A federal judge in Brooklyn has declared a mistrial in the prosecution of Harold “Hal” Turner, the New Jersey blogger accused of threatening to kill three federal appellate judges in Chicago. With the jury deadlocked 9-3 in favor of acquittal after two days of deliberations, visiting U.S. District Court Judge Donald Walter ordered a new trial for March 1.
The three-day trial centered on a handful of blog entries posted by Turner in June, in which he called for the murders of Judges William Bauer, Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for voting to uphold handgun bans in and around Chicago. “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These Judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty,” Turner wrote in one of his blog entries. “These Judges deserve to [be] made such an example of as to send a message to the entire judiciary: Obey the Constitution or die.”
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