Infamous former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was given a life sentence on Thursday for his murderous reign in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Nevertheless, questions remained for the families of some of his victims.
Why did prosecutors give generous plea deals to Bulger’s cohorts? Did Bulger offer to plead guilty, a step that would have avoided the two-month trial?
Relatives of people who were killed by Bulger or his henchmen vented their anger Wednesday during the first part of Bulger’s sentencing hearing.
He was called a “terrorist,” a “punk” and “Satan,” among other things.
After Bulger was sentenced, some also felt that prosecutors should have been able to convict him without giving lenient deals to his partners.
Specifically, both hit man John Martorano and former Bulger protege Kevin Weeks are walking the streets, despite committing horrendous crimes.
Both testified against Bulger and provided key evidence.
Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people, spent 12 years behind bars, while Weeks, who admitted aiding in five murders, served five years.
“I don’t think there will ever be justice,” Patient said.
Prosecutors defended their handling of the case and said they feel gratified that they put Bulger and his partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, away.
Flemmi also testified against Bulger in his trial:
At the time prosecutors made a deal with Martorano, he was facing 6-7 years on money-laundering charges. He agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said of that deal:
“By pleading guilty, he doubled his time in prison."
“Twelve years is obviously better than six, but is 12 years sufficient for the crimes this guy committed? No, but this is the system we work in.”