Judge rejects Bulger future immunity claim
By DENISE LAVOIE
AP Legal Affairs Writer
BOSTON (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that gangster James "Whitey" Bulger cannot present evidence to a jury about his claim that he was given immunity for future crimes, including murder.
U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns ruled Monday that any grant of prospective immunity to commit murder is "unenforceable under any circumstance" and cannot be presented to a jury at Bulger's trial.
In a blow to Bulger's defense team, Stearns said he will decide Bulger's immunity claim before trial. Bulger's lawyers had hoped to use the claim of immunity as his defense at his trial.
Bulger, the former leader of Boston's Winter Hill Gang, is scheduled to stand trial in June on charged he participated in 19 murders.
Stearns said he wants to hear further arguments on Bulger's claim that he was given immunity for past crimes.
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