One year ago, on June 24, 2009, the United States Government began a full frontal assault upon freedom of speech and shredded the US Constitution when it arrested radio host and blogger, Hal Turner. Earlier that month on June 2 and 3, Turner committed the unspeakable act of writing his opinion about three federal judges, 700 miles away from him, in Chicago. The government didn’t like Turner’s opinion and arrested him for it!
Before we go any further, we wish to make clear that The family of Hal Turner has no intention of taking any action against anyone based on information appearing in this article and YOU, the readers, should not take any action against anyone as a result of anything in this article either.
Under no circumstances should you, the reader, take any action which would violate any law as a result of anything you read here. We present this detailed article to show you the frightening and tragic events taking place, right now, as a result of the government ignoring freedom of speech.
The following (long) article is a compilation from letters written by Hal Turner to his family, friends and to the news media during the months he was held in prison. It also includes information from sources closely involved with the case during two full federal criminal trials but who are no longer part of the case.
Mr. Turner himself did not participate in the creation of this article; he did not ask for it to be published and has no control over it appearing here. Any Hyperlinks in this article to other internet sites, were researched by us for inclusion in this article.
The situation began when Judges in Chicago issued a ruling in a lawsuit which sought to overturn the ban on handgun ownership in Chicago. In that ruling, the Judges ignored the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and further ignored a recent US Supreme Court case on the same issue. They let stand a ban on handgun ownership, saying the Second Amendment to the Constitution does not apply to places like Chicago because those places are creations of the states and not federal entities!
The fact that the Constitution is the supreme law of our land, didn’t matter to these Judges. The fact that the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution and is thus part of the supreme law of our land, didn’t matter to these judges. The fact that the Fourteenth Amendment applies the US Constitution to the states, didn’t matter to these judges. The fact that in 2008, the US Supreme Court struck down a similar handgun ban in Washington, DC for violating the Second Amendment, also didn’t matter to these judges. Their ruling ignored all those things and allowed the Chicago handgun ban to remain in place.
Hal Turner, writing on his “TurnerRadioNetwork.blogspot.com” web site, identified the judges by name and called them “Traitors” to the United States. He described them as “tyrants” and quoted one of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, who wrote “The tree of liberty must be replenished from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” Turner went on to say the judges “deserve to be killed” for betraying the nation.
The next day, Turner looked up each judge on Google. In the “Image” section of Google, Turner found about twenty public photos of Judge Frank Easterbrook. (Here) then found public photos of Judge William Bauer (Here ) and even more public photos of Judge Richard Posner (Here). Those photos were put online by other people over many years and are all available to anyone for free!
Turner then went to the web site of the 7th US Circuit court of appeals and found the three Judges official, public, mailing address and phone number at their courthouse.
Easterbrook, Here: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/contact.htm#easterbrook
Bauer, Here: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/contact.htm#bauer
Posner Here: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/contact.htm#posner
REMINDER: DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION AGAINST ANYONE AS A RESULT OF THE INFORMATION ABOVE. DO NOT VIOLATE ANY LAW!
One day after his original article, Turner added the public photos, public office address, public picture of the courthouse and a public map to the courthouse. All the information was already public; already online. None of it was secret.
Twenty-one days later, the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago sent FBI Agent Mark Wallschlaeger from Chicago to New Jersey with a Search Warrant. Wallschlaeger executed that Warrant at Turner’s New Jersey home with about 11 other FBI people. We’re told it was quite a fiasco having so many federal agents and a couple of local cops, in the condo where Turner lives.
According to Turner’s wife, Phyllis and their son, Michael, Wallschlaeger argued by phone with the US Attorney’s Office, telling them “I don’t have probable cause to arrest this guy.” Wallschlaeger was then ordered to arrest Turner.
SURPRISE! TURNER WORKED WITH THE FBI
At that point, Turner’s family says he revealed to Agent Wallschlaeger that he had worked as an intelligence operative for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Newark, NJ. Turner went on to say he had been fully trained by the FBI itself in the use of violent rhetoric, and what he wrote on his blog was, in fact, legal to say. In fact, Turner had used the exact same words about other judges in Chicago just four years earlier on national TV and was paid $3000 by the FBI for doing it!
This prompted Wallschlaeger to telephone Chicago again. According to Phyllis and Michael Turner, both of whom heard those phone calls, Wallschlaeger told Chicago “this guy was with the JTTF. . . . . This thing is going to blow up in our face.” Awhile later, someone from Chicago called back and told Wallschlaeger to arrest Turner on a charge of “threatening to assault and murder three United States Judges.”
The US Attorney in Chicago claims that Turner saying the judges “deserve to be killed” is a “threat” to actually go kill them! Turner says the word “deserve” is an opinion and in America, people are free to express their opinions. The First Amendment be damned, in “the land of the free” Hal Turner was on his way to jail because the government didn’t like his opinion.
ARREST? FORGET THAT; LET’S DO LUNCH!
Agent Wallschlaeger, from FBI Chicago, thought the charge against Turner was such bullshit that instead of taking him to the FBI Office in Newark, NJ to be processed, he took Turner to McDonald’s and bought him lunch! The official FBI arrest report confirms this fact. (That report is public information as it was shown in federal court in December.)
After being processed at the FBI building in Newark, Turner was held in the Newark City Jail on Green Street that first night. He slept on a wooden bench, no blanket or pillow and no food. Welcome to the criminal justice system.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, IN ACTION. . . . .
Then next morning, Turner was to encounter a very dangerous individual: an uppity, affirmative action appointee with power; United States Magistrate Judge Michael Shipp.
The Assistant US Attorney in New Jersey argued to Judge Shipp that Hal Turner was dangerous because he said things on the radio and on his web site which caused the government “concern.” He went on to quote the Anti-Defamation League and others who also didn’t like things Turner said in the past. One of the conditions the US Attorney sought if Bail was granted was that Turner would be banned from using the Internet once released on Bail.
Turner’s lawyer, Michael Orozco of the law firm, Bailey-Orozco in Newark, NJ appeared on Turner’s behalf and argued in favor of Bail. Turner’s brother was willing to co-Sign bail, Turner’s mom was willing to put her Pennsylvania home up as collateral and Turner himself was willing to comply with whatever restrictions were ultimately put in place.
The Affirmative-Action-Appointee-Judge recessed the Hearing so that the value of the mother’s house could be ascertained and the financial abilities of Turner’s brother could be verified. Just before being taken out of the courtroom, Turner’s attorney, Michael Orozco, quietly and privately revealed to the Assistant US Attorney for New Jersey, that Turner had been with the FBI. The Asst. US Attorney appeared flabbergasted; absolutely incredulous. He told Orozco “Hal Turner was never with the FBI; he has no credibility whatsoever.” Turner was then taken to the Essex County Jail in Newark to spend the weekend.
While at the Jail, Turner called his lawyer and asked if it was OK for him to record an “update” for posting on his web site so he could tell his radio audience what was going on. The attorney, Michael Orozco told Turner that it was OK since no actual terms of Bail had been ORDERED. So, Turner recorded the update and it was posted on Turner’s web site. You can hear that Update yourselves at:
When Turner was brought back into court a few days later, the government went absolutely berserk over the “Update.” They claimed that Turner had violated the agreement to stay off the internet by having his audio update put out.
Even though there was no actual agreement, and; even though there was no ORDER forbidding such a posting, and; even though Turner made no threat to do anything to anyone, the affirmative-action-appointee, Magistrate Shipp, put the kibosh on Bail. He ordered Turner “Held pending removal to the Northern District of Illinois.”
Hal Turner was to be held without Bail until he was taken by US Marshall’s to Chicago where the complaint had been signed against him. So much for the Constitutional right to Bail.
This is what happens when you give an unqualified person, real power. Magistrate Michael Shipp clearly got his job because he has the right skin color and the Constitution got shredded because Shipp was too dumb to tell the difference between an opinion and a threat. Affirmative Action strikes again.
COULD HAVE WALKED TO CHICAGO FASTER
Turner remained in the Essex County Jail – in protective custody -- for about the next two weeks. The Essex County Sheriff’s Department told Turner that news of his arrest “was all over the newspapers and on TV” and that he needed to be put in protective custody because “in jail, if people think you’re famous, they can get famous too by hurting you.”
