Whitey Bulger Gets Two Life Sentences, Plus Five Years

Judge Denise Casper cited the ‘depravity’ of his crimes in offering her ruling.

After an emotional day of statements from the family members of victims Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper brought the prolonged legal story of Whitey Bulger to a close, sentencing the South Boston gangster to two life sentences plus five years, and $19.5 million in restitution, largely following the recommendation of prosecutors.

Explaining the reasoning for her ruling, Casper expressed disgust and disbelief at Bulger’s crimes. A jury found him guilty of racketeering, conspiracy, murder, and other crimes this summer.

“It’s hard to know where to begin with you,” Casper opened, with Bulger looking directly at her as she read out the names of his murder victims. “The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes, are almost unfathomable.”

Acknowledging that he had the help of some law enforcement on his payroll in committing the crimes, and there was plenty of guilt to go around, still she noted that Bulger was the only defendant before her that day. “You can call it what you want,” she said, referencing his belief that the trial was a “sham.” “But in my estimation, you received a fair and full trial.”

Finally, she referenced the city’s resilience this year in the wake of the Boston Marathon attack. It was “regrettable,” she said, that in some corners, Bulger’s face has come to represent the city. “You, sir, do not represent this city,” she told him in front of a courtroom that included family members of victims, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, and Bulger’s brother Jackie.

Bulger’s lawyers, by the way, have said they will appeal the verdict, citing the judge’s decision to bar Bulger’s argument that he was offered immunity for his crimes. But appeals withstanding, the 84-year-old is all but certain to die in prison.