Catherine Greig, girlfriend of alleged mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, appealed for a resentencing on her eight-year prison sentence on Wednesday, claiming that family members of victims should not have been allowed to speak at her sentencing hearing.
Greig’s appellate attorney Dana Curhan filed a brief on Wednesday highlighting many problems with the trial court’s decision, including “inflammatory comments” from family members of victims who failed to address “Greig’s background, character, and conduct.”
“Greig in no way wishes to minimize the suffering of people who lost loved ones, but where they were not victims of her crimes, the trial court erred in allowing them to participate in the sentencing process,” Curhan wrote.
Greig, who fled Boston with Bulger in February of 1995, pleaded guilty in March to identity fraud, conspiracy to harbor a fugitive and conspiracy to commit identity fraud.
Curhan argued in the brief filed on Greig’s behalf that the court’s base offense level was set too high, as the conduct of her offense should have been limited solely to harboring a fugitive.
“In this case, the record fails to establish that Greig did anything more than harbor a fugitive,” Curhan wrote. “While she was charged with other offenses — namely, identity fraud — those offenses were committed in furtherance of the harboring charge and were in fact part of the conduct supporting that charge.”
In fact, Curhan wrote, Greig “did not participate in any of the alleged offenses for which Bulger had become a fugitive.”
Curhan also contested the fact that family members of alleged victims were allowed to testify against Grieg, stating that such testimony was inappropriate.
“Even disregarding the more inflammatory comments, none of the challenged statements addressed Greig’s background, character, and conduct,” Curhan wrote. “To the extent that the trial court considered such information in determining her sentence, it was an abuse of discretion to do so.”
Regarding the two-point firearm enhancement to her charge, Curhan argues that there is no proof that Greig was necessarily aware of the firearms that Bulger kept in his home during his time as a fugitive.
“Greig contends that the evidence failed to establish either the requisite state of mind on her part or the fact that Bulger possessed the firearms in furtherance of the conspiracy,” Curhan wrote.
Additionally, Curhan states that the enhancement imposed upon Grieg for obstruction of justice must be omitted.
Whereas Greig allegedly misrepresented the truth regarding her ownership of a house and bank account to Pretrial Services in California, Curhan argues that Grieg’s statements were not only irrelevant, but accurate to the best of Grieg’s knowledge.
“Moreover, it is not clear what, if any, effect these alleged misrepresentations had on the investigation, prosecution or sentencing or that they were in any way material,” Curhan wrote.
Bulger, whose trial was originally set for this month but has been delayed twice for a date in June of 2013, is on trial for the alleged murder of 19 people.