The federal trial for white supremacist Hal Turner is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning.
Turner, a neo-Nazi blogger and Internet radio host, is charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges in Chicago. Turner wrote on his blog that they “deserve to be killed” and posted their photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers. He was upset that the men — Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer — had upheld a federal handgun ban.
Turner’s defense will contend that Turner’s online statements were constitutionally protected speech. They’ve also announced their intention to delve into Turner’s history as a paid FBI informant to show that Turner had made similar threats previously — and authorities did not deem them criminal. The defense hopes to question New Jersey Gov.-elect Chris Christie about a letter declining to prosecute Turner that he may have issued as U.S. attorney.
If convicted, Turner faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. We will post updates as the trial unfolds in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.