Brooklyn, NY – (http://family-of-hal-turner.blogspot.com/) -- Radio Host and Blogger Hal Turner went on trial today for the THIRD time in 14 months after the government arrested him for uttering a nasty opinion about three federal judges.
Jury selection in the case began just before 10:00 AM and a jury of nine women and three men was seated by 2 PM.
Turner was charged with “threatening to assault and murder three United States Judges” after he wrote an editorial on his talk-radio web site last June. In that Editorial, Turner outlined how the three judges intentionally violated the US Constitution and intentionally violated a 2008 Supreme Court case involving gun control laws in Chicago.
The judges ruled that the Second Amendment only applied to the federal government and not to cities or states. Hence, they said, the Second Amendment did not apply in Chicago.
Turner read the ruling and published a news story about it on his popular talk-radio web site. In the Editorial, Turner analyzed the judge’s ruling and pointed out how they violated the Constitution. Turner criticized the judges, saying they were “traitors” and calling them “tyrants.” He went on to quote 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 said “It is time to replenish the tree.”
Turner said that the reason so many judges ignore the Constitution is because “. . . . .they have not, in our lifetime, faced REAL free men willing to walk up to them and kill them for their defiance and disobedience.”
He went on to write “Let me be the first to say this plainly, these judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty; a small price to pay to assure freedom for millions.”
The US Attorney in Chicago claims that saying the judges “deserve” to be killed is a “threat” to actually go kill them. Turner says “deserve” is an opinion; and in America, people are free to speak their opinions.
PROSECUTOR BOUNCED FROM CASE
Notably missing from today’s trial was Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) William Hogan. It turns out that Hogan was bounced from the case after repeatedly alienating Judge Donald Walter, and likely because of Hogan’s long track record of sleazy tactics.
Replacing Hogan as lead prosecutor was AUSA Diane MacArthur (photo to left). While everyone hoped the sleaze in the case would be done, it wasn’t. Ms. MacArthur almost immediately resorted to filthy smear tactics, which may have violated a recent ruling by the Judge in the case.
Last week, prior to the start of today’s trial, the Defense filed a Motion to prevent the government from raising any racial issues, any racial remarks or any racial-oriented material from Turner’s web site. Judge Donald Walter granted that Motion. Yet when Ms. MacArthur gave the government’s opening statement, she told Jurors about Turner’s “. . . . . . Audience of White Supremacists.”
In addition, Ms. MacArthur told Jurors that Hal Turner had been recruited by the FBI for several years, but that relationship ended two years ago. As such, she said, “Mr. Turner charted his own path.”
What was so amazing about this admission is that the government had previously asked the court to bar Mr. Turner and his lawyers from mentioning anything about his role with the FBI unless Mr. Turner took the Witness stand. The Judge granted that government Motion, and Turner was prevented from making any mention of his FBI ties during his second trial until Turner himself took the stand.
Today, AUSA MacArthur “opened the door” by mentioning Turner’s role with the FBI in her opening statement. When her statement was finished, the Defense asked the Judge to be able to make an opening statement and to also mention Turner’s FBI role because the government had opened that door. The Judge DENIED that motion!
Turner’s Defense Team is still forbidden from giving an opening statement until after the government’s case is done and is still forbidden from asking government witnesses about Turner’s role with the FBI until Turner himself takes to the Witness Stand. Interesting double-standard; the government gets to do what it wants while the Defense has its hands tied.
JUDGES TO TESTIFY AGAIN
When trial resumes tomorrow, the government is expected to call the three Judges from the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals (mentioned in Turner’s Editorial) to testify again. They testified at Turner’s second trial, which took place in March, 2010, but failed to convince that jury. The second trial ended with a Hung Jury which is why Turner is on trial for an astonishing THIRD TIME this week.
The fact that three federal judges testified against a defendant at Turner’s second trial, was historic. It was the first time in United States history that such a thing ever took place. History will be made again tomorrow when those same three judges take the Witness Stand again.
This time, however, the Turner defense team has something more to work with: Last month, the US Supreme Court overturned the Chicago Gun Control Decision made by these three judges. This means that Hal Turner was right in his June, 2009 Editorial and the three judges in the case were wrong.
What’s so sad – and dangerous – is that the same way these three 7th Circuit Judge tried to shred the right to keep and bear arms, they are now trying to shred the right to freedom of speech. They are trying to imprison Hal TUrner for TEN YEARS by claiming his opinion was a threat.
ESSENCE OF THE CASE
The government charges that saying the judges “deserve to be killed” is a threat to actually go kill them. Hal Turner says “deserve” is an opinion. A nasty opinion, but an opinion nonetheless. What do you think? Use the comment link below to express your views.