Judge to Mobster: You Had No 'License to Kill'

Whitey Bulger didn't have 'immunity for future crimes'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2013 4:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Sorry, Whitey: Being a snitch doesn't allow you to commit murder. That's how a federal judge ruled today in the case of Whitey Bulger, a former Boston gang-leader who was arrested in California in 2011 and accused of taking part in 19 murders, reports the AP. Bulger claims he struck a deal with Jeremiah O’Sullivan, then head of the New England Organized Crime Strike Force, to become an informant and cooperating witness in return for immunity from prosecution.

But Bulger wants immunity for crimes committed after that agreement—which the judge flatly refused, the Boston Globe reports. The judge also ordered a pretrial hearing to determine whether Bulger can testify about his claim of immunity for previous crimes. O'Sullivan himself can't testify—he died in 2009—but federal prosecutors say he had no authority to grant Bulger immunity anyway. In an odd twist, Bulger's lawyer recently claimed that the gang leader wasn't an FBI informant but still deserved immunity—which prosecutors called "both strange and unsubstantiated."

This June 23, 2011 file booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James Whitey Bulger, captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.
This June 23, 2011 file booking photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows James "Whitey" Bulger, captured in June 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.   (AP Photo/U.S. Marshals Service, File)
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