Margaret McLean's Legal Analysis on the Bulger Case

As part of the ongoing WGBH News Focus coverage on the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger, guest commentator Margaret McLean, a former Assistant District Attorney and professor of Law at Boston College, will debrief with Morning Edition's Bob Seay each day at 7:35 a.m.

Local News
5:27 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

The Jury is Taking its Job Seriously

Expectations were high in the courtroom where the trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger is in its second day of jury deliberations. The appearance of US District Attorney Ortiz and several sidebar conversations with attorneys prompted a flurry of tweeted details from media covering the trial.

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Local News
12:34 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Time for the Defense: 14 Witnesses

Today the defense in the trial of James 'Whitey' Bulger begins, and they have begun with a request to sequester the jury during their deliberation, claiming unfair media coverage of the trial.  Fourteen witnesses will appear for the defense, including Marion Hussey, the wife of Bulger's partner Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi. Her testimony is expected to raise questions about Bulger's relationship with the FBI.  

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Local News
11:28 am
Wed July 24, 2013

The Star Witness: Stephen Flemmi

Long time partner and Winter Hill gang member Stephen Flemmi takes the stand, and will reveal a great number of details about Bulger's past, including who killed who, why, and where they buried bodies. 

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Local News
11:26 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Stephen Rakes found dead

Stephen Rakes, a witness in the James 'Whitey' Bulger trial, was found dead. His testimony would have been valuable, considering the previous testimonies as well as the prosecution's plan. 

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Local News
11:23 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Drugs, Murder, and more Witnesses

Several highly important witnesses are coming into the courtroom this afternoon, such as Pam Wheeler and David Lindholm, a large scale marijuana dealer extorted by Bulger. Also, Stephen Flemmi takes the stand-but will he too call Bulger a rat?

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Local News
11:21 am
Wed July 24, 2013

The Medical Examiner and the Girlfriend

The Medical Examiner examines the 19 dead bodies and discusses the cause of death, finding more than twenty bullets in two of the bodies. Patti Carlson, John Monterano's girlfriend, seemed to help the defense by painting Monterano in a bad light. Brian Halleron also takes the stand revealing that Bulger had a contact in a cemetery in Boston, which leaves us wondering-are there more bodies out there?

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Local News
9:02 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Defense Questions Flemmi: He Really Got to Him

James 'Whitey' Bulger's defense attorney Hank Brennan successfully irritated Stephen Flemmi, prompting outbursts in the courtroom and showing the jury Flemmi's awful flaws as he drew out the horrible details of the murder of Deborah Hussey. But is it enough to paint a horrible picture of Flemmi to give jurors a reasonable doubt about his testimony against Bulger? Gruesome details aside, it's unlikely this cross-examination will lead to doubt of the facts he has shared. 

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Local News
11:30 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Flemmi's Testimony and Cross Examination

Stephen Flemmi testifies to the brutal strangulation of his step-daughter, Deborah Hussey, while Hank Brennan delivers a stellar cross examination, portraying Stephen Flemmi as a heartless killer and pedophile. 

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THE BULGER TRIAL
10:44 am
Wed July 17, 2013

The Details Of Extortion In Bulger Testimony

Yesterday real estate developer Mike Salimondo told the courtroom about the guns pointed to his face and groin as James 'Whitey' Bulger and his right hand man Steve Flemmi demanded payment of more than $400,000 that his friend John Callahan had owed them—before they killed him. The government is showing the jury the brazen acts of Bulger and his gang as they anticipate gunman Flemmi to take the stand tomorrow.

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Local News
11:12 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Bulger and Flemmi Face Off This Week

After being denied any leniency from the judge last week on the early start time of the trial, the defense will be at it again this week cross examining a former FBI agent responsible for investigating the murder of businessman Roger Wheeler in Oklahoma, as well as Bulger's partner in crime, the Winter Hill Gang rifleman, Stephen Flemmi. Also, the graphic images from murder victims that were shown last week are expected to make a big impact on the jury.

Local News
11:17 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

J.W. Carney's Unusual Request for a Delay

 Audio FileListen in as Margaret McLean weighs in on the unusual request from J.W. Carney for a trial delay, as well as Carney's request for an exact list of upcoming witnesses from the prosecution. Also, hear the powerful effect the images of the deceased presented by the prosecution will have on Jurors.Edit | Remove

THE BULGER TRIAL
9:10 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Jurors Expected To Hear Bulger's Taped Phone Conversations

On the last day of testimony before the Fourth of July holiday, legal analyst Margaret McLean told WGBH's Bob Seay that jurors in the trial of James "Whitey" Bulger will hear cross-examination of admitted cocaine dealer Joseph Tower. Jurors are also expected to hear Bulger's taped phone conversations.

Find out what happened yesterday in the trial here.

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Local News
12:34 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Bulger: I'm Not an Informant

As we anticipate just two days of testimony this week in the James 'Whitey' Bulger case, expect defense attorney Hank Brennan to conduct further cross-examination of former FBI agent John Morris, and the Bulger audio we are hearing so much about will be introduced into court. These are phone call recordings from his time in prison and are meant to further illustrate the Defense's message that Bulger couldn't have been an informant.

