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Archive for July, 2013

Lawyers for ‘Whitey’ Bulger Ask for Postponement in Murder, Racketeering Trial

 

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Attorneys for accused mobster James “Whitey” Bulger said they are not prepared to defend their client during the racketeering and murder trial, CBS Boston reports.

“Simply put, the defendant’s counsel have hit a wall, and are unable to proceed further without additional time to prepare for upcoming witnesses,” Bulger’s attorneys J.W. Carney and Hank Brennan wrote in the filing Thursday. “Counsel have struggled mightily to be ready for each day of the trial since it began on June 3, 2013, working seven days a week and extraordinarily long hours.”

Much of the problem, the attorneys complained, is the prosecution’s delay in discovery.

“These discovery lapses may not be intentional, and may reflect that the prosecution team is overwhelmed as well. Nonetheless, it has put the defense team in an untenable position, especially as it continues to review earlier-produced discovery that now amounts to almost 400,000 pages. There is a physical and mental limitation on how much work can be done by the defense team, and a brief adjournment of the trial will allow counsel to be prepared for the upcoming witnesses,” Carney and Brennan wrote.

Also inconvenienced by the trial is Bulger himself, they said.

House Committee Grows Impatient with FBI, Justice Department’s Handling of Boston Bombing Case

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

If the U.S. wants to stop an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombing, the Justice Department and FBI must do a better job sharing information with local law enforcement, officials told lawmakers Wednesday, The Hill reports.

“We can no longer deal with this by not sharing information. We’re going to miss other Bostons if the federal government doesn’t engage the local police department in a very, very big way,” said Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City during the 9/11 attacks.

“They’re our only asset to finding these isolated single individuals and small groups,” Giuliani said. 

Wednesday was the second day of a hearing by the House’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to determine how the suspected bombers managed to escape capture.

“The FBI has refused to appear, and continues to refuse this committee’s appropriate requests for information and documents crucial to our investigation into what happened in Boston,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, said.

“The information requested by this committee belongs to the American people. It does not belong solely to the FBI, and I sincerely hope they do not intend to stonewall our inquiry into how this happened.”

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“F-bombs” Fly After Witness Calls Whitey Bulger a Rat

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

When you put two gangsters in a courtroom, and one is testifying against the other, what do you get sometimes?

“F-bombs.”

On Tuesday, star prosecution witness Kevin Weeks, James, “Whitey” Bulger’s right-hand man, testified against Bulger, saying he watched Bulger kill four men and one woman, according to Richard A. Oppel Jr., a reporter for the New York Times.

During cross examination, Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. tried portraying Weeks as a lying, selfish thug, who got a sweet deal from the feds for testifying, the Times reported.

Weeks said: “What did I win? Five people are dead. We killed people that were rats,” the Times reported.  Weeks also said “and I had the two biggest rats right next to me,”  a reference to Bulger and gangster Stephen Flemmi.

Then the Fbombs started flying.

According to a court transcript published by BuzzFeed, Bulger blurted out: “You suck.”

Weeks responded: “Fuck you, okay.”

Bulger: “Fuck you, too.”

The judge intervened to restore order.

 

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston and pleaded not guilty. It was his first appearance since  he was arrested in April. 

Tsarnaev was charged in a  a 30-count indictment in connection to the April 15 bombing and subsequent manhunt.

The charges are punishable by death.

Three people were killed and 264 injured in the marathon bombing.

To read more go to Boston Herald.

 

Opinion: Comey Shows Fierce Independence But Supports Phone, Internet Sweeps

James Comey

Michael E. Schmidt
New York Times

President Obama’s nominee for F.B.I. director, James Comey, faced a mostly friendly Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and he is almost assured confirmation given strong bipartisan support. But his tenure as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration raises important questions about his commitment to civil liberties and his independence in an office that demands unstinting devotion to both principles. As has been made all too clear in recent weeks, the relationship between American citizens and the government’s law-enforcement and intelligence agencies remains deeply damaged.

A short version of Mr. Comey’s work in the Bush administration might run like this: He did several highly questionable things and one unquestionably good thing — his effort in 2004 to stop President Bush’s chief of staff and the White House counsel, who had skulked into the hospital room of the ailing attorney general, John Ashcroft, to wrest his signoff on the administration’s warrantless data collection program.

Justice Department Investigates Miami Police for Its Handling of Some Shootings

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department will monitor the Miami Police Department because of several police-involved shootings over the past four years that didn’t appear to be justified, the Miami Herald reports.

The review, which included police shootings from 2008 to 2011, is part of a civil rights investigation of the Miami police force.

Of the 33 shootings reviewed, three were “unjustified” and an unspecified number involved excessive force, the Herald reported.

The excessive force “may have resulted from tactical and training deficiencies” within the police department, according to the letter of findings by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez.