FOX News quotes Elon Law scholar on prominent murder case

Professor Steve Friedland spoke with the national news outlet about the murder of imprisoned Boston gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger and the length of time it took for federal prosecutors to charge three inmates in connection with the crime.

FOX News interviewed an Elon Law faculty member for a report about the beating death of a famous imprisoned mobster and why it may have taken federal prosecutors nearly four years to charge other inmates in connection with the murder.

Senior Scholar and Professor of Law Steve Friedland, himself a former federal prosecutor, spoke at length with FOX News about the late Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger for ‘James ‘Whitey’ Bulger killing: Son of Boston mobster’s accused hitman seeking answers for delay in charges’.

Bulger was killed in October 2018 shortly after his transfer to a federal prison in  West Virginia. Already in his late 80s and bound to a wheelchair, he was five years into two life sentences related to crimes committed as the head of the Winter Hill Gang in Boston decades earlier.

Three inmates at the time – Fotios “Freddy” Geas, 55; Paul “Pauly” DeCologero, 48; and Sean McKinnon, 36 – were charged in August 2022 with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. The FOX News story explored why criminal charges in the case may have taken years to develop.

“You know your group from which it might have arisen — the group of suspects — but proof is going to be difficult. And when I say difficult, I mean you’ll have lots of ulterior motives if people talk about what happened and how it occurred,” Friedland told FOX News. “So, it’s very easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, yeah, so-and-so did it,’ and blame it on someone they don’t like. And that kind of evidence is going to be less reliable when it’s used in a court of law. …

“I think the real issue here was probably – and we don’t know, we’re just speculating – but it probably, in part, was about the evidence. Did the prosecutor have reliable evidence that would say who did it and what were the circumstances?”

Friedland is a founding member of the law school faculty. He has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and as an Assistant Director of the Office of Legal Education in the Department of Justice.

An accomplished scholar who has published articles in several renowned journals, Friedland’s books on Evidence Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, and Law School Teaching have been published by the West Publishing Company, Aspen Press, Lexis Publishing Company and Carolina Academic Press.

Friedland was elected to the American Law Institute and has won numerous teaching awards at several law schools over three decades. He was named one of the best law teachers in America by the Harvard University Press book, “What the Best Law Teachers Do.”