Florida prosecutors urged a state appeals court Thursday to reinstate the murder conviction of former FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. for his role in a 1982 slaying that was allegedly orchestrated by notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.
The Florida attorney general’s office wrote in a motion to the Third District Court of Appeals that the court had “overlooked or misapprehended certain points of law and fact” last month when it overturned Connolly’s 2008 conviction for the slaying of Boston businessman John B. Callahan decades earlier in Florida.
The attorney general’s office said a 2-to-1 ruling by the appeals court panel that reversed Connolly’s conviction failed to resolve questions “of great public importance” and asked for a clarification on those issues and a rehearing before all 10 judges on the appeals court.
“All of this is pretty much a delay tactic,” said Florida attorney Manuel Casabielle, who represented Connolly during his 2008 trial in Miami. “It is inevitable that John’s conviction is going to be set aside.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, whose office prosecuted Connolly and is working with the attorney general’s office on the appeal, said state prosecutors are pursuing an appeal because they made a commitment to the case that remains strong.
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