The Government Will Pay for Whitey Bulger's Victims

A federal appeals court upheld awards for the families of gangster James "Whitey" Bulger's victims.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has upheld a lower court's financial awards for the families of people allegedly killed by James "Whitey" Bulger, the legendary Boston organized crime kingpin. The government is liable, the court held, because Bulger and an associate, Steven Flemmi, were informants for the FBI, which shielded them from prosecution during the period of their crimes.

The court awarded $1.3 million to the family of Debra Davis, $350,000 to the family of Deborah Hussey, and $1.1 million for the family of Louis Litif, the Boston Globe reported.

The families are gratified, but not assuaged.

Steve Davis, the brother of Debra Davis, said today that the ruling shows the court was paying attention to the families.

“In my case, it’s not about the money, it’s more about justice,” Davis said, adding that the case will not be over until Bulger stands trial for the murder of his sister and 18 other victims. “We’ve been fighting all these years for justice and I’m still going to be fighting.”

Hussey’s brother, Billy St. Croix, called the ruling a moral victory, which to him meant: “Debbie, you mattered.”

Davis' brother told the Boston Herald that the award is "nothing more than a receipt on a debt that the government will never really be able to repay to us."

Bulger, meanwhile, is trying to avoid a trial, according to prosecutors. And the inevitable Bulger biopic, complete with attendant Wahlbergs, Damons and Afflecks, seems to be rolling forward.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.