In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:
In response to miscricket's comment:
. Reports are that Bulger wants to testify...but I think his lawyer is going to do his best to talk him out of it.
It's generally a terrible idea for the defendant to testify, even if they are innocent (possible exception: They are used to performing under massive pressure and can keep their composure). This, especially if they are facing a life term / death penalty.
Too much can go wrong with that much adrenaline in one's veins. Dates misremembered, prior statements misremembered, visible shaking/sweating/etc. from nervousness. All can be perfectly innocent, but can be used by the prosecutor to make the defendant look like a liar. The jury might also misinterpret shaking/sweating as a sign of guilt, rather than as a sign that the defendant's nervous system has been driven mad with adrenaline.
It's a particularly tricky situation. Jurors are asked whether they would hold it against a defendant if he does not testify. Those who say they would are excused, but I have to bet that quite a few sitting jurors hold it against him anyway. (After all, if someone accuses you of something you didn't do in ordinary life, do you not object? Explain yourself?)
As for this trial.....
Well, being a hardcore gang leader/rat, I suspect Bulger is used to operating under pressure. The jury is almost certainly biased, and he is almost certainly guilty of far more than has been charged. There is really not much to lose.
I have no idea how I would begin to think about defending that case. What defense is credible? The police went to the trouble of framing him for 19 murders - when one or two would do - all the physical evidence is garbage and all the witnesses lying? Or maybe that he killed 19 people, but none of it was premeditated, so let him off ease with 2nd degree on all? Hah.
Their main strategy may turn out to be trying to challenge the non-immunity ruling on appeal.
I agree. If ever there were a defendent to put on the stand..I think Bulger is it. Really nothing to lose and in spite of his lack of self control in the courtroom I don't think his possible testimony could do much more damage.
The immunity ruling would really have been his only defense. I can't imagine an appeals court would overturn the judge's ruling on this but I think he should have been allowed to talk about it on the stand.
On a somewhat related note in terms of the merits of whether or not a defendent takes the stand..I was a little surprised that the Zimmerman defense rested without George Zimmerman taking the stand. I thought it was par for the course that when someone is claiming self defense that they take the stand.
Also...and hopefully WhatDoYouWantNow sees this question...How can the judge allow the videotaped statement of Zimmerman's police interview to be shown to the jury without giving the prosecution a chance to cross examine his statements? To me...Zimmerman has..in essence...been allowed to testify without being cross examined. It would seem that the prosecution should have a chance to poke holes in his story since really..the jury is only getting one side.