Victims’ relatives to speak at Bulger sentencing

BOSTON (AP) — A judge has ruled that relatives of people gangster James "Whitey" Bulger was acquitted of killing can testify at his sentencing hearing.

The two-day hearing started Wednesday. Prosecutors are seeking two consecutive life sentences. Bulger can speak if he wants, but it is not known if he will.

The 84-year-old was convicted in August in a broad indictment that included racketeering charges in a string of murders in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as extortion, money-laundering and weapons charges. A federal jury found prosecutors proved Bulger played a role in 11 of 19 murders.

Jurors found the government had not proven Bulger participated in seven other killings and were unable to reach a verdict in another. But relatives of those victims will get to speak at the sentencing too.