Protective Custody is actually solitary confinement. A prisoner is locked-in a cell 23 hours a day; allowed out for only one hour per day to shower or walk the 50’ long hallway for exercise.” The prisoner eats, drinks, sleeps and stays in his cell, alone.
About two weeks later, US Marshals arrived to take Turner to Chicago. They departed Essex County Jail with Turner handcuffed, chained and shackled. They drove to Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh, NY where Turner boarded a “Con-Air” flight; a planeload of prisoners. To Turner’s surprise, the plane wasn’t going to Chicago, it was going to the Federal Transfer Center (FTC) in Oklahoma City, OK.
The FTC is located right on the property of the Roy Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. The Con-Air flight landed, turned left, right, left and left again, pulling right up to the jail itself.
Inside, new arrivals are strip-searched (naked) in groups of ten men at a time, given new prison clothing and sent to a bull-pen for processing. There’s paperwork to fill out; a prisoner’s medical history, whom to notify if a prisoner dies, etc. Very late that night, Turner was brought to his cell – in general population – with his new celly, Carlos Torres, a 30-something year old, convicted double murderer from Tennessee. For writing his opinion, Hal Turner was now bunking with a murderer.
According to family members we spoke to, Turner stayed in general population in Oklahoma for about the next week. Then, one morning around 3 AM, he was told “Turner, pack your shit, you’re leaving.” A while later, he was taken downstairs, strip-searched, handcuffed, chained and shackled along with maybe 200 other prisoners, and made to wait for several hours to board the plane out.
Turns out, the plane was broken. Everybody had to be taken back in, strip-searched again, given new clothes, again, and sent back to the cell block.
According to US Marshals at the FTC, the plane had trouble with its air conditioning. A few weeks or so earlier, in Utah, the air conditioning on a similar plane failed with a plane full of prisoners. The Marshals said the prisoners were made to stay on the plane, on the tarmac in desert heat, for six hours until one of them, a forty-something year old, dropped dead on the plane from heat stroke! Marshals said a lot of prisoners were vomiting from the heat, so they wouldn’t put any prisoners on the plane until they knew the Air Conditioning was working. Gee, it only took one death for them to figure that out.
A few hours after being returned to the cell block, several uniformed officers from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) came looking for Turner. According to family members we spoke to, they took him out in the hallway, threw him up against a wall and handcuffed him. When Turner asked what was going on, he was told, “We’re taking you to the SHU, the Special Housing Unit.” When Turner asked what he’d done wrong to warrant being punished, he was told “You have been declared a high threat risk; a threat to government. “
Turner was taken into “Administrative Segregation,” (Ad. Seg.). In common parlance, he was put “in the hole.”
The SHU is where prisoners are sent when they violate prison rules. It houses the worst of the worst. Hal Turner wrote an OPINION the government didn’t like and he was now being treated like a terrorist!
This is the Obama Administration. This is how they deal with speech they don’t like. Some people call Obama a “Socialist.” They’re wrong; he’s an outright Communist. Think we exaggerate? Look how they treat American citizen Hal Turner who had the nerve to dissent! It gets worse; much worse.
In the SHU, Turner’s new celly was a guy named Thomas English. Mr. English was a drug dealer whose little brother got murdered in a drug deal gone bad. Mr. English hunted down the dealer who killed his little brother and murdered the dealer. When Mr. English was sent to prison, he claims to have encountered a Cho-Mo (child molester). According to Thomas English, he “shanked” the Cho-Mo so badly, the guy lost one testicle and needed a colostomy bag. This was Hal Turner’s new celly.
Mr. English was freed from the SHU a few days later and got word to theTurner family that Turner had been placed in The SHU. Turner himself was not allowed to make any phone calls and could only write letters once a week – on a Wednesday -- so Turner had no way to get word to anyone about his new circumstance.
Later, Turner got a new celly, Matt Benjamin, a convicted gun runner from Texas. According to Hal’s wife, Phyllis, this guy entered the cell, got on the top bunk, pulled a sheet over himself (head to toe) and announced from underneath the sheet “This is my fortress of solitude, I do not want to be disturbed.” Oh. Great.
We won’t tell you what this guy was DOING underneath his sheet, but you might venture a guess. Imagine being trapped in a cell with this for 23 hours a day.
A few more days went by and Turner was awoken to get on another Con-Air plane to take him to Chicago. The plane went first to Indianapolis, then to Detroit and finally, Chicago.
WELCOME TO FEDERAL PRISON – MCC CHICAGO
Apparently, when a prisoner is called first on a Con-Air flight, the guy is trouble. Guess who got called first when the plane landed in Chicago? Yep. Hal Turner.
Bureau of Prisons Lieutenant Diamond boarded the plane, called for Turner and escorted him down the stairs to the tarmac. He told Turner to “Stay Here and don’t move” until they got every other prisoner off the plane and onto waiting buses. As the other prisoners disembarked, Lt. Diamond pointed to Turner and told them, “Stay away from this guy, he’s dangerous.” Turner was taken to his bus, last.
The ride from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) takes about 45 minutes. MCC is a regular-looking, 24 story office building in downtown Chicago. While it looks like an office building, it is a medium security federal prison.
Upon arrival, the bus entered a secure garage where prisoners are normally taken to a bull pen, given new clothes, given a prison ID card and assigned cells. Not Hal Turner. He was taken off the bus first, walked directly to a waiting elevator, whisked to the 11th floor, taken off, strip searched - where the crown on his front tooth was taken from him because “it might be used as a weapon” - then walked directly to an empty cell in The SHU. Hal Turner was back in 23 hour lockdown. Alone.
MCC has all sorts of prisoners in it: Murderers, Rapists, Armed Robbers, Gang-Bangers, Drug King Pins and the like. While all of them got to be in general population, socialize with each other, play games, watch TV, watch movies, use the telephone, eat together, shower every day and even work-out on the rooftop gym, Hal Turner could not.
Hal was locked down 23 hours a day. No TV, no radio, no television, no videos, no games, no phone. He was told he would be allowed to phone his lawyer once per week, and his family only once per MONTH!
While the murderers, rapists, robbers and the like could use the rooftop gym once a day, Turner could not. Instead, he was taken to a “cage” within the SHU. The “Cage” is a 10’ x 20’ cage in the middle of the cellblock with a pull-up bar and a broken exercise bike in it. That was Turner’s “recreation.”
Turner was allowed to shower only on Mondays, Wednesdays a Fridays, but there was an additional snag. Since Turner was declared a high threat risk and a threat to government, he was placed on “3-Man Hold.” What that meant is that whenever Turner was to be taken out of his cell for any reason, three (3) guards had to be present to physically HOLD ONTO HIM as he was walked wherever he was going! In the Bureau of Prisons, Fridays are considered “weekends” so there wasn’t enough prison staff to meet the 3-Man Hold criteria. What this meant is that once Hal Turner got his one hour of recreation on Thursday, he was kept inside his cell, TWENTY FOUR (24) hours a day until Monday! No recreation and no shower over the weekends.
Turner arrived in Chicago on a Thursday; thirty days after he was remanded pending removal to Northern Illinois. He could have walked from New Jersey to Chicago faster than the system got him there.
Turner was taken to the US Courthouse in downtown Chicago the next morning to be arraigned. Even though Asst. US Attorney (AUSA)William Hogan had been called almost every single day by Turner’s attorney, Michael Orozco, Hogan didn’t tell Orozco that Turner had arrived in Chicago!
Turner was brought to the courthouse to be arraigned, without an attorney! When Turner flatly refused to appear in court without his attorney, he was taken back to MCC and allowed to call his lawyer. It was the first time in two full weeks that Turner had any contact with the outside world.
Orozco flew to Chicago that night and met with Turner at MCC the following day, Saturday. Despite the meeting being Attorney-Client, and thereby privileged, Turner was not allowed to be in the same room as his lawyer! The two were separated by glass and steel, kept under constant video surveillance and forced to communicate via a monitored telephone! Turner was even kept hand-cuffed and chained while in that meeting!!
After the meeting, Turner was again strip-searched and put back in his cell. Arraignment would take place after the weekend, on Monday.
Monday morning, Turner was taken by US Marshals to the US Courthouse again, this time to appear before Magistrate Martin C. Ashman. It turns out that Ashman is the same Judge who signed the arrest Warrant for Turner. Gee. That’s fair and impartial. . . . . . .
