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Bulger Prosecutors Want Criminal Checks On Jurors

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James "Whitey" Bulger (Photo from U.S. Marshals Service)

James “Whitey” Bulger (Photo from U.S. Marshals Service)

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BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors in the upcoming racketeering trial of reputed gangster James “Whitey” Bulger want to do criminal background checks on potential jurors.

In a court filing Thursday, prosecutors cited the case of convicted killer Gary Sampson, who was sentenced to death for carjacking and killing two Massachusetts men and was also convicted of killing a New Hampshire man during a weeklong crime spree in 2001. Sampson’s sentence was set aside by a judge who found that one juror had repeatedly answered questions about her life dishonestly.

Prosecutors said conducting background checks will help determine whether potential jurors have truthfully answered questionnaires and minimize the possibility of a mistrial.

Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang, is scheduled to go on trial next month in an indictment accusing him of participating in 19 murders.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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