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‘Whitey’ Bulger says he won’t testify, calls Boston trial ‘a sham’

BOSTON — James “Whitey” Bulger on Friday said that he wouldn’t be testifying in his own defense, but that the decision was “involuntary” and that his racketeering trial was a “sham.”

Defense attorney J.W. Carney Jr. met with Bulger on Friday morning and returned to the courtroom to tell Judge Denise Casper that he had finished presenting witnesses.

Bulger then told the judge, without the jury present, that he had decided not to testify “involuntarily.”

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“I feel that I’ve been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t get a fair trial. This is a sham.”

He railed about the judge’s decision prohibiting his lawyers from using an immunity defense. Bulger has claimed he received immunity from a now-deceased federal prosecutor. Casper ruled before trial that that was not a legal defense to crimes including murder.

Bulger, 83, is on trial in a broad racketeering indictment that accuses him of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and ‘80s as leader of the Winter Hill Gang. He has pleaded not guilty.

Bulger fled Boston in 1994. He was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives until he was captured in Santa Monica in 2011.

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On Wednesday photos showing a softer side of Bulger were released to the media by his defense team. In reaction to that, Casper had said Thursday that she interpreted the photos “to be in anticipation of Mr. Bulger possibly taking the stand.”

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