Nov 14, 2013
Nov 6, 2013
Oct 30, 2013
Oct 23, 2013
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
- Police: Christmas cards stolen from mailboxes - 0
- Police probe Sanborn high school bomb threat - 0
- Raymond man faces trial in second child sex assault case - 0
- Manchester man charged with robbing store 3 times - 0
- Laconia boys and girls club damaged in burglary - 0
- Fugitive Task Force searching for convicted sex offender - 0
- Enfield man killed in hit-and-run in Vermont - 0
- Plea deal possible in Littleton murder - 0
- Winchester man files to plead guilty in crash that killed his brother - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Woman suffers hip injury while fleeing Campton blaze - 0
- Bears sink Cowboys in frigid battle - 0
- Town's Visiting Nurse Service to get new lease on life in 2014 - 0
- Volunteers sought for discipline committees - 0
- In Portsmouth, ACA primer fails to draw much interest - 1
- Heating fuel assistance funding cuts draw ire of Rep. Kuster - 0
- Nashua aldermen vote for new leadership - 0
- Negotiations with city teachers collapse; Gatsas to take over talks - 4
- Wildcats hockey team falls from national rankings - 0
Wreaths Across America get big send-off
Where’s Waldo? Just ask the NSA
New UNH logo draws mixed reactions
John DiStaso's Granite Status: National Democratic chair to speak at NHIOP in January; Cataldo backs Kenney for Executive Council
- Should applicants for jobless benefits have to pass a drug test?
- Total Votes: 1424