The eight-man, four-woman jury temporarily ended its four-day deliberations Friday, leaving legal observers to explain that long deliberations are common in complicated racketeering cases and it's impossible to know whether the jury is divided or merely being diligent, The Boston Globe reported Friday.
So far, the jury has deliberated for 28 hours following 35 days of testimony given by 72 witnesses.
"It's actually a lot of cases within one case. It should take you a long time," said former Middlesex district attorney Gerard T. Leone.
James "Whitey" Bulger, 83, is on trial for 48 criminal counts. For one of those counts, the jury must decide whether the government proven Bulger committed 33 individual acts of racketeering, including 19 murders. Other counts pertain to six extortion acts, a drug-trafficking conspiracy, and a money laundering conspiracy, NBC News reported.
Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after more than 16 years on the lam, and is charged with crimes spanning the 1970s through the 1990s. He allegedly paid off corrupt FBI agents and killed those who crossed him or who he saw as a threat to himself or his associates.
"Some of the jurors must be offended and shocked by the behavior of the FBI that has come to the fore," Boston defense lawyer Harvey Silverglate said. "Some of the jurors may be interested in nullifying -- voting to acquit even in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt on at least some of the charges."
US District Judge Denise J. Casper had told the jury earlier this week they must come to a unanimous decision on whether each criminal act was proven or unproven. She said the jurors could skip over acts on which they disagree, but urged them to try conscientiously to reach agreement.
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