At that Arraignment, AUSA William Hogan, who had been in contact with Turner’s Attorney for a full month prior, finally revealed that he intended to ask the court that Turner continue to be held without bail. Even though Hogan had Turner’s FBI file and even though it proved that Turner had worked for the FBI for years and was thoroughly trained in the lawful use of violent rhetoric, Hogan intended to ask for Turner to be kept under lock and key. It was a disgusting betrayal.
When Turner’s attorney informed Turner of Hogan’s plans, Turner instructed his Attorney to reveal in open court that Turner worked for the FBI. He did. The media went wild!
It turns out that for the month prior, Chicago news media covered the Turner case almost every day. On TV and Radio, story after story reported that Turner threatened to murder three judges, was a vicious racist, a white supremacist, a Nazi, a Jew hater and worse. All the while, the US Attorney’s Office knew these things were false based on Turner’s FBI file, but they let the lies flow nonetheless. It was deliberate, planned deception. The US Attorney’s Office concealed the truth from the press and from the court. It was an overt effort to taint the jury pool out in Chicago. It failed.
When Attorney Michael Orozco revealed in open court that Hal Turner was an Intelligence Operative for the FBI, Magistrate Ashman was shocked. Clearly, the revelation took him totally by surprise. AUSA Hogan looked like a bashful schoolboy when confronted by Turner’s lawyer who said “Hal Turner was an intelligence informant for the FBI and I would ask that Assistant US Attorney Hogan admit or deny that right now?” Hogan stammered and stuttered, so Orozco asked again.
As quietly as he could, Hogan admitted “there was a relationship.” The media, which had been crowded in the rear of the courtroom, bolted from the room to be first to report this blockbuster revelation. Turner’s FBI relationship was reported as the lead story on every TV news show in Chicago that evening and on the front page of both the Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times the following day.
Judge Ashman offered Turner time to Subpoena the FBI to appear at a Detention Hearing. He recessed the Hearing until August 10 to allow for the FBI to be subpoenaed so they could testify that Turner was not a danger. But Chicago has deep rooted corruption and ten days later when the Hearing was continued, it would reveal itself in all its brazen filth for everyone to see.
On August 10, the Detention Hearing resumed and several frightening things took place.
Turner’s Attorney’s has successfully Subpoenaed several members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to appear at the Hearing. The Subpoenas were served by official Constables. All recipients were available to come to Chicago. . . . . . but not one showed up.
In court, AUSA William Hogan told Judge Ashman that he instructed the FBI not to honor the Subpoenas! Hogan cited an arcane Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure, (17(d), which requires the DEFENSE to prepay with each subpoena, the travel costs for witnesses to appear. The government doesn’t have to do that, only the Defense has to do it. Hogan argued that since none of the Agents got the prepayment, the Subpoenas were “not properly served.”
At first, Judge Ashman balked at the absurdity of the claim. Ashman pointed out that the government didn’t have to do that and Turner’s lawyer pointed out that the Turner family had plenty of funds to pay the few hundred dollars for at least one Agent to come from nearby Detroit – only 90 miles away.
With that, Hogan told the court that Turner’s relationship with the FBI was minimal, and then Hogan outright lied by telling the court “he was probably closed for being unproductive.”
According to a source no longer involved with Turner’s case, Hogan’s Office had nearly twelve hundred (1200) pages of FBI records from Hal Turner’s FBI file! Those records showed that Turner bagged multiple murderers, thwarted an attack against the President of the United States, uncovered a plot in Brazil to send supplies to the Iraqi resistance, and stopped the sale of Stealth military technology on the black market! Yet Hogan told the court Turner was “unproductive.” This was but one of many lies that Hogan would tell, but we’ll get to that another time.
At that point, something peculiar happened. Judge Ashman, who seemed to be favoring releasing Turner on Bail, adjourned the hearing to go to his Chambers. When Ashman returned to the bench about 30 minutes later, it was clear that someone called or talked to Judge Ashman outside the courtroom. At that point, the Constitution of the United States went in the garbage can.
Ashman said he would not enforce the Subpoenas; the FBI would not be forced to come to court to testify. Hal Turner’s Constitutional Right to compel Witnesses to testify, was crushed on the spot.
Ashman next decided that he would not hold AUSA Hogan in Contempt for telling the FBI to disregard the Subpoenas. If anyone else had intentionally ignored a Subpoena, they’d be arrested. Not this time. Hal Turner’s Constitutional Right to equal treatment under law, was crushed on the spot.
Judge Ashman next said that while Turner might want the FBI to testify on his behalf to show he was not dangerous, he didn’t need to hear any of that testimony. He was going to decide on Turner’s “Dangerousness” without any evidence being heard. Hal Turner’s Constitutional Right to Due Process was crushed on the spot.
Finally, Judge Ashman made the astounding remark that the charge against Turner was actually more serious than it appeared on paper because Judges do not get Secret Service Protection. As such, Ashman claimed, there was no set of conditions that could assure Turner’s appearance in court and that he would not pose a danger to the community, hence he would get no Bail. Hal Turner’s Constitutional Right to Bail was crushed on the spot.
Judge Martin C. Ashman violated almost every Constitutional Right that an accused person has!!! He is a corrupt Judge and a disgrace to the Bench. Judge Martin C. Ashman and AUSAWilliam R. Hogan epitomize the nationally-notorious Chicago corruption. They put it on display for the world to see.
THE EFFECT OF CONSTITUTIONAL SHREDDING
Hal Turner was whisked back to prison at MCC Chicago. He was put immediately back in The SHU. His schedule went like this:
6:00 AM Lights on in the cell.
6:30 AM Breakfast served through the cell door.
7:00 AM Trash and trays collected through the cell door.
From 7:00 to 8:00 to 9:00 to 10:00 to 11:00 . . . . . . . nothing. No TV, no video, no radio, no games, no telephone, no one to talk to, nothing to read.
11:30 AM, Lunch is served through the cell door.
12:00 Noon, trash and trays collected.
From 12:00 to 1:00 to 2:00 to 3:00 to 4:00. . . . . . . nothing. No TV, no video, no radio, no games, no telephone, no one to talk to, nothing to read.
4:30 PM Dinner is served through the cell door.
5:00 Trash and trays collected.
From 5:00 to 6:00 to 7:00 to 8:00 to 9:00 to 10:00. . . . . . nothing. No TV, no video, no radio, no games, no telephone, no one to talk to, nothing to read.
10:00 Lights out in the cell.
That was Hal Turner’s schedule every day, from July 28 until September 10. Hal Turner endured isolation in the Essex County Jail (2 weeks), then got to general population for a week at the FTC in Oklahoma City, then got put back in isolation for a week there; then in isolation from July 28 through August 10 at the Bail Hearing, then back into isolation from August 10 through September 10 when a new Judge got involved in the case.
In state prisons, a person is not allowed to be held in isolation for more than 15 days because it is so psychologically damaging. Hal Turner endured 77 days.
NEW JUDGE DESIGNATED FOR THE CASE
With Chicago corruption being so evident, the jury pool so tainted by the deliberate misinformation spewed by the US Attorney’s Office; with Hal Turner’s role with the FBI deliberately concealed and maligned by the US Attorney’s Office, it was clear that Turner could never get a fair trial in Chicago.
By order of the Executive Committee of the 7th US Circuit, all District Court Judges in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin were Recused from Turner’s case. You see, they all have to answer to the 3 Judges that Turner allegedly threatened, so none of them could be trusted to be fair and impartial. Instead, Judge Donald E. Walter from the US District Court in Shreveport, LA was designated to handle the case.
Even though Judge Walter had been in Chicago at the time of Turner’s arrest, and even though he had to have seen the media onslaught saturating Chicago, he was told to take the case and he did.
Turner’s lawyers immediately filed a Motion with Judge Walter for Reconsideration of Turner’s Bail. Thankfully, in September, Judge Walter ordered Turner’s pretrial release upon the posting of Five Hundred Thousand dollars ($500,000) with further restrictions that Turner could not go on the internet or appear in any media, Turner could not communicate with the media directly or through any other person, Turner was confined to house arrest and had to wear an electronic ankle bracelet.
Turner’s lawyers also Motioned for a Change of Venue, arguing that Turner could never get a fair trial in Chicago. Judge Walter agreed and moved the trial from Chicago to Brooklyn, NY. But the shenanigans by the feds weren’t over.
On September 11, 2009, Turner was flown on a Con-Air flight back to the FTC in Oklahoma. With his status as an Intelligence Operative for the FBI now out in the open, where did the feds put Turner? Back in The SHU. . . . . . only this time with a celly named Willy Wilson. . . . . . . from the Aryan Brotherhood; the most-murderous prison gang in the country.
Mr. Wilson is serving 34 years as a career criminal for Drug and weapons possession. His affiliation with the Aryan Brotherhood is indicated by his Tatoos.
So Hal Turner, who dared to write his opinion, found himself sitting in a federal prison cell with a member of Aryan Brotherhood. Knowing that his status with the FBI had been made public, the feds put him in what was probably the single most life-threatening environment possible. Hal Turner endured.
Turner arrived in New Jersey a few days later on September 15. He was put in the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, NJ, near his home. It took his family awhile to raise the $500,000 bail, but they did. Hal Turner was released on October 21.
SPEEDY TRIAL? FAT CHANCE!
When Turner was arraigned in August, his Attorneys demanded a Speedy Trial. Federal Statute specifies a “speedy trial” must take place within 70 days of Arraignment. Turner’s trial date was set for October 25.
The government assigned three (3) Assistant US Attorneys to Turner’s case. One of them, William Ridgway, had a potential 3 day conflict with another trial. So the government moved for a continuance.
Even though Turner was entitled to a speedy trial, that Constitutional Right went out the window. For their potential 3 day conflict in scheduling, the government was granted a new trial date of December 1, 2009.
Turner went on trial December 1. The Jury was seated and “Jeopardy” attached to Mr. Turner. During that trial, the third highest-ranking official from the FBI in New York City, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Amy Pickett, testified on Turner’s behalf.
Pickett stunned the courtroom when she said that Hal Turner “. . . . . was national security.” She went on to say that Intelligence people like Turner dealt with “national security, terrorism and foreign counter-intelligence.” She lauded Turner as being “very good.” She went on to say that “his information was very good; if he said something was going to happen, it did.” Other Agents testified that Turner was paid tend-of-thousands of dollars by the FBI to infiltrate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, the National Alliance and Nazis.
Having heard all the evidence, the Jury reported they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. They were deadlocked with a vote of nine (9) Not guilty, to three (3) Guilty. A mistrial was declared. That should have been the end of it. Sadly, not.
DOUBLE JEOPARDY? WHO CARES?
Turner was told he must stand trial again! A new trial date was set. 70 day speedy trial? NO! The new trial would take place March 1, 2010.
Turner went on trial again. The jury was seated and “Jeopardy” attached for the second time.
Even though the US Constitution says that “No person shall be twice put in jeopardy. . . . .” Hal Turner was on trial a second time.
This time, however, the case was rigged. It looked like the nationally-notorious Chicago corruption teamed-up with Louisiana’s “Huey Long” brand of “justice.” Huey Long was a notorious Louisiana politician. Judge Donald Walter is a 78 year old Judge from Louisiana.
Normally, both the Prosecution and the Defense get to make opening statements at the start of trial. Not this time! Judge Walter ORDERED the Defense to delay its opening statement until after the Government was finished with its case! Judge Walter also ordered that the Defense could NOT ask any of the government’s witnesses anything about Hal Turner’s role with the FBI until the Defense began its case – meaning the Defense would have to Subpoena and pay for the travel expenses for those same witnesses. Then, Judge Walter further ORDERED the Defense could not even speak of Turner’s role with the FBI unless Hal Turner took the Witness Stand himself and testified he was with the FBI!
If these things weren’t rigging the case enough, the Judge ruled that the three Judges named by Turner in his Editorial Opinion, would be allowed to come to court to testify against Turner!
Even though Hal Turner never talked to any of those Judges, never e-mailed them, never sent any faxes to them, never mailed any letters to them, never telephoned them and never showed up in Chicago to see any of them, they would get to take the Witness stand anyway.
