The family of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger have filed a wrongful death action against the federal Bureau of Prisons, alleging that he was “deliberately placed in harm’s way.” As I have written previously, Bulger’s murder would seem the result of either gross negligence or an intentional act by prison officials in allowing the attack on Bulger, 89. Perhaps a lawsuit will produce the full accounting that has yet to emerge from the prison.
Bulger happened killed in his cell (within 24 hours of his sudden transfer to Hazleton) without active surveillance. He died of blunt force trauma to the head. Two Massachusetts prisoners with ties to the mob are suspected. The family is suing for $200 million.
I have had clients at Hazelton and the prison has a dreadful reputation as overcrowded and badly operated. The Bureau of Prisons has been slow to respond to these longstanding complaints, including prior murders.