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Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Gets Ok for Release From Prison For Medical Reasons

By Steve Neavling

John Connolly, the disgraced former FBI agent who was sentenced to 40 years behind bars for working with mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, will be released from prison after his lawyers said he has terminal cancer. 

The Florida Commission on Offender Review voted 2 to 1 to grant Connolly’s request for medical release on Wednesday. 

“We are pleased,” his attorney James E. McDonald told CNN. “John is 80 years old, he has cancer, and from my perspective, he’s been wrongfully convicted. Which is why I’ve been representing him for free for 15 years.”

Connolly’s release date has not been set yet, but McDonald said he expects him to be released as early as Friday.

In requesting the medical release, another of Connolly’s lawyer, Peter Mullane, said Connolly has “two serious illnesses.”

“He has multiple melanomas and pretty bad diabetes,” Mullane. 

While working for the FBI’s Boston Field Office in the 1970s, Connolly recruited Bulger as an informant. Connolly was convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a plot to kill a Florida businessman in 1982 at the urging of Bulger, who was killed in a West Virginia prison in 2018. 


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