Saw that coming . . .

Readers will recall the murder of Whitey Bulger a few weeks ago.  As I predicted, this is going to end up in the courts – as it probably should.

Mr. Brennan says he is preparing to sue the government on behalf of Bulger’s estate for wrongful death and negligence to find out why authorities sent the frail, notorious gangster to the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in West Virginia, and put him in with the general population.

“It’s important for the family and the public to know why the prisons decided to wheel an 89-year-old man with a history of heart attacks into one of the most dangerous prisons in the country,” said Mr. Brennan, who hasn’t publicly disclosed his final conversations with Bulger previously.

. . .

A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said that Bulger was transferred from the Florida prison because of a threat he made against a staff member, an allegation Mr. Brennan disputes, and that the transfer to Hazelton was made in accordance with the bureau’s policy. The spokesperson declined to comment on any medical issues or the threat of a lawsuit. The Bureau previously said that it had sent a team of experts to the Hazelton complex “to assess operational activities and correctional security practices and measures to determine any relevant facts that may have contributed to the incident.”

There’s more at the link (which may disappear behind a paywall:  if it does, see this report instead).

As most readers know, I served as a chaplain with the Bureau of Prisons in the early 2000’s, until a disabling injury put paid to my career there.  I know how the BOP “system” works – and it clearly didn’t work in the case of Whitey Bulger.  I’m not in a position to say whether there was official connivance in the events leading up to his death . . . but there were so many errors made in his case that one can’t help but wonder.  The whole situation stinks to high heaven.

I’m sure there’ll be civil litigation over Mr. Bulger’s death, and I won’t be surprised if criminal charges are laid – unless someone senior enough decides to cover up the whole mess.  That’s not beyond the bounds of possibility, either.  Some bureaucrats would rather settle a court case and pay humongous sums in damages (using taxpayer money, not their own), rather than expose internal shenanigans to the light of judicial cross-examination.

Peter

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