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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

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

This ILB entry from March 11, 2010, quoted a NY Law Journal story that began:

The second trial of blogger Harold "Hal" Turner, the New Jersey white supremacist charged with threatening to kill three Chicago federal judges, has resulted in a second mistrial.
Today, Mark Fass of the New York Law Journal has a story that begins:
Round three of the United States versus Harold "Hal" Turner, the Internet shock jock charged with threatening to kill three Chicago appeals judges, begins this morning in Brooklyn federal court.

Turner was arrested last June after writing on his blog that three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- Richard Posner, William Bauer and Frank Easterbrook -- "deserve to be killed" for their opinion in N.R.A. v. Chicago, 08-4241, which upheld handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill.

"Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty," Turner wrote in June 2009. "A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions." Turner, who hosted a weekly Webcast from his home in North Bergen, N.J., also posted the judges' photographs, work addresses and phone numbers, and promised to soon add their home addresses.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois charged Turner with threatening to kill the three judges.

The case, United States v. Turner, 09-cr-00650, was assigned to Judge Donald Walter, who sat on assignment from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Walter transferred the case to Brooklyn, then came along to hear it.

The first two trials ended in mistrials.

More from the story:
Much has changed in the five months since Turner II.

Minutes after that jury was released, [Michael Orozco] informed the court that he and his co-counsel, Chicago solo practitioner Nishay Kumar Sanan, had been fired. Turner now will be represented by the Brooklyn Federal Defender's office. The office's chief, Peter Kirchheimer, will try the case. Kirchheimer did not return a call for comment.

And in June, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision that spurred Mr. Turner's alleged threats, N.R.A. v. Chicago, and remanded the case to the 7th Circuit.

However, Hogan, the lead prosecutor, said Monday that there have been no major developments since Turner II, and that he expects the three judges to take the stand again as early as Wednesday.
Orozco said he considered the Supreme Court's reversal of N.R.A. v. Chicago a vindication. "Apparently it was Judge Easterbrook that didn't understand the U.S. Constitution," Orozco said. "Their decision was overturned. They got it wrong. Hal Turner was correct. His analysis was correct."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 10, 2010 09:32 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts