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Tag: Richard Posner

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

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

Appellate Judge Blasts Federal Prosecutor in Salad Dressing Conviction

henries31In this harsh criticism of a federal prosecutor, an appellate judge took the unusual step of specifically mentioning the prosecutor by name. Federal prosecutors should probably take note of the ruling to avoid similar situations in the future.

By Ameet Sachdev
Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — U.S. Appeals Judge Richard Posner is known for his provocative opinions, but his harsh criticism of a Chicago federal prosecutor surprises even close court observers.

In a March 12 opinion overturning a 2007 conviction of a suburban businessman who had relabeled bottles of salad dressing, Posner blasted Assistant U.S. Atty. Juliet Sorensen for improper statements. Posner said the appellate panel tossed out the guilty verdict because of insufficient evidence, but he added that even if there had been enough proof, he would have ordered a new trial because of the “prosecutor’s misconduct.”

It’s not unusual for judges to be critical of prosecutorial tactics. But Posner’s rebuke is drawing attention because he identified the prosecutor by name and called for sanctions.

“The government’s appellate lawyer told us that the prosecutor’s superior would give her a talking-to,” Posner wrote in the opinion that was joined by two other judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “We are not impressed by the suggestion.”

For Full Story