecution for more than a quarter century.

Despite an overflow courtroom no doubt hoping for a shouting match between the two men, they kept their conversation civil.

“I’m very impressed with the attendance,” Stearns quipped.

Carney renewed his contention that he and co-counsel Hank Brennan are overwhelmed by more than 364,000 documents they need to read, take notes from and review with Bulger, 83, in addition to Department of Justice reports they still need to comb through, books about Bulger’s reign of terror they need to read and witnesses they need to interview — all to adequately defend a mobster Carney said “has been demonized for decades.”

The former South Boston crimelord, who was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2011 after 16 years on the lam as the FBI’s Most Wanted domestic terrorist, is charged with the murders of 19 men and women — two of them former girlfriends of his partner in crime Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.

“We have been working days, nights, weekends and I say sincerely we cannot possibly digest this discovery in time to be prepared for trial,” Carney said. “It is unprecedented in my experience trying hundreds of cases.

“A fair trial before a fair judge does not begin with empanelment of a jury,” he said, “it begins with the defense counsel being allowed to be prepared to try the case.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly patiently assured Stearns that Carney “can handle it.”

“The government is always in favor of a fair trial,” he said. “What we’re not in favor of is delaying trials unnecessarily. This is a cross-examination case for him. This is basically murder and mayhem by our witnesses and his client. He (Carney) wants to litigate things, not resolve them.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“Judge in Bulger case refuses to step aside”

October 29, 2012

The Boston Globe on October 29, 2012 released the following:

“Lawyer says he will be called as witness

By Travis Andersen

For the second time in less than four months, the federal judge slated to preside over James “Whitey” Bulger’s criminal trial has denied a request from Bulger’s lawyer to recuse himself from the case.

In a three-page ruling issued on Sunday, US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns wrote that the latest motion for recusal, which Bulger’s lead attorney filed last week, “raises no new issues of material fact or law.”

“When [Bulger’s] case was randomly assigned to me in 1999, it became my duty to see it through fairly and expeditiously, and that is the duty I will faithfully execute,” Stearns wrote.

Bulger’s lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., declined to comment on Sunday.

Carney had written in last week’s motion that Stearns, a former federal prosecutor in Boston, must step aside from the case in part because the lawyer intends to call him as a witness at trial.

In the same motion, Carney argued that Bulger was granted immunity to commit crimes by the late Jeremiah O’Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor who led the New England Organized Crime Strike Force before being appointed interim US attorney in Boston in 1989.

In testimony to Congress in 2002, O’Sullivan, who died in 2009, denied ever protecting Bulger from prosecution for serious crimes.

Carney wrote that Stearns and current FBI director Robert Mueller, both former high-ranking federal prosecutors in the Boston office, did not target Bulger during their tenures, which Carney said presents circumstantial evidence of an immunity agreement.

The FBI has declined to comment on the case.

In Sunday’s ruling, Stearns wrote that there is no connection between the Organized Crime Strike Force and his tenure as chief of the Criminal Division in the US attorney’s office.

“Nor is the court persuaded by defendant’s declaration that he might attempt to summons the undersigned judge” as a witness, Stearns wrote. “As the court has previously pointed out to counsel, a witness is only properly summoned to testify if he or she has something of relevance to say on a material issue.”

The judge also took a swipe at Bulger’s efforts to delay his long-awaited trial, which is currently slated for March. He is charged in a sweeping indictment with participating in 19 murders, among other crimes.

“Defendant undoubtedly prefers not to be tried on the schedule set by the court, or not to be tried at all,” Stearns wrote. “But like [former associates] Kevin Weeks, Kevin O’Neil, Stephen Flemmi, and Michael Flemmi, all of whom have appeared as defendants before me in this case, James Bulger’s case will be adjudicated by the rules of the court, and not the contrary wishes of defendant or defendant’s counsel.”

A hearing on Carney’s separate motion to delay the trial until November is scheduled for Thursday in federal court in Boston.

He has argued that prosecutors have not met their obligation to turn over reams of evidence to the defense team in an organized fashion, which the government lawyers have adamantly denied.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.