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Whitey Bulger Trial: More questions emerge as jury ends second day of deliberations without verdict

James "Whitey" Bulger AP Photo

Whitey Bulger
Former mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger is on trial for racketeering.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) BOSTON -The jury in the racketeering trial of reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger asked more questions of a judge as they wrapped up their second day of deliberations. The panel of 12 went home for the day Wednesday without reaching a verdict, WBZ Boston reports via Twitter.

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Shortly before 4 p.m., the jury asked whether they must be unanimous in deciding the government didn't prove its case against Bulger in any particular racketeering act, WBZ Boston reports via Twitter. Bulger is charged in a sweeping indictment with more than 30 charges, including involvement with 19 murders, extortion, conspiracy, and multiple money-laundering and weapons counts.

In a written response, a judge told the jury they must be unanimous in any decision they reach, reports the station. If they can't decide on a particular charge, she wrote, they should move on and leave the count blank.

The judge also reminded the jury that they need only find Bulger guilty of two counts in order to find him guilty of racketeering, WBUR reports via Twitter.

This came after a dramatic sidebar earlier Wednesday afternoon when prosecutors and defense attorneys argued before the judge at the bench for nearly an hour, WBZ Boston reported via Twitter, as Bulger sat in the courtroom writing on a notepad. It wasn't clear what the argument concerned. Bulger is charged with orchestrating or committing the killings during the 1970s and '80s while he allegedly led the notorious Winter Hill Gang, a crew of mostly Irish-American gangsters.

Bulger was one of the nation's most wanted fugitives after he fled Boston in 1994 ahead of an indictment. During his 16 years on the run, his secret relationship with the FBI as an informant was revealed, embarrassing the FBI and exposing corruption within the bureau.

Bulger, now 83, was finally captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011, where he had been living in a rent-controlled apartment near the beach with his longtime girlfriend.

In the racketeering indictment, Bulger is accused of being a hands-on boss who killed anyone he saw as a potential rival or danger to the gang. He is accused of shooting or strangling some of the victims himself. In other cases, he allegedly ordered the slayings, or participated in some other way.

He is also accused of making millions by extorting drug dealers, bookmakers and legitimate businessmen by threatening to hurt or kill them or their families.

Bulger's lawyers strongly denied that Bulger was ever an informant and told jurors the government's three main witnesses - all once-loyal Bulger cohorts - were pathological liars who blamed Bulger for crimes they committed so they could get reduced sentences.

The jury of 12 began deliberating shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday and were dismissed by a judge around 4:30 p.m. Around 10 a.m. Wednesday, the jury asked a question about the statute of limitations on conspiracy to commit murder and other charges. A judge told the jury not to concern themselves with statutes of limitations.

Before they began deliberations Tuesday, US District Court Judge Denise J. Casper told jurors they must determine whether Bulger is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of each of the dozens of charges he faces.

Complete coverage of the Whitey Bulger case on Crimesider

  • Erin Donaghue

    Erin Donaghue covers crime for CBSNews.com's Crimesider.

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