Mobster James “Whitey” Bulger and the question of injustice ???

On June 22, 2011, the notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was arrested.   The FBI and other authorities had been searching for him for 16 years as he was wanted for 19 murders and a slew of other crimes.

For some of these crimes – not all or even many – he had done a stint in prison from 1956 to 1965.  After this 9 year stint however, he basically lived as he pleased up until 1994, when he became a fugitive. At this point, a federal case had finally been built against him. For the next 16 years, he would live on the run, until Wednesday, June 22, 2011, when James “Whitey” Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Grieg would be captured and arrested at their beach-side apartment in Santa Monica, California.  Whitey was 81 years old at the time.

If you want, you can read more about it here and here.  The latter article is more recent and it talks about the person who tipped off the authorities as to Whitey’s whereabouts.

Ok… that said… there have been some thoughts that have loomed over me.

Wine, Women & Song:  Bulger basically lived the life that he wanted to live, minus the 9 years in prison.  Apart from his 9 year stint, he lived a life of crime, murder and violence side by side with a life of luxury, money, and pleasure.  I am sure that at many a point in his life, if you asked  him how life was going, he probably would have said that he was enjoying life to the fullest. It couldn’t get any better. He was a fulfilled man.

So here is the thing…

What could be a fair and just punishment for this, now 82 year old man? What would be the punishment that could fit his crimes?

1) Could it be life in prison?

However he is 82 years old… how will that accomplish anything?

~ Whether in prison or whether out, this old man may die soon enough anyway.  For all we know he will die in a few years, in which case a life sentence means that he was sentenced for only 3 years. No? Is that fair?

2) Could it be the death penalty?

~ How will this accomplish anything? Supposed he is executed next year at the age of 83. Heck! More people die of freak accidents at far younger ages than that.

~ If he is executed next year… what will his last and final words be?  Perhaps he will say, “It was good to have enjoyed life and now to be dying at the ripe old age of 83.  Ah. Life has been good to me. “  No?

~~~> So what possible punishment will fit this old man’s crimes??? Did he win in the end?

So …

~ So is this a case where crime did pay?