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Bulger decides not to testify

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 6:51 p.m.

BOSTON — James “Whitey” Bulger called his racketeering trial a “sham” Friday as he revealed he would not testify in his own defense, a decision that prompted a cry of “coward!” from the widow of a man he is accused of killing.

After attorney J.W. Carney Jr. announced the decision, Judge Denise Casper asked Bulger if he had consulted with his lawyers and if he was making the decision voluntarily.

With the jury out of the room, Bulger told the judge his decision was made “involuntarily.”

“I feel that I've been choked off from having an opportunity to give an adequate defense,” he said. “My thing is, as far as I'm concerned, I didn't get a fair trial, and this is a sham, and do what youse want with me. That's it.”

Family members of Bulger's alleged murder victims looked dejected over his decision not to take the stand. Patricia Donahue, the widow of one alleged victim, yelled, “You're a coward!” while Bulger was speaking.

“If you think you had an unfair trial, then get up there and tell all,” she said outside the courtroom afterward. “I am so disappointed in this whole trial. I thought that at least he would be man enough to get up there.”

Bulger, 83, is on trial in a broad racketeering indictment that accuses him of participating in 19 murders in the 1970s and '80s as leader of the Winter Hill Gang.

He has pleaded not guilty.

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