Now, this is really rich! Here's the report from One Peoples Project...
We all know that Justice is blind, but after today, we might also be able to count mental illness among its handicaps! Sure, we are not the most impartial group in the world, as it stands with Hal Turner, but guilty or not guilty, we thought there would be a real concrete verdict in this case going through the courts. But alas we are dealing with a case involving white supremacists, and we are starting to get used to the hoops folks have to jump through to nail these bastards. Just wait until next week, when Bill White goes to trial! That promises to be just as WTFish as this case has been. So the deal is this: Turner's jury deadlocked, the judge ordered them to deliberate more, they did so for a few more hours and sent out a weird question before calling it quits for the day. So we have at the very least one more day - Monday - of this trial, and if this results in a mistrial, keep the summer free for them to do it all over again! Oh, and it was real nice to see damn near everyone from ACORN in the courtroom next door trying to get their funding back after all the right-wing agitation against them. They really loved the fact that a neo-Nazi who once called upon his radio listeners to do harm to them was facing a judge for something his damn self. Gotta love the irony!
One People's Project
Harold C. "Hal" Turner, the white supremacist who for eight years hosted an internet radio show where he repeatedly called for violence against those he had political issues with, is getting a temporary reprieve from a verdict in a trial charging him with inciting violence against three federal judges in Chicago. After 2½ hours, the jury informed the court that they were hopelessly deadlocked, but will return on Monday to deliberate more.
At 3:30, the multiracial 6-man, 6-woman jury sent Judge Don Walter a note about them not being able to come up with a unanimous verdict. Judge Walter sent the jury back to deliberate longer, reminding them of the costs of the trial. "This is an important case,"
Walter said to them in court. "This trial has been expensive in time and money." By 5:30 he had released them for the weekend.
Earlier, after the jury was given the case, prosecutors tried in vain to have one juror removed because of concerns about his impartiality. The juror, an Asian man, had told the court that he was particularly knowledgeable about the First Amendment. Judge Walter felt however, that he presented no issues during the course of the trial, and chose to keep him on. Later, during the second round of deliberations, a question was asked the court by a juror asking if a person who makes a written statement responsible for that statement, as opposed to if they make a verbal one. Judge Walter responded by saying there is no distinction between verbal or written statements.
The charges stem from a June 2, entry in Turner's blog about the judges who ruled on a gun control case in a way Turner didn't approve. In response, Turner called out the judges as "devils" and provided maps and photographs of the office building where they worked. "Let me be the first to say this plainly," he wrote on his website, "these judges deserve to be killed." He had obtained the home addresses of the judges later in the day, but before he could post them he was arrested by Connecticut authorities for similarly threatening government officials in that state. Those charges are still pending.
In his closing arguments, prosecutor William E. Ridgeway maintained that what Turner posted on his website was outside the scope of free speech and should be considered a threat, as it would be the conclusion of any rational person who read those words. Defense Attorney Nishay K. Sanan, who described Turner as a "shock jock" along the lines of Howard Stern and Don Imus said otherwise to the jury. "Giving your opinion is not a crime," Sanan, said. "To criticize the judiciary is not a crime." Sanan also tried to suggest that Turner's remark of "Obey the Constitution or die!" was no different than someone wearing a T-Shirt saying "Skate or Die" or "Snowboard or Die" Prosecutor William Hogan in his rebuttal said "That's just ridiculous!" Hogan also noted that the attempt to make the FBI responsible for how Turner acted was a "non-starter", citing the numerous times he was admonished, approached and finally removed from the informant program because of his activities online.
Coincidentally, the national leaders of one of the groups Turner had attacked, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), was in the courtroom next door to his to suing to get their funding back after they were stripped by Congress after an almost 2-year long campaign against the group by conservatives groups and politicians. Last year, Turner took issue with the story that ACORN was involved in voter fraud, and linked to a list of ACORN offices around the country while also posting, "I think it might be wise for the general public to pay a visit to their nearest ACORN office and make certain the office is . . . . . . not able . . . . . . to do this anymore." ACORN was not aware of Turner's trial taking place.
If the jury remains deadlocked at the end of deliberations, the re-trial will possibly take place on or around June 1.