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Second Hal Turner Trial Ends in Mistrial

By Sonia Scherr on March 10, 2010 - 8:54 pm, Posted in White Supremacist

The federal trial of hate blogger Hal Turner ended in a mistrial late this afternoon — for the second time.

After deliberating for three days in Brooklyn’s U.S. District Court, jurors decided they would not be able to reach a verdict, according to The Associated Press. Judge Donald Walter declared a mistrial and scheduled a third trial for April 12. Turner’s first trial in December also resulted in a deadlocked jury. An Internet radio host from New Jersey, Turner was charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges in Chicago after he wrote on his blog in June that they “deserve to be killed” because they had upheld a local handgun ban.

As during the first trial, the proceedings this month focused on whether Turner’s blog entries constituted a criminal threat or merely heated rhetoric that’s protected under the First Amendment. However, the second trial differed from the first in key ways, according to news accounts. This time, for instance, the judges that Turner targeted on his blog testified. In addition, Turner took the stand to describe his past work as a confidential FBI informant, claiming that the agency had encouraged his online vitriol to give him credibility with the extremists the FBI was trying to apprehend. Turner, whose FBI code name was Valhalla, said the agency paid him more than $100,000 during the four years he worked intermittently as an informant. He also insisted he was not a white supremacist.

If convicted, Turner faces up to 10 years in prison.

  • NTX

    [From the article] “An Internet radio host from New Jersey, Turner was charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges in Chicago after he wrote on his blog in June that they ‘deserve to be killed’ because they had upheld a local handgun ban.”

    [Me] While I think it was incredibly stupid for anyone to state in a blog that three federal judges “deserve to be killed”, I don’t see that Turner directly threatened them. He did not specify a means nor method of carrying out such a scheme, nor did he specifically exhort anyone to carry out the deed, according to the information provided. This notwithstanding, the article did not include any pertinent and/or surrounding phrases, sentences or paragraphs so that anyone could make a proper contextual reference. However, upon reading about Mr. Turner from several different sources, my first question would be: does this guy own a gun? If so, then I would think that his threats were very real. If not, then I would question his sanity.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Lefties” have been visited by police for doing far less than burning Bush in effigy at rallies(something that is actually quite rare).

  • http://wrh O’Guillory

    ….even if you do not agree with Turner, his agenda, his racism and rhetoric,…I’m pretty sure we still get to express our opinions under the constitution…I wrote a “private” e-mail in Novemebr in which I expressed the opinion that members of senior leadership in a federal agency “deserved to be shot” although I stated “I am not that person , yet”! These are corrupt people I have watched crush people for years to further their illegal agenda, and whom I have reported under multiple “protected disclosures” and who also are screwing me out of my pension and health care after 22 years of emplyment….only to be tricked into a meeting in February and then threatened that if I did not admit to writing the e-mail, they would supeona(?) all of my e-mails….even though the two agents kept telling me that I’d done nothing Illegal and my letter as not “criminal”……..so long… America

  • Jack

    “But you have people like this Hank’s guy, who allegedly wrote books about how to get around the laws on gun regulation/AR-15 rifles,…”

    Law has to be precise. If you show a way to do something legally, it is not getting around the law. It is doing something in a way that COMPLIES with the law.

  • Jack

    Doesn’t matter Ruslan.
    Two juries, that have the privilege of seeing all the evidence the government had to offer have refused to convict.
    That should tell you something.
    It’s a weak case.

    It doesn’t matter if SOMEONE else does something illegal.

    You might remember all the lefties comparing Bush to Hitler and burning him in effigy, etc.

    If someone attempted an assassination, I guess by your reasoning we should round up all those lefties who were mouthing that and jail them?

    Sorry, no. Everyone is responsible for his own actions.
    If you choose to do something illegal it is your own problem.

  • Marisa

    Hal TUrner needs to go to jail, no matter how much he cooperated with the FBI.

  • skinnyminny

    Just because there are jurors that won’t convict this guy doesn’t mean he’s innocent. With the comeback of White Separatists/Nationalists/anti-Government, and of course juror/witness intimidation/tampering, it may be hard to get a conviction. Not saying this is the reason. But, there are lots of people that are people that are well-liked by a community, and people will never convict them.

    But you have people like this Hank’s guy, who allegedly wrote books about how to get around the laws on gun regulation/AR-15 rifles, and another called “Patriot Act” alleged to be a revised/newer version of “The Turner Diaries.” Oh, and let’s not forget these people use of the code word “Green Space.”

    More sneaky, is the alleged meaning of these people use of the Christian cross/sword, for them it means the need for violence. And the peddling of books, “Hitler’s Political Testament,” “Positively Christianity in the 3rd Reich,” and other books that allow them to speak the same language.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Jack, do you realize that this guy was acting as an agent of the FBI? Turner’s claim was that he could tip off law enforcement if anyone confided to him about some kind of terrorist action- but the question that seems to be going unanswered is what would have happened if someone took up his cause and DIDN’T send him word ahead of time or contact him at all. A lot of WNs believe in ideas like lone wolf tactics. Some of them are at least smart enough to know how many of their kind have been foiled by boneheaded tactics like mouthing off or confiding in others.

    If the FBI was using Turner in this way one of their own should be held accountable.

  • Jerry McManus

    In America it seems that a person must stand trial forever or until our obeese, stalanist goverment gets the blood it requires to satisfy its thrist and sustain its universe of lies.

  • Jack

    This story is amazing.

    We have two juries in a row that are not willing to bend to the governments disgusting brute force tactics.

    Then, we have this guy who is going to be 3 times.
    How many times does it take for you to realize you have a BAD case.

    It sure just looks like jury shopping. They will go on until they finally find a jury that agrees with their bull.

    Good thing our tax money is paying to prosecute someone that is obviously not a criminal.

  • Snorlax

    Unless the FBI takes the stand, I’d have a hard time believing ANYTHING that comes out of Hal Turner’s mouth.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    The person who ought to be on trial is whoever the hell his handler is at the FBI. If they encouraged him to say things like these threats, they had to know that some nutcase might have done something without tipping off Turner.