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THE BULGER TRIAL
Mon July 1, 2013
Disgraced Ex-FBI Agent Asks Victim's Family For Forgiveness
Adam Reilly is reporting on the Bulger trial for WGBH News. What follows are his notes from the courtroom the day:
Very intense moment in the Bulger trial this morning. John Morris, the disgraced former FBI agent who helped cause Brian Halloran and Michael Donahue's deaths by revealing that Halloran was a government informant, offered an emotional apology to Halloran's family as they sat in court.
"I don't ask for your forgiveness--that's too much," Morris said. Then, his voice breaking, he added: "Not a day goes by that I haven't thought about what happened. Not a day goes by that I don't pray God gives you blessing and comfort for the pain."
Morris's apology seemed to move at least some of the relatives of Donahue, who was killed because he happened to give Halloran a ride home the night he was targeted. But, it may not impress the jury. For one thing, Morris only waxed contrite after he was prompted by defense attorney Hank Brennan, who noted that Morris had never made any attempt to apologize to Halloran and Donahue's families.
What's more, over three days of scathing cross examination, the defense has successfully cast Morris as an slippery opportunist who changes his story when it's beneficial. (It's much the same approach they used with confessed mass murderer John Martorano, who's also benefitted legally by cooperating with the government.)
To be clear, it's highly unlikely that damning Morris will keep Bulger from spending the test of his life in prison. But if, as many believe, Bulger and his team are fighting (among other things) to permanently sully the legacies of his ex-associates who've turned state's witness, the defense has to feel pleased with the way Morris's cross-examination has gone.