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Bulger Defense Wants Limits On Witness Testimony

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WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) — There is a new chapter in the tit-for-tat between the prosecution and defense teams in the James ‘Whitey’ Bulger case.

Bulger’s attorneys want the judge to clamp down on what government witnesses can say on the stand.

Court documents filed Thursday show “the witnesses should not be permitted to discuss the impact that the death of their loved ones has had on their family. This testimony would serve only to provoke an emotional response among the jury.”

Victim’s families call the request outrageous.

Former District Attorney Gerry Leone – who will be WBZ’s legal analyst for the trial – says try as they might, emotions are hard to control.

“I don’t know if you can tamp down emotions of victims’ families and frankly shouldn’t,” he said. “This is a public trial about heinous crimes.”

Patricia Donahue’s name is on the government’s list that includes 82 potential witnesses including former Bulger cohorts, forensics experts, former FBI and State Police as well as a glimpse of what’s to come – 1,174 exhibits.

Leone says they are a reminder of the tragic nature of the case.

There are a flurry of filings leading up to the trial, including one from the government essentially requesting a gag order on defense attorney J.W. Carney, who is notorious for post-hearing press conferences.

He has called them “bullies” in response.

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