Taxpayers Will Pick Up Bill for Bulger's Defense

Judge rules he can't pay for attorney himself
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2011 12:01 PM CDT
Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr., appointed to represent James "Whitey" Bulger, leaves federal court in Boston, Thursday, June 30, 2011.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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(Newser) – Former reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger was given a taxpayer-funded attorney yesterday after a judge concluded that he is unable to pay for his own lawyer. Prosecutors argued that Bulger's family—including his brother William Bulger, the former Massachusetts Senate president—have the means to help pay for Whitey Bulger's defense. But Bulger's provisional attorney said no one in Bulger's family had offered to help him financially. He also said authorities have seized all of Bulger's assets, including $800,000 hidden in his Santa Monica apartment.

The magistrate judge agreed, and appointed JW Carney Jr., a prominent Boston defense attorney, to represent Bulger. Carney has represented a long list of high-profile defendants, including John Salvi III, who was convicted of killing two people and wounding five others in a shooting rampage at two Planned Parenthood clinics in Brookline, Mass., in 1994. (Click to read more about the former mobster's arrest and trial.)

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