This was a remarkable thing because during Trial #1, none of the Judges were called to testify and the government argued that they didn’t need to come because Turner never communicated with them. Now, for trial #2, the same government was arguing that these Judges, with whom Turner never communicated, could come to court anyway! It was a stunning ruling that allowed totally irrelevant “witnesses” to testify about something they were never contacted about!
Despite the case being terribly rigged against Turner, the second Jury deadlocked. It was a major victory of sorts for Hal Turner. For the first time in US History, three federal judges took the Witness Stand to testify against a Defendant and the Jury didn’t believe them! What a slap in the face to those high and mighty judges!
Without a unanimous verdict, another mistrial was declared. That too, should have been the end of it. Nope!
Turner was told he would be put on trial a THIRD TIME! Speedy trial in 70 days? Nope! The new trial date is “tentatively” set for August 9, 2010.
US CONSTITUTION; A SAD JOKE
You think you have Constitutional Rights? Think again. You don’t. The case of Hal Turner is proof.
While the US Constitution supposedly protects certain “unalienable” rights, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure takes them all away.
Even US Supreme Court case law, established in the case of “Brandenburg v. Ohio” which protects advocating violence, is being flatly ignored in the Turner case. Judge Walter made reversible error when he ruled that Turner’s words were “not protected” by the First Amendment because “they could facilitate violence.” Turner is not charged with facilitation; no crime against any judge actually took place and “facilitation” is not a “threat.” So Judge Walter is blatantly wrong on the law!
It appears that freedom of speech depends upon whose Ox is being gored. The rules, the law and even Supreme Court case law have gone out the window in the case of Hal Turner. The government is bent on jailing him for his opinion and the courts seem to be aiding an abetting this travesty by rigging his trials. This should frighten and outrage the American people.
Freedom of Speech is being assaulted by an out-of-control government that seems to think it can do whatever it wants. It cannot.
When the Hal Turner case began, “The Los Angeles Times” ran a lead editorial supporting Hal Turner. That editorial appears HERE. Later, “The Washington Post” ran a story supporting Turner. That story appears HERE.
During the course of both federal trials, Producers from CBS News “60 Minutes” attended every day of both trials. Hal Turner is CONFIRMED to appear on “60 Minutes” when his trial is finished.
The government seems very sensitive to media coverage; so sensitive in fact, that after Trial #2, Judge Walter, peaking from the Bench in open court, told Hal Turner to “make no effort to further involve the media in this case.” The Judge even went so far as to threaten to move the case to Juneau, Alaska! (They have TV, radio and newspapers there too.)
Why is the government so sensitive? They know they’re wrongly criminalizing an Opinion in absolute violation of the First Amendment. It seems they want to do it as fast and as quietly as possible. Sorry boys, not gonna happen.
PROSECUTOR HAS A CORRUPT PAST
After trial #2 in March, the Family of Hal Turner found out that AUSA William Hogan has quite a history of allegedly lying to juries, suppressing evidence and even bribing witnesses. He was FIRED from his job for these things in 1993! We reported that story HERE.
A few years later, Hogan allegedly BLACKMAILED the Justice Department into giving him his job back, after Hogan allegedly leaked information about 6 federal Judges in Chicago were taking bribes. Shortly after revealing this, Hogan miraculously got his job back and no one ever heard about those Judges taking bribes again. We reported that story HERE.
We also found out that Hogan and his boss, Patrick Fitzgerald, are under Congressional Investigation for allegedly forcing witnesses to lie under oath! We reported that story HERE.
Here we are, one year later, and Hal Turner endures. Despite being forced into Bankruptcy by legal costs and being held under house arrest, he is fighting the good fight, within the rules, even though the rules seem to be going out the window.
Turner’s conduct throughout this disgusting affair is a testament to his integrity and patience. Want proof? Put yourself in the same situation and ask how long YOU would tolerate petty and petulant government officials doing this to you?
Thankfully, no matter what the government does, Hal Turner has the truth on his side: He threatened no one. Saying someone “deserves to be killed” cannot ever be a “threat” and nothing the government says or does will ever change Hal’s opinion into a threat.
Trial #3 is scheduled for August 9, 2010 at the US Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, NY, 6th floor. The trial is open to the public.