US /

FBI

Blogger's Case Tests Limits of Free Speech
Far-right critic remains in jail after calling for judges' deaths
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2009 1:46 PM CDT
This photo provided by State Capitol Police shows Harold "Hal" Turner in Hartford, Conn. Thursday, June 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/State Capitol Police)

(Newser) – When three federal judges rejected an NRA lawsuit, Internet radio host Hal Turner got angry. “These judges deserve to be killed,” he wrote on his blog. “Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty.” Then he posted photos of the judges, maps to their courthouse, and info on the building’s “anti-truck bomb barriers.” Now he’s in jail awaiting trial, in a case that will test the limits of free speech, the Washington Post reports.

“He did not say go out and kill,” his lawyer argues. “This is political hyperbole, nothing more. He’s a shock jock.” But the FBI and US Attorney’s office think Turner crossed the line by posting the judges' information. Turner, intriguingly, is an FBI informant, who occasionally provided information on right-wing extremists. More often, however, he was an “agent provocateur,” recruited to provoke violent public reactions from leftists.

View 2 more images
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 25 comments
denaliguide
Aug 16, 2009 3:52 AM CDT
ENOUGH. As a NRA Sympathizer, I'd say, roast this guy, he has no brain, no loss. Like it or not, it is a rule of law, and assasinating judges does not belong in a country with rule of law. Free Speech does not cover this, IMO. DG
Larryinchicago
Aug 16, 2009 3:45 AM CDT
I am quite liberal but I think there are limits to what can and should be said in a public blog. There definitely needs to be some law about this.
DarkFrancis
Aug 16, 2009 2:01 AM CDT
This guy should take a leaf out of the rabid Newser droolers' books. They know how to veil their desires for murder, and use strawman fallacies when called out of the shadows.