Whitey Bulger to be sentenced, faces life behind bars


(CBS News) James "Whitey" Bulger will be sentenced Thursday for his role in 11 murders. The Boston mobster was arrested just over two years ago in Santa Monica, Calif., after 16 years on the run. In court, he faced the families of his victims. They used words like "rat," "punk" and "coward" to describe him.

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman told the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts that "theoretically" the impact statements of the victims' families should not affect how much time Bulger will spend in prison. She explained that, because of sentencing guidelines, the judge will sentence Bulger later Thursday to "life, perhaps from an after-life, plus five years."

"The statements of the families were really a catharsis for them, and they were powerful and emotional, indeed," she said. "There were moments in the courtroom, as well as in the media room, where people took a breath, that they cried. That they heard from people like Steve Davis, whose death of his sister Debra was not even proven, that they couldn't find a finding that he had done it."

One of the major questions in the case was whether Bulger, himself, would take the stand to make a statement. He has not so far, and Klieman told the co-hosts that she thinks he will not speak out.

"One of the people we heard from yesterday was the son of Roger Wheeler, who was a legitimate businessman out of Tulsa, Okla.," she said, "and when his son got up to speak, as he held a picture - held it up - of his father and wanted to hear so much from Whitey Bulger because Mr. Wheeler holds the FBI and the Department of Justice just as responsible for his father's death, Whitey Bulger refused to even look at these victims."

Klieman said that Bulger kept his head down even when one victim's relative begged the mobster to look at her.

For the full interview with Rikki Klieman, watch the video in the player above.