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Bill White, the imprisoned neo-Nazi leader who spent years pushing the boundaries of the First Amendment, has been sentenced to another 3½ years in federal prison — even as he awaits a trial in yet another of the cases in which he is accused of criminally threatening his enemies.
Two years after being convicted of threatening the foreman of a Chicago jury that sent another neo-Nazi to prison for soliciting the murder of a federal judge, White was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman after offering a half-hearted apology for “communicating in a way that was subject to misunderstanding,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
The sentence related to a Sept. 11, 2008, blog posting by White that accused former jury foreman Mark Hoffman of being a “gay Jewish anti-racist” who helped convict Matt Hale, the one-time leader of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator, in 2005, and also published personal details about Hoffman including his home address and phone numbers. White didn’t directly threaten Hoffman in that post, but wrote in a separate post on his website that all those who helped convict Hale deserved to be assassinated.
White has a long history of making threats over the Internet, by telephone and through the mails. He was already in federal prison when he was sentenced in the latest case, where he was serving time for violating his parole in yet another threat case by fleeing to Mexico. And just last week, White, a one-time anarchist who went on to found and lead the Virginia-based American National Socialist Workers Party, was indicted in still another case, this time for threatening to have his ex-wife beaten and “hospitalized” for not sending him money while he was on the lam.
For years, White skirted criminal responsibility for his threats, avoiding directly calling on followers to kill even as he seemed to encourage precisely that. In the latest case, in fact, Judge Adelman initially dismissed the indictment against White, ruling that his comments were protected free speech. But that ruling was reversed on appeal. Later, Adelman reversed the jury’s guilty verdict for the same reason, but was again overturned.
Yesterday, the judge described the experiences of Hoffman — who did not attend the sentencing hearing because, prosecutors reported, “he cannot endure the thought of further contact with the defendant and this case” — as having “no doubt” been “extremely frightening.”