US District Judge Richard Stearns has given the attorneys for notorious gangster James “Whitey’’ Bulger extra time to file paperwork defending Bulger’s claim that he was authorized by federal law enforcement officials to commit crimes in return for working as an informant.
Bulger’s attorneys, in court papers filed New Year’s Eve, said they need until Jan. 11 to lay out their arguments because they are also dealing with a writ of mandamus — an appeal before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bulger’s attorneys, led by J. W. Carney Jr., want the the appeals court to throw Stearns off the case, arguing that he worked as a federal prosecutor at the time when Bulger alleges he was given permission to commit crimes by the FBI. Stearns has insisted he can be fair. Oral arguments before the appeals court are set for Jan. 8.
Stearns approved the requested Jan. 11 filing deadline sought by Carney, who claimed in court papers that lawyers have been working “both weekend days, holiday eves and the Christmas holiday itself’’ to prepare the case.