James “Whitey” Bulger will not be allowed to argue that he had legal immunity for his alleged criminal activities at his upcoming racketeering trial according to US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper.
Bulger defense lawyer J.W. Carney Jr has claimed that former U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Jeremiah O’Sullivan granted Bulger immunity for his crimes in exchange for information on the New England Italian Mafia also known as the Patriarca crime family prior to December 1984. During the 1970’s and 1980’s the Italian Mafia also known as La Cosa Nostra was seen as public enemy number one by the Justice Department and they were using every resource possible against them including making deals with people like Bulger.
Bulger is facing a federal racketeering indictment that alleges he participated in as many as 19 murders in the 1970’s and 80’s as leader of the Winter Hill gang. Judge Casper who took over the Bulger case in March said Bulgers claimed immunity is not a defense that can be presented at trial to the jury. It is a question of contract law and he should of requested the court resolve the issue in a motion to dismiss the racketeering indictment prior to trial. But his failure to do so does not give him the right to present it to a jury now she said. Some close to the case believe this ruling unfairly protects the Department of Justice making sure the public never finds out more details into the relationship they had with Bulger years ago.