Dec 4, 2014
Oct 30, 2014
Oct 2, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Judge removed from Whitey Bulger case for conflict
In a ruling written by retired Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, who sits on the appeals court in Boston for three months each year, the court decided that U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns must withdraw from the case and that a new judge be assigned. Stearns was a federal prosecutor in Boston in the 1980s _ the same period Bulger was working as an FBI informant while allegedly committing crimes, including murder.
Bulger's lawyers have argued that he received immunity for his crimes, including killings, from another federal prosecutor who worked in the same office as Stearns while Bulger was giving the FBI information.
Now 83, Bulger is awaiting trial on federal charges in connection with 19 slayings.
In the ruling, the appeals court was careful to separate Stearns' impartiality from the appearance of bias. Souter's decision noted that Stearns' impartiality was not in doubt, but that a reasonable person might question it given the circumstances of his past prosecutorial role.
"Our analysis of ... relevant facts does not question either Judge Stearns' ability to remain actually impartial or his sincerity in concluding that he is not biased against the defendant, nor do we draw any conclusion that he is biased," Souter wrote.
"Despite our respect for Judge Stearns and our belief in his sincerity, we are nonetheless bound to conclude that it is clear that a reasonable person might question the judge's ability to preserve impartiality through the course of this prosecution," the court held, ordering a new judge.
Bulger allegedly cut a wide swath through Boston's underworld until December 1994, when he went underground to avoid arrest on federal charges. He was in hiding for 16 years, 12 of which he was on the FBI's 10-most-wanted list.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Maine police search car belonging to husband of Londonderry shooting victim - 0
- Man arrested after chase, threatening to shoot police in Bow - 0
- Good Samaritan pins Manchester purse snatcher - 1
- Police look for Laconia sub shop robber - 0
- Claremont man indicted on two charges of arson - 0
- Police hunt pair they believe attacked couple at Rochester motel - 0
- Phone evidence likely allowed in Hampstead home invasion trial - 0
- Grand jury indicts one of three men accused in murder of Madbury teen - 0
- Piano teacher wants statement tossed before sex assault trial - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Homeless man who saved woman from river: 'I don't consider myself a hero' - 9
- High School Basketball: Rivalries renewed in QCIBT - 0
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Will they get everything on their list? - 0
- Tuohy brothers add new restaurant in familiar spot - 0
- New Horizons volunteers deliver groceries and good cheer, making Christmas special - 0
- Charles Arlinghaus: The fiscal mismanagement in Washington is a choice - 26
- 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus' - 0
Londonderry schools placed on lockdown after soldier's unplanned visit to high school causes alarm
- Whom do you think bears the brunt of the blame for the mayhem this weekend in Keene?
- KSC students
- KSC administration
- Visitors from out of town
- A combination of any/all of the above
- Total Votes: 2483