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Boston Mobster 'Whitey' Bulger Appeals 2013 Conviction

Former Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger filed an appeal of his 2013 conviction. His attorneys say he didn't get a fair trial.
Posted at 9:45 AM, Aug 15, 2014

Less than a year after a jury found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of multiple crimes, the infamous former Boston mobster is trying to get his conviction overturned.

Bulger's attorneys filed an appeal in federal court Thursday arguing the 84-year-old didn't get a fair trial because the judge refused to let him tell the jury that he had been promised immunity for all of his crimes decades ago.

The Boston Globe quotes the 201-page filing, which says the ruling "constitutionally deprived Mr. Bulger of his right to present an effective defense" and "stripped him of his right to testify about how he was able to avoid prosecution for almost twenty-five years."

Bulger was convicted for his involvement in 11 murders in the 1970s and '80s. But he ​claims a now-deceased federal prosecutor gave him immunity to commit murder in exchange for his service as an FBI informant against his gang's rival, the higher-profile Italian-American Mafia. (Video via WHDH)

But U.S. District Judge Denise Casper wouldn't allow him to voice that claim during trial last year because he didn't have any hard evidence to support it. She also said the prosecutor didn't have the authority to grant Bulger immunity.

Bulger's reign of terror in Boston lasted for decades until late 1994, when he fled after a corrupt FBI agent informed him that he was going to be arrested. He then spent 16 years on the run before his 2011 capture in Southern California. (Video via CNN / FBI)

And after a 7-week trial last year, he was given two consecutive life terms. He's currently serving in Arizona.

His trial became a very public embarrassment for the Boston office of the FBI after it was later revealed that corrupt federal agents had accepted bribes to protect him over the years.

Prosecutors have 30 days to respond to Bulger's filing, though it's possible they may seek an extension.

This video includes images from Getty Images.