Bulger’s Lawyer Criticized for Praising Jury, Showing Off Purple Pedicure

Strange times in the courtroom as we await the jury's verdict.

J.W. Carney Jr.

Image Credit: Associated Press

The prosecution asked Judge Denise Casper to sanction J.W. Carney Jr., Whitey Bulger’s attorney, for speaking briefly with reporters about the jury deliberations yesterday, and also took a shot at him for showing those reporters his eggplant-colored toenail polish.

The jury has been deliberating Bulger’s fate since Tuesday. On Thursday, Carney told reporters:

They have taken their constitutional role with great seriousness and are clearly looking closely at the evidence and evaluating the validity of witnesses. The longer the jury stays out, the more it shows us they are as conscientious a jury as I have ever seen. And I know the prosecutors believe that and the judge believes that.

Also on Thursday, while the court awaited jury action, a reporter praised Carney’s purple tie, and he informed the press that it matched his recent pedicure. Dared to prove it, he took off his shoes in court revealing an eggplant colored toenail polish.

People are, evidently, getting a little stir-crazy in the federal courthouse.

In a motion on Friday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said Carney’s discussion of his “strange personal habits” are one thing, but his kind words for the jury are an attempt to curry favor for his client and a violation of a gag rule on both sides that prevents them from discussing the case with the media. Carney said he offered “about as neutral a comment as can be made,” and one that was on behalf of all parties.  The judge said she would rule later.

Bulger, Carney told the media yesterday, is not aware of his counsel’s grooming habits.