Whitey Bulger Trial Blog
Behind-the-scenes drama in Bulger deliberations
Posted by Jonathan Hall 08/07/13, 6:01pm
We are now through almost two full days of deliberations, and still no verdict. A jury of eight men and four women have had the case for a total of 13 hours. We have discovered the jury foreman is a balding man with a mustache, a man who initially expressed concerns about serving because he's a stay at home Dad who cares for kids, and was transitioning into a new job at some point. He's now the leader of the jury charged with deciding Bulger's fate.
This day was full of behind-the-scenes drama.
For two and a half hours a packed courtroom endured a series of four secret sidebars. Was there some sort of problem with a juror? With the case? Could there be a mistrial? We never found out. But clearly there was not a mistrial, because deliberations went on.
During breaks between sidebars, the lawyers huddled. The defense team blew up their cell phones making calls from the hallway outside the fifth floor courtroom.
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz came to the courtroom -- something she only does rarely -- and that added to the drama. She conferred with her trio of prosecutors.
The judge and lawyers seemed to agree on something and a yellow sheet of paper was passed from the judge to the clerk, who carried the paper out. With the problem solved -- at least for now -- Prosecutor Brian Kelly left telling the gallery -- now we wait.
The 12-member jury -- full of questions today, at least five, maybe six. They wanted to know if any of the charges had a statute of limitations, rendering them null and void. The answer -- no. They wondered about the definition of aiding and abetting in a crime, and the concept of joint venture.
Basically, you can be guilty of murder, for instance, if your partner kills a clerk during a robbery.
Defense attorney Jay Carney said jury questions are tough to read into. They're kind of like tea leaves, and he doesn't have much success getting anything from either one.
Late in the afternoon the jury asked a question about count two -- racketeering.
There are 33 allegations of racketeering. Jurors wanted to know if they had to unanimously agree about whether an allegation was proven.
The judge told jurors yes, they must be unanimous -- but only two acts need to be proven to convict. If they have trouble on an allegation, they can leave it blank.
Included in those 33 acts of racketeering: 19 alleged murders, including the killing of Michael Donahue.
His widow, Pat Donahue, was asked if she'd be disappointed if the jury left the Donahue count blank. She answered honestly: Yes, she would be very disappointed. She wants Bulger convicted of all counts.