Prosecutors have recommended two consecutive life sentences, plus five years. Lawyers for the 84-year-old Bulger declined to make a recommendation.
Attorney Hank Brennan said Bulger refused to participate in the sentencing process because he believes his trial was a "sham." During the trial, Bulger used the same word when he explained to the judge why he decided not to testify in his own defense.
Bulger claims that a now-deceased federal prosecutor had given him immunity to commit crimes in exchange for Bulger's offer to protect him from the Mafia. The judge refused to allow Bulger to use that claim as a defense to his long list of crimes, including murders.
Outside court, Bulger attorney J.W. Carney Jr. said despite Bulger's stoic exterior, he was not "immune" to the emotion shown by victims' families.
"He was affected by it," Carney said.
Several family members implored Bulger to face them while they spoke. He refused, but did turn his head slightly to glance at two people. One was Steve Davis, the brother of Debra Davis, the 26-year-old girlfriend of Bulger's former partner, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi.
A federal jury convicted Bulger in August in a racketeering indictment that included murder, extortion, money-laundering and weapons charges. The jury convicted Bulger in 11 out of the 19 killings he was charged with participating in during the 1970s and '80s but acquitted him of seven killings and issued a "no finding" in Davis' murder.
Flemmi testified that Bulger strangled Davis, but his testimony was contradicted by another Bulger associate who said Flemmi once said he himself had "accidentally" strangled Davis.
"I hope Whitey dies the same way my sister did — gasping for breath as he takes his last breath," said Steve Davis.
Prosecutor Brian Kelly said Bulger has been getting arrested since Harry Truman was president and called him "a little sociopath."
"The carnage that he has caused is grotesque," Kelly said.
"The victims in this case will never be able to regain what he has taken from them, but hopefully they will be able to take some solace from the fact that he will spend the rest of his miserable life in jail," he said.