Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

PREPARATION FOR SENTENCING OF CATHERINE GREIG SHEDS LIGHT ON WHITEY BULGER

Tales of Whitey Bulger hit the news again at the end of this past week. Actually, it came through the indirect route of Catherine Greig (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) and her upcoming sentencing. She is due to be sentenced next week and the prosecution has handed in a memorandum in which they recommend that the Defendant serve ten years in federal prison.

While it involves the Defendant’s case, it is her boyfriend who is of more interest to the media and the populous. The sentencing memo apparently sheds some light on Whitey’s life “on the run” and so everybody is all over it.

In the sentencing memorandum, the government is asking the court to reject the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (which they usually ask the court to follow) and sentence the Defendant to more time than suggested. In order to justify the request, the government discussed “alleged tidbits” of the Defendant’s “life on the run” with Bulger.

Somehow, some of this information slipped into the hands of the media.

“Greig not only concealed Bulger from law enforcement but did, herself, commit multiple additional felonies in order to protect him from capture,” Prosecutors said. “This is no garden variety harboring case. It is the most extreme case of harboring this District has seen.”
The court document describes Bulger as “a high fear, or high anxiety, patient” and revealed that the Defendant committed the sinful acts of helping him get necessary medical and dental treatments.

“The medical and dental records also show that Bulger had a fear of shots – he described himself in one written form as a ‘dental chicken, from Chicago.’ Sometimes, as medical records revealed, the Defendant was actually present during medical procedures to calm him down.” The documents contained the additional bombshell that the Defendant sometimes helped the Bulger control his temper at times.

Hmm. Must be a new Felony Mental Health Management statute or something.

At any rate, this is the type of example apparently to which the government points that demonstrates the extreme lengths to which the Defendant went while hiding with Whitey.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Absurd Arguments In High Profile Matters

Are they really serious?

Ok, I get it. Whitey Bulger, while still presumed innocent, is Satan himself and so everything about him is evil. Aiding him in any way, shape or form is helping the cause of the devil.

Gotcha.

Now, let’s take a little trip to a place I like to call “Reality”. Even the most horrifyingly rotten of men sometimes engage in the mundane instances of life as the rest of us. I have never met him, but I am willing to bet that during his years in hiding, Bulger changed clothing, ate and slept among other things. Being a man of some intelligence, he was probably also able to mule-task and do these things while breathing.

How the above-examples could even creep their way into the legal memorandum to a federal court judge is beyond me. To see my government use them as justifications for additional sentencing astounds me.

But that is the great thing about this business. You learn something new every day. In return for the prosecution’s educating me as to the extreme lengths to which one can stretch the bounds of relevance, allow me to help the cause of the just.

As you know, before I was a Boston criminal lawyer, I was a prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York. In all, I have the experience of 27 years in the criminal justice trenches. Based on my experience, I can advise the government that, to boost their argument higher, further investigation is likely to reveal the following:,

1) There were likely occasions when Whitey was hungry and wished to eat yet did not want to make the overt act of actually cooking, picking up the phone or bringing food in. In such instances, the Defendant very likely aided and abetted the fulfilling of his hunger by cooking, ordering or actually making the hand to hand transaction with a grocery store;

2) In certain instances, Whitey may have been in a romantic frame of mind. To enable him to satisfy that need had home, she likely hugged him, held his hand or engaged in some other similar conduct. In furtherance of this sordid relationship, she may have even purchased him a card or gift of some sort on occasion of events like their anniversary or his birthday;

3) Appearance may well have been important to Whitey in his various endeavors. He probably had a desire to look good. I would bet money that, at times, the Defendant helped further this goal by not only accompanying him while looking to purchase clothing, but also providing the space for said clothing. It is also likely that there are witnesses who could testify that there were times when Whitey would inquire of her how he looked. She likely answered him; and
4) Even Adolf Hitler used to like to be entertained. Therefore, it is a reasonable inference that Whitey watched television every now and then. I would look for instances where the Defendant aided this enterprise by turning on the TV set, changing the channel for him or even provided him with the remote control device. This conspiracy to control the television is especially noteworthy as there are doubtless occasions at which both of them actively engaged in the furtherance of said conspiracy, the illicit purpose of said conspiracy being to give comfort to the enemy, to wit: Whitey Bulger.

I am not making light of the crimes with which Whitey Bulger is charged. Nor am I claiming knowledge that he is factually innocent of those crimes. However, I am one of those crazy liberal fanatics who believe that the principles upon which this country was based are worth following in all cases. Even cases where there is a lot of publicity.

I also have to admit frustration when I see my government bend over backward to satisfy media-fueled sentiment when it means ignoring the pledge they have sworn to uphold.

Finally, I dislike being shown that my government’s crusaders of justice think that I, and all my fellow Americans, including ones who wear the black robes, are idiots.

I have no involvement in either the case of the Defendant or her beau. But I bristle when we treat the idea of a trial like a mere inconvenience, a meaningless formality.

The government brought its charges against the Defendant. I will assume that, particularly since the Defendant has pleaded guilty, she is guilty as charged. There are real issues for the court to consider while determining the appropriate sentence. Why not just work within the usual rules and rely on the relevant instead of changing the mundane and meaningless into shocking and scandalous?

Call me a curmudgeon if you wish, but don’t they have enough relevant evidence without simply catering to those starving for tidbits of the lifestyles of the hiding and infamous?.

” Speaking of calling you things, Sam, weren’t we supposed to call you a daily blogger?”

Yes and due primarily to the responsibility I owe to my clients, I have had great difficulty living up to the title. Further, this summer promises to be just as busy. Therefore, in my effort to be predictable to you, my readers, I will be posting my blog three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the summer. As you may have noticed, somebody else will be posting “mini-blogs” for me. However, you can always tell when it is one of mine as it will include, in whole or in part, “Attorney Sam’s Take”.

Again, my thanks for reading and have a great, healthy and law-abiding weekend!

To read the story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/06/08/court-docs-bulger-describes-self-as-dental-chicken/

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