BOSTON — A federal judge has approved a second taxpayer-funded lawyer to help with convicted Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger's appeal.
The 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals approved a request this week from Bulger's lawyer, Henry Brennan, to hire James Budreau. In granting permission to hire Budreau, Judge Juan R. Torruella cited the apparent difficulty of the appeal, The Boston Globe (http://b.globe.com/1gXAMJh ) reported.
"This is an extraordinary case that was a massive undertaking at trial, and there are numerous legitimate and complex issues that we preserved at trial that we intend to ask the Appeals Court to rectify," Brennan said.
Bulger's assets have been seized by the federal government, and a number of people whose relatives were killed by him have won multimillion-dollar judgments against him.
Bulger, 84, was sentenced in November to two consecutive life sentences plus five years. A jury in August found him guilty in 11 of the 19 killings in the 1970s and '80s with which he was charged, along with dozens of other crimes.
Brennan, who also was one of Bulger's trial attorneys, described Budreau as an extraordinary and proven appellate attorney.
Brian T. Kelly, who prosecuted Bulger, said one more lawyer will speed the process.
"No one wants to spend any more tax dollars on Whitey Bulger, but this will likely expedite the appeals process and help bring closure to the case," said Kelly, who now works in private practice.
The hourly rate for lawyers who represent indigent people is $126, according to a federal court website.
The U.S. attorney's office had no comment on Budreau's appointment.
Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com