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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ind. Courts - More on "7th Circuit Judges May Testify in Retrial Over Web Threats"

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 26th, Mike Fass of the New York Law Journal reports today under the headline "7th Circuit Judges Testify in Trial Over Blogger's Web Threats: Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook's cross-examination featured several defense stumbles." Several quotes from the lengthy story:

Three judges from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer -- took the witness stand Tuesday in the Brooklyn trial of Harold Turner, the New Jersey blogger charged with encouraging his readers to murder the three judges as retribution for their decision upholding a Chicago handgun ban.

Easterbrook told the jury that upon reading Turner's posts his "principal concern was that somebody would try to come kill me or shoot me or blow me up."

"The world contains an unknown number of people who are willing to do violence that don't know who might be a target until some rabble rouser rouses them," Easterbrook said.

Turner was arrested last June after posting blog entries stating that the three judges "deserve to be killed" for their ruling in National Rifle Association v. Chicago, 08-4241. * * *

The cross-examination of Easterbrook, however, proved to be riveting drama and a primer on constitutional law. It also featured a series of stumbles by the defense.

In questioning the generally jovial Easterbrook, Orozco initially followed the same line of questions he and his co-counsel, Sanan, asked of the first two judges: Did the judge ever seek a security detail? (No.) Did Judge Lefkow have one following the attack on her family? (Yes, Easterbrook said, though he discounted his own testimony as hearsay).

The turning point came when Orozco challenged Easterbrook, 61, on the merits of the decision in National Rifle Association v. Chicago, the opinion that spurred Turner's alleged threats and which was written by Easterbrook.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2010 09:00 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions