Bulger gets two life sentences, plus 5 years - New York News

Bulger gets two life sentences, plus 5 years

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- The man who once ruled Boston's underworld was sentenced to two life sentences, plus five years in his racketeering trial Thursday.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Denise Casper just minutes after James "Whitey" Bulger's sentencing hearing reconvened for a second day. The government had requested the punishment, which follows the sentencing guidelines for each of the counts Bulger was found guilty of committing.

"The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes are almost unfathomable," said Judge Casper.

Judge Casper described the losses felt by his victims were even more unimaginable. She added that his crimes were "all about money."

"Make no mistake," said the federal judge, "It takes no business acumen to take money from folks on the other end of the gun."

The defense did not object to the sentence and Bulger was remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.

Bulger's attorneys announced the would appeal Bulger's conviction. They have 14 days from the time the judgement of conviction is filed to file a notice of appeal. FOX 25 legal expert Brad Bailey expects Judge Casper to file the documents very quickly, likely by Friday or Monday.

Bulger refused to speak during the sentencing hearing, which his attorneys said took "a lot of discipline." He waived his right to object to the sentence recommended by the government.

"From his perspective he did not receive a fair trial because was not able to put forward everything he could have told about the corruption and the immunity agreement with the federal prosecutor," said attorney J.W. Carney Wednesday. "He did not want to validate the trial by participating directly or indirectly through us in the sentencing process."

Casper addressed Bulger calling his trial a "sham," saying he received a fair and full trial that everyone in this country has a right to.

Judge Casper also determined that Bulger must pay $19.5 million in restitution to the families of all 19 murder victims, even those whose deaths Bulger was not found guilty of playing a role in. Casper said the conviction on overarching conspiracy charges made them eligible, even if Bulger did not participate in the victims' deaths.

Prosecutors and law enforcement officials expressed their satisfaction with Judge Casper's judgement outside court.

"Today is a good day," said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, "The myth, the legend, the saga of James Bulger is now finally over."

Tommy Donahue, whose father was fatally shot in 1982 while driving Bulger's intended target home, said Thursday marked the day his family could finally get on the road to closure. He noted that he hopes the Suffolk County District Attorney's office will seek charges against a Bulger associate who was accused of playing a role in his father's death during Bulger's trial.

Bulger's sentencing brings an end to the saga of a man who befriended FBI officials and took advantage of public corruption to reign over Boston's underworld for most of the 1970s and '80s. Facing a racketeering indictment in the '90s, Bulger took off, not to be seen again for another 16 years.

The South Boston native was captured in Santa Monica, Cali. in 2011 living with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig under the names Charles and Carol Gasko. Greig was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to harbor a fugitive.

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