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The trial of James “Whitey” Bulger is set to begin June 4 with the daunting task of selecting 18 jurors out of a pool of 675 – an extraordinary large pool to start with, which speaks to the challenges lawyers and the judge will face in finding a suitable panel.
It is likely that all of those called in will have heard the name Bulger before, if they did not know him or his cohorts – or his alleged victims—directly.
“The question is, ‘based on what you know, do you feel you can be fair’,” said Dan Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University. “Almost everyone in Boston is going to know about it. The goal is to find anyone who is impartial.”