Monday, December 07, 2009



BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The judge in the trial of ultra-right-wing shock jock and former FBI informant Hal Turner of North Bergen declared a mistrial early this afternoon after the jury said it was “hopelessly deadlocked.”

U.S. District Court Judge Donald Walter dismissed the jury and set a new trial date of March 1. He then extended a gag order, previously limited just to Turner, to lawyers for the defense and prosecution.

Jurors filed out of a side door and into a hallway near the sixth-floor courtroom, with several mumbling “no comment” or shaking their heads and declining to speak.

But one juror, Richard Gardener, a truck driver from Long Island, said the vote to acquit Turner had been 9-3 just before Walter declared a mistrial.

Gardener said he was one of the three jurors who wanted to convict Turner on the single charge that he unlawfully threatened three Chicago-based federal appeals court judges when he wrote on his blog last June that they “deserved to be killed” for their ruling in support of a gun control ordinance.


  1. Vote is acquit Turner was 9 to 3.

    Nikki, putting aside my biases, the government should not re-try this case. Or at the very best, just get Turner to plead guilty to one misdemeanor, give him time served, and move on.

    Honestly, I think this judge should excuse himself if it does go back to trial, he appears to be inept.

  2. Err.. The vote to acquit Turner was 9 to 3.

  3. I agree on the judge being inept. What a mess! Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that this won't see another courtroom.

  4. This came in earlier from DLJ...

    BROOKLYN, NY—The Hal Turner trial was rather uneventful during the two-day proceedings, but one juror has changed all that during deliberations. After the second note from the jury saying they were “hopelessly deadlocked”, Judge Don Walter may declare a mistrial after lunch.

    The issues began when a series of notes from juror Wei Wang were sent to the court asking various questions concerning what constituted free speech and if historical Supreme Court decisions be applied to the jury’s decision. This prompted calls for Wang’s removal by the prosecution, a call that they have made repeatedly during the trial, particularly once they began deliberating. The defense meanwhile called for a mistrial, which Judge Don Walter granted. However, Judge Walter returned to the courtroom seconds later, said “I changed my mind,” and said the jury should deliberate through lunch and afterwards if they are still deadlocked, the mistrial will be granted again.

    Wang reportedly prompted concerns about him right after the jury was initially seated. Just before they were sworn in, jurors were excused for lunch. Wang returned saying that Hal Turner sounded “vaguely familiar” and that it might have through reading past court documents. Wang, who works for a hedge fund, has no legal training and says he studies the First Amendment as a “hobby”. “If this case has something to do with freedom of speech as such, I don’t know if I can be an impartial juror,” Wang told the court that day, saying he had a strong belief in freedom of speech.

    As deliberations went on, Wang’s impartiality became an even greater concern with the notes, four of the five of them signed by Wang, not the foreperson. “It is apparent that somebody in there (the deliberating room) is arguing law that I did not give them,” Judge Walter said, sending instructions that the jury cannot interpret law for themselves. Judge Walter also sent instructions that only the foreman can sign letters, the next letter was signed by Wang who had become the foreperson.

  5. Kill the snitchesDecember 07, 2009 2:28 PM

    It goes back to trial March 1. I am happy with this. More of Hal's money will be spent on Lawyers he will also have to repost bond. Anything that costs this asshole money is good.

  6. Oh...he still has the charges in CT to contend with, as well.

  7. 1) Hal's not paying for the lawyers, they are pro-bono.

    2) I think the governments case fell apart when they could show the dozens of other threats Hal Turner made during the past.

    3) It's interesting the gag order being placed on both the government and Little Harold's attorney.

    Again, I think this ia a waste of government time and money at this point. We will have to see what Connecticut does, but I don't think Hal will be convicted in Connecticut either.

  8. typo, it fell apart when the government wasn't allowed to show other threats Turner had made in the past.

  9. If so many were ready to acquit him it doesn't make sense for the government to retry the case.

    Well, the government doesn't care, it isn't THEIR money they are wasting on this bs case.

  10. It just gripes the hell out of ya that he wasn't convicted, eh, nikki?

    Well, there is always CT. you can hope for.

    I fucking hate Turner as well, but I will be damn if I am going to root for him or anyone else to be railroaded by this system.


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