Blogger's Case Tests Limits of Free Speech
Far-right critic remains in jail after calling for judges' deaths
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
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)
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(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.