Reporting Jim Armstrong
BOSTON (CBS) – During his final day of testimony in the James “Whitey” Bulger trial, disgraced former FBI supervisor John Morris became tearful and choked up on the witness stand as he was apologizing to victims’ families.
“I do not ask for forgiveness, that’s too much,” he said. “But I do acknowledge it publicly.”
He was speaking primarily to the Donahue family of Boston, his words fell on deaf ears.
“His tears and his apologies don’t mean crap to me or my family, not one bit,” said Tommy Donahue after court wrapped up for the day. “I thought it was a complete joke. He can actually take his apology and shove it.”
The Donahue family blames John Morris for the 1982 murder of Michael Donahue, an innocent man giving an alleged Bulger target a ride home.
That target was Brian Halloran, who was cooperating with the FBI.
John Morris gave that secret information to corrupt agent John Connolly, who in turn passed it along to Bulger – sealing Halloran’s fate, and indirectly, Donahue’s as well.
“I don’t ask for your forgiveness,” Morris said in court, “but I do want to express my sincere apology for what I did and didn’t do. Not a day goes by that I don’t pray that God gives you blessing and comfort for the pain. I do apologize publicly.”
“Those words didn’t mean anything to me,” said Donahue’s widow Patricia. “While he’s getting his promotions, I’m mourning my husband. And he’s getting promotions, so obviously those ‘Sorrys’ didn’t mean anything.”
On his way out of the courthouse, Bulger defense attorney J.W. Carney, with co-counsel Hank Brennan by his side, told reporters, “This was one of the most dramatic and poignant days we’ve ever spent in a courtroom.”
But WBZ legal analyst Gerry Leone says he is not sure what the overall effect of Morris’ emotional morning will be.
“I don’t know that it has any sway with the jury,” said Leone. “I think it just showed what a personally and professionally corrupt and compromised person and witness John Morris is.”