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Right Wing Talk Show Host Gets 33 Months for Threatening Lives of 3 Fed Judges

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It took three tries to convict right wing  Internet radio talk show host Hal Turner of threatening the lives of  three Chicago federal appeals judges over their decision to uphold a ban on handguns. But now he’s off to prison.

U.S. District Judge Donald Walter on Tuesday sentenced Turner in Brooklyn federal court to 33 months in prison followed by six months of home confinement after his release. The first two trials ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked.

Turner, 48,  was charged in June 2009 for writing Internet postings proclaiming “outrage” over the handgun decision by U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer and wrote: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed.”

His postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address, and room numbers of these judges. It also included a photo of the building they worked in and a map with its location, authorities said.

He was charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges with intent to retaliate against them for performing official duties. All three judges testified at the trial in August.

“The criminal justice system simply could not function if an individual’s efforts to intimidate a judge through threats of violence were protected from prosecution and punishment,” said Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald.

“We live in a system where judges should be able to do their jobs and not have to look over their shoulders.”

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