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Federal court to hear appeal next month from imprisoned Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger

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BOSTON — A federal court is set to hear an appeal by gangster James "Whitey" Bulger nearly two years after he was convicted in 11 killings and other underworld crimes during the 1970s and '80s.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday scheduled oral arguments in Bulger's appeal for July 27.

The 85-year-old Bulger is serving life in prison after being convicted in a sweeping racketeering indictment in August 2013.

Bulger was one of the nation's most-wanted fugitives after he fled Boston ahead of a 1994 indictment. He was captured in Santa Monica, California, in 2011.

In his appeal, he argues that he was not given a chance to fully present his claim that a now-deceased federal prosecutor, Jeremiah O'Sullivan, had given him immunity for his crimes. During his trial, Judge Denise Casper would not allow Bulger's lawyers to present the immunity claim, finding that Bulger had offered no evidence to support it. Moreover, she ruled, even if Bulger had offered evidence, O'Sullivan had no authority to grant such immunity.

Prosecutors say the judge properly barred any testimony about Bulger's immunity claim.

Bulger headed Boston's Irish mob and was an FBI informant against the rival New England Mafia. His case became an embarrassment for the FBI when it was revealed that a corrupt Boston agent took bribes from him and protected him from prosecution.

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