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Whitey Bulger Trial: Jury begins deliberations in racketeering trial of reputed mob boss

Seen in this courtroom sketch, a jury in the James "Whitey" Bulger case hears closing arguments Aug. 5. The jury began deliberating Aug. 6. Christine Cornell

(CBS/AP) BOSTON - After a trial that spanned nearly two months, the jury in the case of reputed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger has begun deliberations.

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The jury was read instructions on the law from a federal judge Tuesday morning after hearing closing arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys Monday.

Bulger, 83, is charged in a sweeping racketeering indictment with participating in 19 murders during the 1970s and `80s while he allegedly led Boston's Winter Hill Gang. 

In the 32-count indictment, Bulger is accused of being a hands-on crime 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.

The list of charges against Bulger includes racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and weapons violations.

Bulger was one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives after he fled Boston in 1994 ahead of an indictment. He was finally apprehended in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011. 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's lawyers strongly denied that Bulger was ever an FBI 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.

Complete coverage of the Whitey Bulger case on Crimesider

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