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Tag: Hal Turner

Defense Wants Mistrial in Mi. Militia Case; Claims Prosecution Withheld Evidence

 

Hutaree members/southern poverty law center photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– The federal trial involving a Michigan militia known as the Hutaree has raised questions about the right of free speech and what constitutes talk versus reality.

Defense attorneys claim the government has overstepped on the case. The government insists there was serious talk of killing a cop and trying to revolt against the government.

On Wednesday, the case got a little more complicated when defense attorneys asked for a mistrial, saying the prosecution of withholding evidence that might be beneficial to their clients.  There are seven of them on trial.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the defense said the evidence involved info it discovered last week. That info at issue was that the undercover FBI agent who had infiltrated the Hutaree was the handler for New Jersey, right wing, racist shock jock Hal Turner who worked as an informant for the FBI, helping collect info on hate groups and White Supremacists. The prosecution claims the info is not relevant to the case.

Turner, 48, was charged in June 2009 for writing Internet postings proclaiming “outrage” over the pr0-gun control, 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 sentenced to 33 months after being convicted. Jurors deadlocked in the first two trials, but the government prevailed in the third.

Turners defense, which apparently worked in the first two trials — or worked enough to raise doubts in some jurors’ minds — was that the FBI had encouraged him to take his racist rhetoric up a notch to help them with a case involving the murder of a Chicago federal judge’s family members.  The defense apparently felt that info might be helpful while cross examining the undercover FBI agent to see what, if anything, he might have done to encourage hateful rhetoric within the Hutaree group.

The FBI apparently thought the killer might be a white supremacist, Turner’s target audience. Perhaps Turner might be able to draw the person out.

So Turner said he obliged and said at the time the judge was “worthy of death”. Last summer, he posted on the Internet the photos of three Chicago federal judges who upheld a gun ban and wrote that they too were “worthy of death”.

 

Ex-FBI Informant and Right Wing Shock Jock Claims Life is in Danger in Prison

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Convicted right winger, New Jersey Internet shock jock Harold “Hal” Turner, who once worked as an FBI informant, claims his life is in danger now that he’s  housed in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., with notorious prisoners, the Jersey Journal reported.

“I probably won’t even see it coming,” Turner wrote in a letter to the The Jersey Journal. “They are facilitating my murder by putting me in the direct physical presence of the very terrorists I defended the nation from.”

A Bureau of Prisons spokesman told the Journal: “All inmates in the custody of the BOP are designated at facilities, housing units and management programs consistent with the inmate’s security needs.”

After jurors twice deadlocked, Turner was convicted at a third trial last December of threatening the lives of three U.S. Court of Appeals judges in Chicago. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

Turner, 48, was charged in June 2009 for writing Internet postings proclaiming “outrage” over the pr0-gun control, 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.

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.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Get Conviction on Third Try Against Racist Talk Show Host Hal Turner

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The third time worked for federal prosecutors.

After bumping up against two mistrials because of hung juries, federal prosecutors on Friday convicted Hal Turner, a racist internet radio talk show host and blogger, in Brooklyn U.S. District Court of threatening to assault and murder three U.S. Court of Appeals judges in Chicago in retaliation for them upholding a handgun ban in Chicago.

Jurors deliberated for about two hours before reaching a verdict in a trial that started Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Authorities said that Turner, 47, of North Bergen, N.J., was immediately taken into custody pending sentencing. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Turner was charged in June 2009 for writing Internet postings, saying he was outraged about the handgun decision by the judges.

“Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed,” he wrote. He also posted photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, authorities said. The case was charged in Chicago, but a change of venue moved it to New York.

“There is no place in society for threatening federal judges with violence. Period,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement.”We are grateful that the jury saw these threats for what they were and rejected any notion that they were acceptable speech.”