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Local News
2:25 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Re-examining the Defense Strategy in the Bulger Case

A re-reading of the opening statement by Bulger's defense team reveals why they kept the DOJ's James Marra on the stand for such an extensive cross-examination: they will go to great lengths to show how the actions of corrupt agents affect the credibility of Bulger's informant file.

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Local News
1:29 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Bulger Defense: Are the Documents For Real?

With submission of an FBI informant file exceeding 700 pages, the government alleges Bulger ratted out numerous people—an accusation that got a strong response from Bulger in court yesterday. Hank Brennan is expected to continue the effort to discredit former FBI agent statements and even bring into question the reliability of the informant file created by an officer not on the case at the time.

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Local News
10:13 am
Mon June 24, 2013

The Case Must Be Tried In Court

The Bulger defense team filed a motion last week asking for more access to the media and the freedom to say more than what is said in open court, but it's doubtful the judge will allow it, as it would provide an opportunity for Bulger to grandstand. Today form FBI supervisor John Morris takes the stand show the extent to which Bulger acted as an informant. Cross examination should provide some fireworks as the defense seeks to hammer home the notion of widespread government corruption that might create the reasonable doubt among jurors that they are striving for.

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Local News
10:12 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Victims Tell Stories of Love and Survival

Survivors of Martorano shootings took the stand on Thursday, adding yet another powerful angle to the story of how alleged criminal activities of Bulger and his gang changed people's lives. Despite efforts to keep emotions out of the courtroom, one juror was moved to weeping and the defense found they had little opportunity to cross-examine without appearing to be overbearing.

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Local News
5:40 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Bulger Trial: The Government Builds and the Defense Tears Down

Learn why admitted hit man John Martorano was a key witness for prosecutors building a case on Bulger's involvement organized crime, and find out what to expect from testimony in court today by the family members of victims as well as the potential impact of the accompanying crime scene photographs.

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Local News
2:59 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Excellent Defense Discredits Martorano

Despite the government's best efforts to illustrate through the testimony of John Martorano that James 'Whitey' Bulger was a ring leader in the killings and crimes committed by the Winter Hill gang, a stunning cross-examination by defense attorney Hank Brennan successfully portrayed Martorano as a lying, self-serving, cold-blooded killer.

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Local News
2:04 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Martorano Says 'Whitey' Rode In The Boiler Car

As day two of the testimony of James Martorano begins, we can expect to learn more gruesome details about the murders he was part of in the 1970s and 80s. During the hit man's testimony, the prosecution hopes to implicate Bulger as a leader of the Winter Hill gang.

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Local News
12:00 am
Mon June 17, 2013

You Pay, or You May End Up in the Hospital

Former bookmakers took the stand to better illustrate for the prosecution how complex the organized crime system was in New England. Their testimony conveys a real element of fear as they deal with established New England mobsters and may work to show the jury Bulger's involvement in monopolizing criminal gambling activity.

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Local News
12:00 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Attorney Attacks Become Personal

Insults flew in the courtroom yesterday as attorneys battle over access to information about informants.

Opening arguments begin today after a surprisingly quick jury selection. Prosecutors go first and are expected to present a case that will prove Bulger's guilt in 19 murders, racketeering, extortion and gun-running. The defense, meanwhile, is expected to emphasize a government cover-up that will create a reasonable doubt for jurors regardless of witness testimony or presentation of evidence.

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THE BULGER TRIAL
10:50 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Bulger Jury Selection Plods Along

James Whitey Bulger
Credit Margaret Small / AP

WGBH Legal Analyst Margaret McLean says Judge Denise Casper is taking a methodical approach to jury selection.

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THE BULGER TRIAL
11:13 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Bulger Defense Says Star Witness Martorano Still a Criminal, Protected by State Police

Former Winter Hill Gang hitman John Martorano.
Credit AP Photo

WGBH News legal analyst Margaret McLean talks to Morning Edition's Bob Seay about an argument by the defense team of James "Whitey" Bulger that star government witness John Martorano, a former hitman, is still involved in criminal activity.

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Local News
11:30 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Shaping Trial Process: It's the Whitey Bulger Show

Following the third day of the James 'Whitey' Bulger trial proceedings, Margaret McLean talks more about the complex process of jury selection required for such a high-profile case, and she questions Bulger's attorneys for allowing him appear before potential jurors in jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt yesterday.

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Local News
5:31 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Don't Hold Your Breath: Jury Selection in Bulger Trial Expected To Take More Than One Week

Jury selection for the James "Whitey" Bulger trial began Tuesday and is expected to last well into next week.
Credit AP

Boston College law professor and former district attorney Margaret McLean predicts that jury selection in the James 'Whitey" Bulger will last well into next week.

"Judge Casper is very intelligent, but she is slow," Mclean said Wednesday on Morning Edition with WGBH's Bob Seay. "She takes her time making sure she dots all the i's and crosses all the t's."

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Local News
5:17 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Who Talks and Who Doesn't at the Bulger Trial

As the process gets underway to begin the trial of  Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, WGBH News turns its Focus coverage to the court process and what we can expect to learn in the coming weeks.

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