Harold “Hal” Turner, a right wing blogger and Internet radio shock jock from New Jersey has just been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for making death threats. The threats were made against three federal judges in Illinois. Mr. Turner’s defense was his Constitutional “right to free speech”.
Threats of assault and murder were made in posts on the Internet in retaliation for their ruling upholding handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park. Turner was arrested by the FBI in June 2009 after proclaiming “outrage” over the handgun ruling.
Turner then took it a step further stating, “Let me be the first to say this plainly: “These Judges deserve to be killed.” In his tirade, posts included photos of the judges, phone numbers, work addresses and room numbers of all three judges, also included was a photo of the building where they worked, with a map.
Before being sentenced, Turner cast aspersions in what he called a “thin skinned” federal judiciary. Thin skinned? Is it thin skinned to give countless numbers of people your targets’ address and phone number with a map of how to get there, after lambasting the judges on your radio talk show?
Turner also professed to being an FBI informant and claimed he only pretended to be a white supremacist so that he could infiltrate extremist groups — then to learn about threats to the government.
Turner protested the decision with inflammatory remarks posted on the Internet. Prosecutors said he crossed the line by declaring, “These judges must die.”
Turner, 48, a former snitch for the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service, claimed his government handlers at the time had urged him to make provocative statements and advocate for violent resistence to smoke out domestic terrorists.
“I love America, I’ve made America safer,” he said. “Honest to God, I don’t believe I violated the law.”
He doesn’t believe he violated the law. That just boggles the mind. Mr. Turner is also prohibited from participating in Internet or radio programming for three years. Won’t he be in prison for almost three years?
H/T @Winterthur with many thanks