Fed Prosecutors Plan to Go After Right-Wing Radio Host Hal Turner Third Time on Aug. 9

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the apparent spirit of never-say-die, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said Friday it plans to go after right wing-racist New Jersey radio host Hal Turner for a third time in August. The last two trials ended in a mistrial after the juries deadlocked.

“We expect to proceed on August 9th,” said Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Turner is charged with threatening the lives of three Court of Appeals judges in Chicago by posting their photos on the Internet and writing that they were “worthy of death”. The judges had upheld a gun ban.

A change of venue has resulted in the trials being held in Brooklyn.

Samborn declined to say what the jury vote was in the last deadlocked trial.

Regardless, prosecutors face an uphill battle.

The central problem is that Turner had been an FBI informant. And in the second trial he testified that back in 2005 the FBI asked him to take his hateful rhetoric up a notch to help them solve a case involving the murder of a Chicago federal judge’s family members.

The FBI apparently thought the killer might be a white supremacist, Turner’s target audience. Perhaps Turner might be able to draw the person out.

So Turner said he obliged and said at the time the judge was “worthy of death”. Last summer, he posted on the Internet the photos of three Chicago federal judges who upheld a gun ban and wrote that they too were “worthy of death”.

So the bottom line is: Prosecutors will have to convince jurors that there’s a clear distinction between the threats Turner made as an informant and the subsequent threats he made when he was not.

Brooklyn Trial Illustrates Tough Balancing Act Dealing With an FBI Informant

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The trial in Brooklyn federal court involving right wing racist Internet radio host Hal Turner illustrates the tough balancing act the FBI has to deal with when handling an informant who is less than an ideal citizen.

Turner is accused of posting messages last summer on his blog advocating the death of U.S. Court of Appeals judges in Chicago who upheld a gun ban.

But on Wednesday he testified at his trial that the FBI talked to him in 2005 about helping solve the murder of the family of a federal judge in Chicago and suggested he “ratchet up the rhetoric”. The FBI apparently thought the killer might be a white supremacist, Turner’s target audience, according to the New York Times.

He in turn posted a photo of the Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow with the statement “worthy of death”, the Times reported.

This past summer, he posted on his blogs that  the Court of Appeals judges in the gun ban ruling were “worthy of death”. His defense is essentially  that he was doing the same thing the FBI had asked him to do in the past. One of those judges testified earlier this week that he felt threatened by the posting on the blog.

Turner’s first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked. That could happen again.

To read more click here

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed Court of Appeals Judges Testify in Right Wing Shock Jock Trial in Brooklyn

Judge Richard Posner/ harvard photo
Judge Richard Posner/ harvard photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Two federal Court of Appeals judges from Chicago took the stand Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, saying they felt threatened by the rantings of Internet radio shock jock Hal Turner, the New York Daily News reported.

Federal Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer took the stand and Judge Frank Easterbrook was scheduled to testify in the afternoon. Turner is being retried on charges that he threatened the lives of the judges. A mistrial was declared in the first trial after the jury deadlocked.

Turner wrote in his blog that the judges deserved to die for upholding a gun ban. He also said the judges “didn’t get the hint” after the husband and mother of Chicago Federal Judge Joan Lefkow were murdered, the Daily News reported.

“It’s obviously a threat,” Posner said, according to the Daily News. “It sounds like another murder is needed…namely of me.”

For Full Story

Feds Plan to Call 3 Appeals Court Judges as Witnesses in Retrial of Right Wing Radio Personality

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The retrial next week in Brooklyn of right wing web radio talk show host Hal Turner should get interesting.

The National Journal reports that federal prosecutors plan this time to call as witnesses three Court of Appeals judges from the 7th Circuit in Chicago who were the targets of Turner’s venemous verbal attacks on the Internet. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked.

The Journal reports the three judges expected to testify include Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, Judge Richard Posner and Judge William Bauer, a former U.S. attorney in Chicago.

Authorities chargd Turner after he he posted Internet messages saying the judges “deserve to be killed” for upholding a Chicago handgun ban.

To read more click here.