‘Whitey’ Bulger Judge Urges Victim Restraint at Sentencing
(BOSTON) — James “Whitey” Bulger was convicted last month of 11 murders, but for many of his victims’ families the trial isn’t over.
“I want to look him in the eye and tell him what he did to my family,” said Steven Davis, whose sister was one of the murders Bulger was charged with committing in the sweeping 32-count indictment against him. “If he’s half a man he will look me in the eye that day.”
He will likely get that chance when Bulger is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13.
During the trial, anger at Bulger, 82, ran high at times and created obscenity laced outbursts. Those moments were apparently on the mind of federal District Court Judge Denise Casper Tuesday during a status conference regarding his sentencing.
“The sadness, the loss, and yes, the anger, I imagine, is difficult to express,” Casper said.
She cautioned prosecutors to urge family members to remember that the hearing “is a court proceeding” and urged decorum.
Bulger could be sentenced to life plus 30 years, said federal prosecutor Brian Kelly. Bulger waived his right to appear and was not in court Tuesday.
Last month Bulger, 82, was convicted of 11 murders, extortion, narcotics dealing, and racketeering after an eight-week trial in South Boston, the same neighborhood that the geriatric gangster terrorized for decades as the leader of the Winter Hill Gang.
There could be a long line of people who want to look Bulger in the eye.
Michael Donahue was just 32 and slated to take his youngest of three boys fishing when he was shot and killed. A South Boston drug dealer was forced to play Russian roulette. A jewel thief was tortured and dismembered, the lives of his family threatened.
Steve Davis’ sister, Debbie, was not among the murders for which Bulger was convicted. But prosecutors said that they believe his crew was responsible for the killing, “so even the families who did not get a conviction have the right to address the court,” Kelly told ABC News.
Bulger accomplice Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi testified in the trial that Debbie Davis was strangled and buried in a scrubby graveyard near a beach in Dorchester. The victim’s brother attended the trial every day and at one point yelled at Flemmi from the court pew, “You’re a f-ing liar!”
It’s outbursts like that that the judge is hoping to avoid.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio