Jury selection begins in Whitey Bulger trial
BOSTON (WHDH) -- Nearly 450 prospective jurors came to the Moakley Federal Court House Tuesday as the Jury selection in the trial of accused mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger began.
The attorneys are trying to pick a jury out of a pool of 675 potential jurors. Bulger’s case, which is very well known, will prove difficult to find an impartial jury.
Potentials jurors filled into court room 11, filled out questionnaires and were greeted by Bulger himself.
“Mr. Bulger stood up and said ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ as appropriate to the jury pool,” said Defense Attorney, J.W. Carney.
The mob boss wore a dark shirt, jeans and sneakers. From now until the end of his trial he gets to pick his own clothes and won’t have to wear an orange inmate jumpsuit. He will no longer have to wear handcuffs and shackles in front of the jury.
But even in casual clothes, finding 18 jurors who could put aside any bias towards Bulger might be a challenge, especially with the trial happening in Southie, his old stomping grounds.
“I think it’s the most complicated jury selection we’ve had in Massachusetts,” said 7News Legal Analyst, Thomas Hoopes.
Judge Denise Casper will preside over the four-month-long trial. This will be her first case.
Bulger, who was on the run for 16 years, was one of the most wanted fugitives in the nation before he was caught in Santa Monica, Calif. in 2011.
A second pool of 225 potential jurors were brought in Tuesday afternoon, then a third pool of 225 Wednesday morning. They will spend Wednesday filling out lengthy questionnaires. Questioning of potential jurors begins Thursday.
Opening statements were scheduled to begin Monday, but jury selection is said to stretch into next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.