Whitey Bulger Had a Hearing Today

And I went to it. The big news is that Whitey’s chosen his counsel: Max Stern and Howard Cooper, two well-respected lawyers. But none of that was discussed at the hearing today. Instead, the government tried to drop one of the two indictments against Whitey, the less evil, no-murder-charges one. But Whitey’s court-appointed lawyer Peter Krupp argued that he’s not sure the government can just decide which indictment it wants to pursue. The defense has to file a motion about that by 4:30 tomorrow.

Otherwise, a lot of members of the media in the courtroom, a few lawyers. (I saw Stern in the gallery.) All in all: fewer people than last Friday, at Whitey’s previous hearing. (Fewer victims’ families came today, from my vantage point, and for good reason. Friday was the arraignment. Today’s hearing was just technical stuff.)

The most surprising thing? Judge Wolf called for a sidebar midway through the hearing, and a clerk piped in classical music. It felt like a theatrical intermission. I’ve never been at any other court hearing where this has happened. Was it to keep the gallery from hearing what the legal teams were debating? To give the rest of us a reprieve from an otherwise boring half hour? I don’t know. If I find out, I’ll let you know.