Can 'Whitey' Bulger get a fair trial?
BOSTON -- For the James “Whitey” Bulger, whose alleged street justice is notorious, getting justice in court could be tricky.
Nearly everyone in the Boston area says they have heard of Bulger.
“People that have lived here their whole lives, like myself, have known the story since day one so it'll be very interesting to see what happens,” said one man in South Boston Sunday.
“With the criminal record that he has, it’s going to be fairly obvious to the average, intelligent person that he…should go to jail,” said Krystal Skwar.
When someone is as well known as Whitey, it’s vital to get an objective jury.
Lawyers are allowed to screen potential jurors with detailed questionnaires to determine any biases or preconceptions -- and there are plenty of both when it comes to Bulger.
Surveys could include questions like "Do you think if someone's charged with a crime they probably did it?” or “If someone goes into hiding that means they're guilty,” and “Are you more likely to believe a person simply because they are in the FBI?”
That type of research is pricey for lawyers, so if Bulger is not allowed access to his assets because of the racketeering indictments, he's at a big disadvantage.
Bulger is due back in federal Court this week that will determine whether he has the money to afford a lawyer, or will need a court-appointed one.
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