James (Whitey) Bulger of Boston is a legendary gangster, accused of 19 grisly murders and a vast criminal conspiracy. He was a fugitive from justice for 16 years and could face years in prison on gun charges alone for the 30 illegal weapons authorities say they discovered at his Santa Monica, Ca., hideout, says the Boston Globe. Whata might seem like a slam-dunk case actually will be an immensely complex undertaking, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and taking years.
“I think Bulger is a groundbreaking, unique case with issues never seen before in my lifetime,'' said Bruce Cutler, a criminal defense lawyer who represented John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family in New York. As prosecutors prepare for an epic case, they could be influenced not just by what makes the most legal sense, but also the sensibilities of more than a dozen families who have been waiting decades for justice. While some have predicted he might enter a plea, families of those Bulger is accused of killing are rooting for a full-blown trial – and the revelations it might produce about possible coconspirators or further corruption by the FBI. Justice could be a long time coming. “Normally, you would expect a case to come to trial within 12 to 18 months of indictment, but this case has such complexity,'' said Timothy Burke, a former Suffolk County prosecutor.