Category Archives: Recusal

Judge Stearns has prior connections with people involved in this case. He has been asked to step down. This is an examination of the need for him to do so.

Judge Stearn vs. Judge Harrington: Why Did Prosecutor Prefer One Over The Other

 

Darkness Over The
Judicial System

I’ve been on the road a couple of days so I’ve let things slip a bit. I thought by now the three judges on the Court of Appeals would have removed Judge Stearns since it is such a simple matter. Whitey Bulger’s case is a one in a generation case, at least in the terms of public interest. On one hand I wonder at this, then on another I have absolutely no doubt that should be the case because it involves so much more than Whitey, things that have not even been raised to this point. I say it is simple because this case, above all others, like Caesar’s wife, should not have a whiff of suspicion about it which it will always have if Stearns sits.  

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Whitey Bulger Hearing By Court of Appeals Scheduled:

The Desert
Where They
Decided.

The following appeared on the Pacer site relative to Whitey Bulger’s petition for mandamus.

“ORDER entered by Sandra L. Lynch, Chief Appellate Judge: The government is directed to file a response to the petition for a writ of mandamus so that an electronic version (through CM/ECF) and four paper copies are received by the Clerk’s Office on or before 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, 2012. The trial court judge is invited to submit a response to the petition by that date if he so wishes, but need not do so. See Fed. R. App. P. 21(b)(4). Any reply from petitioner should be filed so that an electronic version (through CM/ECF) and four paper copies are received by the Clerk’s Office on or before 4 p.m. on Thursday, January 3, 2013. No extensions should be expected. Oral argument is scheduled for January 8, 2013. Petitioner’s motion to waive filing fee associated with his petition is denied. [12-2488]”

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Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer J.W. Carney Must Stress The Impossibility Of Whitey Being Seen To Have Had A Fair Trial

Southern Sky

I’ve written over the past four days how Whitey Bulger’s lawyer J.W. Carney’s attempt to have Judge Stearns removed from Whitey’s trial has to be tightened up a bit. If not it is likely the Appeals Court will slip away from having to decide the issue of Judge Stearns’s unwillingness to recuse himself.  It will say the matter is not ripe for decision.

Carney must remind the Appeals Court of an earlier decision in which it stated: “The Supreme Court has recently observed that “[n]o right ranks higher than the right of the accused to a fair trial.” 

Posted in Justice System, Recusal, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

How Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer Can Show The People In The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston Knew of Whitey’s Depredations

If Winter’s Here
Can Spring Be
Far Behind?

I’ve noted over the past three days that Whitey Bulger’s lawyer J. W. Carney has to convince the Appeals Court that people in the U.S. Attorney’s in Boston at the time Judge Stearns worked there actually knew of Whitey Bulger and his criminal activity.

Jeremiah O’Sullivan, head of the Organized Crime Strike Force, worked there from 1973 to 1989,  Bill Weld was appointed the U.S. Attorney in Boston in 1981 and headed that office until early 1986 when he became be head of the criminal division of the Justice Department in Washington, DC where he stayed until the end of March 1988. Robert Mueller, now director of the FBI, was head of the criminal division in the Boston office from 1982 to 1988; Judge Stearns was there from 1982 to 1990, as head of general crimes and then chief of the criminal division. It seems fair to say that as far as criminal matters were concerned, Mueller and Stearns were Weld’s top assistants.

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Whitey Bulger’s Lawyer J.W. Carney Should Take The Following Steps To Have Stearns Removed From The Case

Sun Setting
On Whitey’s
Chances

I’ve talked how the Appeals Court will look for reasons to turn down Whitey’s lawyer, J.W. Carney’s petition for a writ of mandamus. The way it is set up now they won’t have to look too hard. I’ve suggested that Carney has to go for the jugular and not shilly-shally around the issues. For example, Carney in his petition spent a fair amount of space discussing how Judge Stearns’s refusal to recuse himself will result in the case being overturned on appeal.

He tells how difficult it will be to have to redo the case again noting witnesses will have died, the high expensive of the trial will be incurred again, memories will have become even less reliable, Whitey may be less compos mentis,  the victims’ families will have to go through the agony of another trial and things like that.

Posted in Justice System, Recusal, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A Correction With Respect To Judge Stearns And My Apology For An Erroneous Conclusion

I was genuinely puzzled at why Judge Stearns would not recuse himself. I wrote yesterday how Joseph Murray’s wife gave the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division in Washington, DC information relative to Whitey Buger and Stevie Flemmi and their involvement in murders and with the FBI.

Weld referred this matter to the then US Attorney Frank McNamara and to Strike Force Chief Jeremiah O’Sullivan for investigation. I knew that Judge Stearns had been head of the criminal division when Weld there and assumed that McNamara, who had no prosecutorial criminal experience, would have kept Stearns as the head of his criminal division. I figured the first thing McNamara would have done is called Stearns in and hand him the package that Weld sent him and ask him for his advice. It turns out that would have been the last thing that McNamara would have done.

Posted in Recusal | 4 Comments

Here’s The Problem With Judge Stearns Not Recusing Himself In Whitey Bulger’s Case?

(Today I’m off to the hearing in Boston.  Come back later in the day around five or so and if I have an internet connection I’ll let you know what happened.)

(I wrote a correction to this blog the next day.)

Judge Stearns wrote on July 17, 2012  in response to J.W. Carney’s motion that he recuse himself from Whitey’s trial that he was denying the motion “Because at no time during my service as an AUSA did I participate in or have any knowledge of any case or investigation in which defendant was a subject or target.”

A  person who comments on my blog reminded me of the circumstances surrounding Joseph Murray.  As I’ve previously written a lot more is carried about these matters in that comment section of my blog. Any person really interested in other views might want to take a peek at it.

Posted in Recusal | 13 Comments

FLASH – Stearns Refuses to Recuse

Media outlets are reporting Stearns issued an eleven page  order in which he said:  “I have nothing of relevant or material nature to offer with regard to this case or any claim of immunity.”

Woah!!!  Hold on a minute.  Isn’t that the issue?  Isn’t that why Carney filed to motion to put Stearns under oath to find that out?  Imagine if everyone could do what Stearns just did.  If you’re subpoenaed you could just write a short note back saying, “I’ve got nothing of relevance or material to the matter.”

It reminds me of the time when some federal judges were suing to get a pay raise for all the federal judges.  The case went before the Supreme Court.  The first issue to be decided was whether the judges could be impartial in making a decision whether they deserved a pay raise.  After much deliberation they concluded that they could.  They then had to decides whether they deserved the raise.  I don’t have to tell you how that came out.

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Whitey’s Gambit – The Recusal Motion

J.W. Carney has filed a motion which asks Judge Stearns to remove himself as trial judge of Whitey Bulger.  He indicated, according to reports, he’s going to call him as a witness during the motion hearing to question Stearns about his involvement in any cases relating to Whitey while he was in the office.

Carney’s position is that because Stearns was an assistant  US Attorney (AUSA) in the Boston office when Bulger’s status as an FBI informant was known by others in in that office or in the alternative during a time Bulger was a target of that office he cannot be impartial.

During Stearns’s time other AUSAs such as Judge Mark Wolf, FBI Director Mueller, and former Strike Force Head O’Sullivan were there.  William Weld was US Attorney.

Judge Wolf heard the case against Stevie Flemmi.  He had been chief of the public corruption unit.  He didn’t recuse himself nor was he asked.

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